The positions, all of which are located in Apple’s Cupertino, California HQ, were posted on Apple’s Jobs site on 4 February, and include nine iOS Software Engineers that will contribute to various iOS Maps features, and one engineer who will focus on Maps navigation.
Among the iOS Maps features mentioned as areas of focus in the jobs listings are road labels and points of interest, 3D Flyover and rendering, performance, user interface, Siri integration and the MapKit framework.
These job listings follow promises from CEO Tim Cook that Apple is working non-stop to improve Maps, and is putting the weight of the company behind correcting it.
When Apple introduced its new Maps with iOS 6 in September, it was greeted by wide criticism for its inaccuracies, poor quality imagery, lack of transit directions and more, which led Cook to issue a public apology, and admit “we screwed up”. Cook said that Apple’s Maps would improve with time as users reported problems, but advised users to turn to Microsoft’s Bing, Google’s Maps, or other mapping services in the meantime.
Many iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users decided not to update to Apple’s iOS 6 when it was first launched, due to the criticism the Maps app had received. So, when Google Maps became available in Apple’s App Store in December, it was downloaded more than 10 million times within 48 hours, and sparked an iOS 6 adoption boost of 29 per cent.
Rumours have suggested that Apple could partner with location-based social recommendation app Foursquare to help improve iOS Maps, or possibly crowd-sourced navigation app Waze.