July 23, 2013

Apple makes technology acquisition to strengthen Maps application

This blog has previously discussed the race between several major technology companies to provide the best GPS options to customers. Google recently strengthened its own offerings by purchasing the mapping service Waze.

Apple made a major move toward having a better product when it announced last week that it had acquired HopStop, a transit navigation application.

As first reported by Bloomberg, Apple purchased the New York-based firm, which provides directions for more than 140 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and six other countries.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the acquisition in a short statement to AllThingsD. Huguet said that the technology company buys smaller firms all the time, and as usual, the California-based company will not discuss its purpose or plans. 

"It would only make sense that Apple would buy the company to include this kind of information in its own Maps app, particularly as it would bring Apple Maps just a little bit closer in competition to Google Maps, which already provides public transit information," explained a VentureBeat article.

Few Apple fans can forget the lackluster debut of the company's highly touted map features on iOS 6 last September. Many users received poor directions, winding up in the wrong location and sometimes miles away from where they needed to be. Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology and vowed that it would be fixed. Until then, customers were urged to download other applications – HopStop included.

Additionally, Apple purchased Locationary, a location data company that helps businesses organize information across different properties, like websites. Both technology acquisitions are expected to improve Apple's maps and GPS services, which should satisfy customer needs.