Apple's expansion of iOS development team focuses on location services

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Apple this week put a call out to fill more than two dozen positions related to iOS development, suggesting a major expansion of its mobile operating system team, particularly with regard to location services.

Seven of the positions advertised this week and discovered by AppleInsider are for the role of an iOS Location Technologies software engineer. The jobs, represented by seven individual requisition numbers, do not offer a specific description of the full-time positions, and are simply listed as "TBD."

Apple's call for more location services specialists could be a sign that Apple plans to offer new location-based services built in-house on future iOS devices, like the iPhone. The hires come as Apple is rumored to be working on a major overhaul of its cloud-based MobileMe service.

Apple has shown a great deal of interest in expanded location-based services in the past, including a concept for location-based home screens on iOS devices. A 2009 patent filing showed that Apple has explored the idea of a dynamic iPhone home screen that would automatically display information such as local weather, time and maps based on a user's location.

The company has also investigated a social networking style service that would allow users to quickly share their location with another person while placing a call. Such information would be valuable to friends who are trying to meet but do not know each others' whereabouts.

In addition to location services, many other facets of iOS were covered in the more than two dozen job postings made this week by Apple. The company is seeking everything from antenna experts, to Bluetooth specialists, to software developers who can help improve its native Photo and Calendar applications for iOS.

As is typical for Apple job listings, many of the advertised positions do not reveal what the company may be working on in future handsets or iOS updates. But the sheer number of new hires listed this week for iOS-related positions is unique, and hints that the company has big plans ahead for its mobile operating system.

Other iOS job listings from Apple this week include positions for: