Apple buys Embark, yet another mapping app
Embark's technology could give a needed boost to Apple's own Maps app
IDG News Service - Apple is reportedly acquiring mapping app developer Embark, in a move that could lend more real-time navigation features for public transit to Apple's own Maps app.
The acquisition, which was first reported by tech journalist Jessica Lessin, follows other recent mapping purchases for Apple: HopStop, another maker of apps for public transit directions; and Locationary, which provides data about local businesses; and WifiSLAM, an indoor location and mapping company.
Apple did not directly confirm its acquisition of Embark, but in an emailed statement said, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Apple declined to comment further on the deal.
Apple has faced some serious challenges over the past year in providing a consistently solid mapping product with its Maps app. Last September Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to publicly apologize for a series of issues plaguing the company's Maps app in Apple's iOS 6 operating system.
Embark is a company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that makes a mobile mapping app designed to help people navigate mass transit systems. The company's app provides "tailored trips" specific to the user's region, along with notifications for late-running trains and other advisories and closures.
Embark's technology, if it does find its way into a future Apple product, could enhance Apple's mapping products and make the company a stronger competitor to rivals like Google. Google's Maps app already offers real-time public transit navigation features, as do some smaller players like iTransitBuddy.
Embark's app is available for free on the iPhone for 10 transit systems including Boston's MBTA, Chicago's L, the New York City Subway and San Francisco's Bart and Caltrain systems, with more on the way, according to Embark's website.
It is not clear whether Embark's app will be shut down as part of the acquisition. The app was still available in Apple's App Store at the time of this article's posting.
Embark's team could not be immediately reached to comment on the deal.
Google, meanwhile, has been rolling out a series of enhancements to its Maps app in recent weeks. The service got more real-time traffic alerts just this week, based on Google's recent acquisition of crowdsourced mapping developer Waze. Separately, the Google Maps app received some other navigation tools last month, which came from other data providers such as TomTom.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts