Apple is making an aggressive push to improve its mapping services, which have long been criticized for offering a subpar experience compared to Google Maps. The Cupertino-based company began the day by acquiring Locationary, a Canadian firm that specializes in crowdsourced location data.
Just hours later, it has now been confirmed that Apple also scooped up local transit direction provider HopStop. Transit information is currently absent from Apple Maps, so its more than plausible that this acquisition will play a role in bringing that data to the service.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said, confirming the acquisition.
HopStop is an online city transit guide that launched in 2005, providing subway and bus directions and maps for New York City and several other major metropolitan areas across the United States, Canada and Europe. The website also has dedicated apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Apple Maps is still lacking in location data compared to its rival Google Maps. Personally, on several occasions, Apple Maps has failed to recognize locations that Google Maps or my in-dash GPS system has been able to. The acquisitions of Locationary and HopStop should help improve this situation in the months ahead.