iPhone maker makes second mapping acquisition in a week as it seeks to improve Apple Maps
Apple has reportedly agreed to purchase online transit navigation application HopStop, its second mapping acquisition in the past week as it seeks to improve its much-maligned Apple Maps application.
New York-based HopStop currently offers public transport information for more than 500 cities in seven different countries.
Navigation is available for travel by foot, bike, subway and car, with information sourced from 700 transit agencies, 20,000 transit lines and 750,000 stops. HopStop can also count on crowdsourced information from a community of two million monthly active users.
Apple Maps improvements
Last week, Apple reportedly acquired Canadian business listing startup Locationary, which is described as a “Wikipedia for local business listings.” It uses crowdsourcing and a data platform called Saturn to collect and continuously update a database of local businesses information.
The addition of more accurate business listings and transit information should help Apple Maps compete with Google Maps, which is currently the most popular free navigation app on the App Store.
Apple Maps has endured a troubled existence since it was launched last September, when it replaced Google Maps as the previous default mapping application for iPhone and iPad.
Google Maps had been the maps provider to iOS ever since the first iPhone was released in 2007, but for iOS 6 Apple chose to replace the popular service with its own system. It has been widely panned by users, who have reported numerous inaccuracies, missing towns and businesses as well as the discovery of famous locations in bodies of water.
CEO Tim Cook even took the extraordinary measure of apologising to users, suggesting that they even switch to a rival service. He did promise that the application would improve and it would keep on working until it reached the expected standard.
Apple Maps’ main rival remains Google Maps, with its iOS application receiving a major update earlier this week.
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