We reported exclusively back in September that Apple was working on implementing public transit directions for iOS 8 alongside other new mapping features. Backing up our report, today Apple posted a job listing (via MacRumors) that shows the company is indeed working on its own solution for transit directions for a future version of Maps. The job listing seeks an engineer to join Apple’s Transit Routing team and “work on one of the most anticipated features of Apple Maps.”
Apple is hiring outstanding software engineers to deliver the next generation of Maps services. Seize this ground floor opportunity to help us build the world’s best Transit Routing platform at massive scale…As a member of the Transit Routing team, you will work on one of the most anticipated features of Apple Maps. You will design and implement functionality that will be used by millions of users worldwide. Being part of a small team, you will have an influence on the future product.
Lack of public transit directions was just one of many complaints with Apple’s Maps app since it first launched in iOS 6. Currently, Apple’s Maps app will provide links to third-party mapping apps installed on your device when requesting public transit directions.
There have been a lot of signs in recent months that Apple is making a significant investment in improving its Maps app since a controversial launch and switch from using Google Maps as the backend on iOS. Three of the 15 strategic acquisitions that Tim Cook mentioned during Apple’s Q4 earnings call yesterday include mapping and transit companies Embark, Locationary and HopStop, but Apple continues to experience bad press from inaccuracies and other missing features in the Maps app.
In our report from September, we noted that Apple was testing a new tool for its Maps app that would take advantage of the iPhone 5s’s new M7 chip to allow users find their parked vehicles. Apple also has new indoor mapping features that are currently planned for iOS 8.