updated 01:20 pm EDT, Tue August 30, 2011
May be tied to Maps, traffic plans
Apple is continuing to expand hiring related to iOS location technology, notes AppleInsider. The company's latest goal is an iOS QA location engineer, who will be based out of Cupertino and help work on "exciting new features for iOS location services," completing "documented and adhoc testing to ensure high quality releases." Candidates must notably have experience with "GPS, A-GPS, LBS, or navigation algorithms," as well as cellular technology and mobile sensors.
Based on other recent hirings Apple seems to be foremost interested in improving Maps, which comes preloaded on every iOS handheld. While the app has undergone a number of changes since it premiered in 2007, none of them have been major. iOS' mapping options are in fact lagging behind those of Google's Android platform, which for some time has given people free turn-by-turn navigation via Maps Navigation.
Apple could be working on its own alternative to Maps Navigation, which Google once promised to bring to iOS. A "crowd-sourced traffic" service has been promised by Apple since the company's location-tracking scandal, and could support a new turn-by-turn app. Alternately the company may simply want to increase its distance from Google, which despite being a competitor is still closely tied to the iOS Maps app.