Apple has posted 4 similar job opportunities over at jobs.apple.com with the following 3 things listed as “Valuable knowledge” that would be helpful for the position:
- Deep knowledge of Computational Geometry or Graph Theory
- Experience with Linux server-side development of distributed systems
- Experience developing navigation software (emphasis ours)
The job title is listed as “iOS Software Engineer”, and the pitch for the job includes the phrase “build the world’s best hosted platforms at massive scale”.
Given the job description, it’s likely that Apple is planning to add navigation functionality to the iOS Maps application, or perhaps release a new Navigation App which would offer live turn by turn directions read aloud, along with the “point of view” 3D map that GPS owners are accustomed to.
Apple currently relies on Google to provide the iOS Maps application with mapping data, search and walking/driving directions, but Google and Apple have increasingly become competitors in the mobile arena, which may be pushing Cupertino to come up with their own solution for mapping data and directions.
Google’s own Android mobile OS comes with GPS navigation software provided for free, which may also be putting competitive pressure on Apple to meet or exceed Google’s offering.