Apple buys transit-app maker Embark
Apple has purchased another company that deals in local map data. This time it's Embark, a company that specializes in public-transit information and directions.
Apple has picked up another mapping company, its third this year.
Apple confirmed the deal, saying it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time," but would not go into detail about the future of the service. Embark CEO David Hodge declined to comment.
Embark was one of several location app makers who iOS 6. Within the first week of that software launching, Embark said it saw the biggest spike in downloads and activity since the service launched.following Apple's rollout of its own mapping software in
According to Lessin, Apple plans to build Embark's technology into its own software, presumably to replace the public transit features in Apple Maps. As it stands, the app directs users to try their route in any third-party transit apps that may be installed, as well as directing them toward such apps in the App Store.
The purchase is Apple's latest in a series. In just the past month, it's been revealed that Apple has purchased, as well as , which provides a service similar to Embark's. In addition, Apple has picked up Oakland-based Passif Semiconductor (a deal that was also reported by Lessin), along with video guide and .
Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple has been buying a company every month or two. "We are always looking, and if anything, we will do more of that in the future," Cookat the All Things Digital Conference in May.
Here's a brief promotional video by Embark, showing how the service works in New York: