updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Company could take mapping tech in-house
Apple is now explicitly hunting for someone to improve the Maps app in iOS, a new job listing reveals. The successful candidate will take on the mantle of "iOS Maps Application Developer," working in or around the vicinity of the company's Cupertino headquarters. Applicants must have "real-world experience developing sophisticated user interfaces," and cooperate with the Apple human interface team to "add new and innovative features."
Apple has posted a series of mapping-related job postings in recent months, but usually none so explicitly aimed at enhancing the Maps app. The company could be hoping to implement major changes for iOS 5, since the app has only seen minor evolution since its introduction with the original iPhone in 2007. Among these might be Google's Maps Navigation, long promised for iOS but still an Android exclusive.
The company might also take a different path and eliminate its dependence on Google Maps entirely. In 2009 Apple bought Placebase, and in 2010 it acquired Poly9, at the time best known for the Google Earth-like Poly9 Globe. Last week it revealed that it is gathering "anonymous traffic data" to produce a "crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years."