Apple acquires navigation service Hopstop
Apple has snapped up local transit and directions service Hopstop to bolster its mapping services.
Apparently Locationary isn't the only location-based company Apple's bought up recently.
Apple confirmed the purchase late Friday afternoon, though did not go into detail about what it intends to do with the company.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple spokeswoman told CNET.
Transit directions are currently one of Apple's mapping weaknesses since the company rolled out its own homegrown maps inside of 2012's iOS 6. People looking for buses, trains, or subway directions are currently sent to third-party navigational apps if installed, taking users outside of Apple's own mapping software.
Per Hopstop's about page, here are some of the services it provides -- both through its Web site and mobile apps for iOS and Android:
- Get directions or find nearby subway stations and bus stops with our free mobile apps.
- Send directions by e-mail directly from our Web site.
- Plan a trip with multiple destinations.
- Estimate travel time and cost for a taxi.
- Get estimates for calories burned and carbon emissions savings for your route.
- Find wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly routes.
- Check out real-time alerts and planned service changes.
- See transit maps and schedules.
- Do nearby station searches.
Earlier on Friday a report from All Things Digital noted that Apple had purchased Locationary, a location-based data company that blended data from multiple sources, including things like business listings and products and services.
Apple has said it's putting more resources into improving its mapping service following a very rocky rollout that, and led in part to the ouster of former iOS software chief Scott Forstall. The service is , OS X, later this year, further raising its profile with consumers.
It remains unclear what will happen to the Android version of Hopstop's service, though past history suggests it's nothing good. Shortly after purchasing mobile application search and discovery, Apple , then shut it down entirely.
Updated at 2:59 p.m. PT with confirmation from Apple.