Apple wants to ‘radically’ improve its location-based services, job postings on the iPhone maker’s website suggest.
“Come work for the team that revolutionised the mobile technology industry as it continues [to] define what computing looks like in a post-PC era,” read an announcement for two positions of ‘iOS Maps Application Developer’ on Apple’s website.
“The Maps team is looking for an exceptional developer to join us in our mission to radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services,” it added.
The current maps application from iOS uses Google Map tiles. It is speculated that MobileMe (subscription based online services from Apple) are probably being overhauled, and the job listings could be related to that.
Some time ago, Apple acquired Placebase, a Google Maps competitor. At that time it was speculated that Apple would soon cut off its ties with Google Maps, but that didn’t happen.
iOS Maps continued to use Google Maps tiles, though these were slightly inferior to the maps available on new Android devices. iOS Maps didn’t provide offline maps or turn-by-turn directions. It seems all this is set to change now.
Placebase has the speciality of adding private and public data to maps, which may give a distinct advantage to iOS Maps.
On the other hand, Microsoft has access to Navteq, a map service of Nokia. This is thanks to its alliance with the Finnish handset maker.