A new job listing unearthed by Cult of Mac reveals Apple is looking for an engineering manager for a project called “Apple Search.”
You can check out the full listing here, but the only parts that are truly relevant are the first three sentences of the Feb. 2 post:
Apple seeks a technical, driven and creative program manager to manage backend operations projects for a search platform supporting hundreds of millions of users. Play a part in revolutionizing how people use their computers and mobile devices. Manage operational projects that support groundbreaking technology and the most scalable big-data systems in existence.
Now, there is a slight chance this job listing could point to an entirely new search engine designed to compete with the likes of Google. In 2010, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster claimed there was a 70% chance Apple would develop a search engine “in the next five years” — and here we are, five years later.
(Munster’s predictions aren’t always accurate, but in that same 2010 report, Munster predicted Apple would make its own Maps app, which turned out to be right.)
An Apple-built search engine for the web seems highly unlikely, however. Though Apple is famous for controlling all aspects of the user experience, building a search engine is nothing short of a massive undertaking. Apple may be able to design a good-looking engine, but Google would still likely be eons ahead of it in terms of search results, and people would probably just circumvent Apple’s search engine in favour of Google’s anyway.
More likely, Apple is looking for someone to improve the search functionality in the App Store, or Apple Maps, which is apparently due for a major software update this year — Apple is said to be finally incorporating all the data from the mapping and navigation companies it bought in 2013, so it probably needs a smarter search engine to organise all that data.
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