US: In a massive overhaul of its heavily lambasted mapping software, Apple has posted job ads for Software Engineers who will help in improving its map apps. Apple has started advertising for a large number of iOS Software Engineers whose specific focus will be on improving the Apple Maps app that is included with iOS 6. The company is advertising for ten new Software Engineer positions, all dedicated to working on various aspects of the Maps app.
The company has been actively reporting bugs and issues with its new Maps application. Apple’s mapping woes started in June last year, when it dropped Google and launched its own maps app – using licensed data and its own software. But soon after its launch in September, consumer complaints started pouring in from all four corners.
While Apple Maps offered soaring ”flyover” views of major cities, it had no public transit directions, limited traffic information, and obvious mistakes such as putting one city in the middle of the ocean.
Facing growing criticism, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook penned an apology acknowledging users” frustration. He admitted that the Company “fell short” on its promise to deliver world class products. Cook said that the firm had “screwed up”, but promised Apple had a “huge plan” to improve the app.
The Company even fired a manager who oversaw its mobile mapping service in a damage control mode. In October 2012, Scott Forstall, a long-time lieutenant of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was asked to leave the company partly because of his refusal to take responsibility for the mishandling of the mapping software.
Then in December last year, Google”s navigation tool returned to the iPhone. The Google Maps app are now compatible with any iPhone or iPod Touch that runs iOS 5.1 or higher, the company said in a blog post.
According to a report published in The Guardian, Apple shares lost about 4.5% of their value, which is around $30bn (£18.6bn) in market cap, since the map fiasco.
However, the new job postings renew Tim Cook’s promise of improving its doomed app. The positions include the opportunity to work on user interface development, integration with other iOS services such as Siri and MapKit (the framework that allows other app to use Apple Maps), Turn-by-Turn navigation enhancements, real time maps display, road and points of interest labelling, 3D flyover and road rendering, as well as those will expertise with spatial algorithms. All are based in Cupertino and will be part of the team that is dedicated to improving the Apple Maps application.