Apple looking to bolster its iOS vehicle integration team

This is pretty interesting. A series of new job listings have been discovered on Apple's website, calling for applicants to fill a variety of positions related to iOS device integration with in-car stereos.

The listings are particularly relevant, given this week's report that Ferrari and Apple are in talks to "broaden their partnership." Could Apple be looking to get into the in-car entertainment space?

Apple looking to add USB 3.0 support to Lightning connector

Apple is probably looking to add compatibility with high-speed USB 3.0 interconnect to its new Lightning connector. The tiny Lightning I/O debuted on the iPhone 5 in September 2012 as a replacement for Apple's decade-old 30-pin Dock connector. The controversial move has introduced incompatibilities with legacy accessories that now require an additional $29 or $39 adapter from Apple, even earning a funny Joy of Tech treatment...

Apple seeking someone to help deliver next-gen Apple TV features

An interesting new Apple job listing has been spotted, indicating that Apple has "high-priority" next-generation Apple TV features in development. That's an interesting choice of words considering Apple continuously refers to its $99 set-top box as a hobby business. And with recent talk of Apple about to update the Apple TV platform this fall with a software development kit for third-party apps and games, all of the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall nicely in place...

Apple making big hiring push for iOS Maps team

It seems like criticism for Apple's Maps app has died down in recent months. What was once the favorite topic of critics and naysayers has been replaced with talk of iPhone 5 part order cuts and the company's floundering stock.

But that doesn't mean that the Maps app is up to snuff yet, and Apple knows it. That's why it's been working hard to improve the software and, according to new job listings, is making a major hiring push for its Maps team...

Apple wants to ‘re-imagine’ iLife and iWork apps

Apple is looking for some fresh blood to join its iLife and iWork development teams and "re-imagine how user interfaces should be built and work", a series of job ads posted on its web site indicates. In addition to engineers in the iLife Frameworks QA department, Apple is also seeking a QA engineer to help test new features in iPhoto, a Senior User Interface Designer for iWork and two Senior Software Engineer positions which explicitly mention improving the user interface of iLife apps...

Plastics design engineers required for ‘new Apple product developments’

Talk about timely news. Just as I ran a story about a patent Apple was granted yesterday which describes what looks to be the rumored less-pricey iPhone that could be made from "transparent materials such as clear plastic", news broke that the Cupertino, California gadget designer posted a new job listing for Manufacturing Design Engineer with a focus in Advanced Plastic Tooling and Process.

Now, Apple's been moving away from plastic towards aluminum for pretty much all of its products in years past. Why on Earth would then Apple be looking to expand and improve its current plastics division unless, of course, it's in fact working on a less expensive iPhone for emerging markets, made with a cheaper plastic case to keep costs down?

Apple job posting hints at new API/framework in iOS 7

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...

Apple job ad promises wittier Siri responses

Apple's digital secretary (still in beta, by the way) made waves when it arrived as an iPhone 4S exclusive on October 5, 2011. It caught rival gadget makers on the wrong foot, but Google quickly responded to the threat with Google Now, a voice-activated search product which taps Google's Knowledge Graph to deliver personalized results without users even asking. Siri's reliance on Google for data was dramatically reduced since iOS 6 and a recent job ad suggested Siri will soon speak a bunch of new languages.

Another job ad has been spotted today, indicating that Apple wants Siri to provide even wittier responses than it currently does. The ideal candidate for the job would be someone willing to “develop and write original dialog to support new Siri capabilities" and help the Siri team evolve Siri as a "distinct, recognizable character"...