Apple hiring for ‘secret’ Maps project, possibly involving web-based version of app

Apple has something Maps-based up its sleeve, with a recent job ad revealing the tech giant is looking for a web UI designer for “a new secret project” involving its mapping service.

“We’re working on an exciting new system and need your help,” the ad says. “You would be joining a small team working on an advanced web platform upon which many of Apple’s future services will be based.”

The company is looking for a front-end engineer with a “strong background in web services development, and who has built high-performance, scalable and extensible systems,” with the successful candidate defining and implementing “some of the web pages for the system that will power next-generation Apple products.”

With experience of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, DOM, XML, and JSON a requirement, Apple news site MacRumors, which spotted the ad over the weekend, suggests the company could be gearing up to launch a web-based Maps service along the lines of Google’s offering.

“It is possible that Apple is working on building up a more prominent web presence, developing a series of web-based apps that would extend the Apple experience outside of Apple products,” MacRumors says, explaining that such a Maps-based offering could be incorporated into iCloud or other Apple products.

Of course, there will be those who believe the company should concentrate on fixing its much-criticized Maps app before it starts thinking about taking the whole shebang onto the web.

Although Apple has done much to improve the iOS app since its disastrous launch exactly a year ago – including the hiring of so-called ‘ground truth managers‘ and the acquisition of a number of navigation-based startups –  there appeared to be a slight hiccup last week when it emerged that the app was mistakenly directing drivers looking for Alaska’s Fairbanks International Airport onto one of the airport’s taxiways. Several drivers even scooted across the main runway to get to the terminal building.

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