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Apple Maps is going places with new iOS Maps developer job

Apple is mapping the future of its maps app. The fruit-flavoured phone-flogger is advertising for a software engineer to improve the features and interface of maps on iOS devices.

Apple is mapping the future of its maps app. The fruit-flavoured phone-flogger is advertising for a software engineer to improve the features and interface of maps on iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Apple is advertising for an iOS Maps application developer. Based in Apple's California headquarters, the role requires knowledge of Objective-C, C, or C++ program languages, experience with the iOS software development kit and Cocoa programming, and a "passion for location-based technologies".

It looks like Apple is finally getting round to improving the rather basic Maps experience on iOS devices. The job calls for someone who can work on new features and interfaces, suggesting a major overhaul could be in the works. Whether that means Apple will create its own back end remains to be seen.

Apple's range of mobile devices currently use Google Maps for your cartographic convenience. The iOS version of Google Maps is still pretty basic compared to the Android version: Google Maps 5.0 for Android features layers, vector graphics and nifty 3D effects.

We'd like to see layers that quickly display information such as transport links or nearby places of interest, and anything that speeds things up would be appreciated. We'd also like to see some form of offline caching, so you can still see where you are and where you're going even if you lose phone signal -- handy if you're on the tube, in a building or halfway up a mountain.

It's possible that a revamped app could make more use of the iPad, with features geared specifically to a tablet's larger screen and extra processing power.

Where do you think Apple should go with its location services? What improvements would you like to see in the long-neglected Maps apps on your iPhone? Find your way to the comments or share your thoughts on our Facebook wall.