This is kind of interesting. A new job posting has been spotted on Apple’s website that calls for a Frameworks QA engineer that will help develop the “very first iPhone/iPad app that uses a new API/framework in the next version of iOS.”
Now, Apple always adds new APIs/frameworks to new versions of iOS. But the interesting part here is that it directly refers to the development of a new iPhone/iPad app that directly depends on whatever this new API/framework is…
“The iOS team is looking for a software engineer with strong development and QA skills to help us ensure the iOS SDK is able to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of developers producing the next great iPhone and iPad apps.
Responsibilities in this position will include developing and maintaing a set of iOS test apps for new and exiting APIs that are released in the public iOS SDK. A significant amount of time will be spent working on feature bring-up for new APIs released to developers. This includes developing the very first app to support new APIs/frameworks in the iOS SDK and also developing some of the accompanying web services, tools and test data sets needed to ensure the features works end-to-end for developers. You will also need to work in collaboration with different engineering teams within iOS and Apple in order to ensure the quality of the APIs/frameworks meet our standards.”
Now, even if the iPhone/iPad app referenced in this listing is a test app, it still suggests that this new API/framework is going to be fairly significant. So significant that third-party apps will be able to hook into it. Think Passbook.
Of course, with rumors of iPhone sales slumping and folks complaining about the staleness of iOS, everyone is anxiously waiting to see what Apple has come up with for the next generation of its mobile operating system (presumably iOS 7).
Looking back at Apple’s history, we’ll likely see a preview of the new iOS during its WWDC event this June. It’s also worth noting that the iOS update trend lately has been: little iteration (iOS 4) big iteration (iOS 5) little iteration (iOS 6).