updated 09:29 am EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
New features not finished in time
(Updated with evidence of transit development) The absence of any major Maps improvements in last week's iOS 8 announcement can be blamed on internal problems at Apple, sources say. It had been expected that Apple would restore public transit directions, and make additions like better labeling, more points of interest, and/or augmented reality functions. The sources claim, however, that these features simply weren't ready for WWDC.
"Many developers left the company, no map improvements planned for iOS 8 release were finished in time," one person says. "Mostly it was failure of project managers and engineering project managers, tasks were very badly planned, developers had to switch multiple times from project to project."
Another source takes a slightly different view. "I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group."
Apple's Maps app -- which was brought to OS X as well in 2013 -- has struggled to compete with Google Maps since the latter was removed as a native iOS element in 2012. Users have complained about the loss of public transit options, poor accuracy, and other issues. An independent version of Google Maps has remained a popular download at the App Store since it was released.
Update: Accounts note that in one WWDC session video, a Maps screenshot contains a bus icon, hinting that Apple has been developing transit directions but had to scratch it from the version of iOS 8 seen last week.