Apple Job Postings Foreshadow Maps UI and Framework Improvements

Nearly five months after its controversial launch, Apple is continuing to expand the iOS Maps team, according to new job listings posted this week. Apple is seeking ten iOS software engineers to join company in Cupertino with a focus on improving the Maps app and accompanying service.

The iOS Map Display team is looking for a proactive and hardworking software engineer to join our team. Our team is responsible for displaying map content for the Maps application on iOS. It is used by millions of customers and it's the best mapping program on any mobile platform. Our team is also responsible for map display via MapKit, the iOS framework that displays maps used by countless applications on the App Store.

iOS Apple Maps Jobs Postings

The postings each have slightly different descriptions, seeking candidates to enhance Maps in various ways including dynamic label layout of road labels and points of interest, rendering 3D flyover models, mesh generation of terrain and roads, developing real-time rendering techniques, user interface development, enhancing Siri integration, and development of MapKit, the framework behind Maps in iOS that can be used by third-party developers.

“We are a small team in which every engineer has an enormous impact on the product we ship. To succeed here, you’ll need above all to be passionate about creating a map browsing, search, and navigation experience that is the best of its kind,” one of the postings explains.

Apple released Maps in September 2012 as part of iOS 6. The app controversially replaced Google Maps, which had been part of the iOS experience since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.

The app and service were immediately criticized by users due to significant problems in mapping accuracy and the loss of features. The situation culminated with the firing of brash iOS chief Scott Forstall in late October after the exec reportedly refused to join CEO Tim Cook in signing a letter to customers apologizing for the situation.

Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services for Apple, was subsequently put in charge of the Maps project and promptly fired the team’s manager as he sought to rebuild the app and repair the public relations damage that the company had incurred.

In addition to improving the Maps iOS app and service, rumors suggest that Apple will extend Maps to OS X with the release of OS X 10.9, expected to be announced soon. Adding Maps to OS X would not only provide users with the option for a unified experience between Mac and iOS, but it would also greatly enhance the ability of users to report errors and corrections in Apple’s mapping data, increasing the speed at which Apple could improve the service.

As many of this week’s job postings are related to server-side tasks, candidates filling those positions will likely have a role in shaping an eventual OS X Maps experience.

Teaser graphic made with help from Shutterstock.

[via AppleInsider]