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Friday, August 23, 2013

Apple Acquires Transit App Maker 'Embark', Looking To Continually Improve Maps

Apple's current Maps app is far from perfect. Ever since it cut ties with Google Maps and launched their own service a lot has changed.

We've seen the firing of its then senior vice president of iOS Software, Scott Forstall, because of the Maps issue. Google Maps has gone on to release a standalone app for iOS which is arguably more popular than Apple's version.

But, Apple hasn't sat quietly conceding to Google that easily. In an attempt to continually keep improving Apple Maps, the Silicon Valley based tech mogul has recently acquired 'Embark', a startup transit app maker.

According to Jessica Lessin who first reported this, Apple's acquisition of Embark comes with a plan to directly integrate Embark's technology into Apple Maps. Embark currently has 10 transit-related apps in the App Store.

Apple's purchase of Embark comes hot on the heels of acquiring other mapping apps like HopStop and Locationary. HopStop focuses on transit navigation and has plenty of other features like road navigation, taxicab time/cost estimates, calorie counter for foot routes, bus route planning etc. for over 500 cities (Source: HopStop).

Locationary is a Canadian mapping company which integrates information from local business listings into one place. It has detailed information of various businesses. Using a technology called 'Saturn' businesses themselves update data like location, working hours etc. to help create a network of information which can be integrated into various apps and websites (Source: Locationary).

Other mapping related apps purchased by Apple since replacing Google Maps include Placebase, C3 and Poly9.

Embark News Source: Jessica Lessin

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