Remember the time when Apple made a major boo-boo by deleting the Google Maps app on iOS devices and replaced it with their native Maps? People hated that move and CEO Tim Cook had to issue a public apology for what happened, which led to the termination of Apple Maps Product Manager Richard Williamson because he didn’t want to be a part of that embarrassing situation? Well, what could be more embarrassing than prematurely releasing a native app that spelled major disaster all over it?
Fixing IOS Maps
Today, it looks like the tech giant is making amends by pushing to hire several map-related job listings on its corporate website. Software engineers that Apple is looking for will be responsible for improving the mapping solution of the app. Nine of the ten software engineers will work on a number of programming duties and one of them will focus on the navigation aspect of Maps. A computer-vision expert, for example, will be in charge of Flyover, the 3D terrain visualization feature of iOS Maps. All positions will be based in Apple’s headquarters at Cupertino, California.
“The iOS Maps team is looking for a proactive and hardworking software engineer to join our team. The Maps application is used by millions of customers and it’s the best mapping program on any mobile platform. Our team is also responsible for MapKit, the iOS framework that displays maps which is used by countless applications on the App Store.”
With this being the second Maps-related job listing Apple has posted in weeks, it seems that Apple is aggressively pushing for improvements on the app as soon as possible. Today’s listings also included a call for “senior software engineer to build highly-optimized vector content for our Maps application” and a Geocoder Data Analyst to develop cornerstone of the program. Aside from engineering positions to work on the Flyover feature of the map, positions are also open for engineers to focus on vectorizing mapping images, navigation, and other aspects of the app.
Wanted Software Engineers
Job listings include openings for the Maps Operations project manager, Maps software engineers, MapKit engineers, and even third-party developers. Most engineering positions require familiarity with map matching from GPS and other data, experience in Dijstra, A*, and other routing algorithms, and knowledge in iOS SDK and Cocoa programming. It is interesting to note, however, that none of the positions call for an understanding of data gathering and input, which experts say are the weakest links in the app.
The hiring started in September, going so far as to hire software engineers who have experience working on Google Maps by luring them on job opportunities that allow them to work on a new product instead of just constantly updating an already existing platform. There isn’t any news on what this possible product could be but Apple is definitely beefing up its efforts to improve their own native Maps. While iOS users stand no choice against deleting the native Maps app, the Google Maps is still available for download and those who can’t download it are allowed to save it on the Home screen for easy access.