• iPhone Maps to "The Next Level:" Without Google?

    MacRumors highlighted a newly posted Apple job listing today that shows that the iPhone "Geo team" is looking for a software engineer to work on the Maps app.
    The iPhone and iPod touch Maps team is looking for a proactive and hardworking software engineer to join our team. The iPhone Maps application is used by millions of customers and itís the best mapping program on any mobile platform. Now with iPhone OS 3.0, the MapKit framework allows any developer to embed a fast and easy to use map right in their application. In addition to the Maps application and MapKit framework, the Maps team is also responsible for the new Compass application as well as other location-based services (LBS) on iPhone and iPod touch.

    [...]We want to take Maps to the next level
    Google has long been the database engine behind iPhone's Maps application, and since Apple and Google have increasingly come into competition, as Google moves more into mobile technology, it is unsirprising that Apple may be looking more to "go in-house" on its iPhone offerings. Google has added many Android-only features to Google Maps - such as plain English search and voice search - and though Google has said they're interested in adding that functionality to the iPhone Maps app, progress has been slow.

    Also, Apple acquired Placebase, a would-be Google Maps competitor, back in July. The former CEO of Placebase is now part of the iPhone Geo team, and this job listing would be another piece of evidence that Apple is looking to move beyond Google in future versions of the iPhone Maps app.
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