Apple Started iOS Public Beta Testing Program Due to Apple Maps

iOS 10 Maps

Ever wondered what led to a secretive company like Apple deciding on doing public beta releases of iOS and macOS? Well, the answer is going to surprise you: its Apple Maps. 

In an interview with Fast Company, Eddy Cue, Tim Cook, and Craig Federighi have revealed what happened inside Apple after the launch of Apple Maps in 2012 and how public betas of iOS came to be. The very first feeling the company’s executives felt after the release of Apple Maps was that of embarrassment.

“Look, the first thing is that you’re embarrassed,” says Cue. “Let’s just deal with that one fact of emotion. These things mean a lot to us, we work really hard, and so you’re embarrassed. We had completely underestimated the product, the complexity of it. All the roads are known, come on! All the restaurants are known, there’s Yelp and OpenTable, they have all the addresses. The mail arrives. FedEx arrives. You know, how hard is this?”

The failure of Apple Maps led to a huge internal rejig inside the company and its policies. It saw a veteran like Scott Forstall leaving the company after being a part of it for more than 15 years. The executive team inside Apple also had a discussion about the whole Apple Maps fiasco. They considered accepting Apple Maps as a mistake and treating it as a third-party app. In the end, they decided that Maps was an integral part of their platform and since many features were going to be dependent on it in the future, they did not want to put themselves in a position where they did not own it.

Tim Cook then also forced executives inside the company to have a closer look at their development teams and change how they work. The company eventually decided to open up a bit, which then ultimately led Apple to start a beta testing program.

“The reason you as a customer are going to be able to test iOS,” Cue says, “is because of Maps.”

At least Apple Maps turned out to be of some use!

[Via Fast Company]