Apple has acquired Hopstop, a New York-based navigation Company in order to improve its own maps and navigation service. Hopstop specializes in local transit directions, and has now become one of the few location-based companies that Apple has taken over.
Apple hasn’t detail the deal, nor given out the reason to buy Hopstop. Late Friday afternoon, the company confirmed the purchase, but didn’t seem to be so excited about the deal. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokeswoman told CNET.
Undoubtedly there are lots of good reasons behind acquisitions of smaller companies. Not to mention that Apple’s map service has not been able to perform quite well either, and a majority of iOS consumers has also started turning towards Google Maps since the time the app went live on the Apple App Store.
Apple Maps is still not able to provide the best of results, and consumers looking for buses, trains, or subway directions are sent to third-party navigational apps instead. Hence, it is also taking consumers away from the Apple ecosphere.
With Hopstop, Apple will now be able to add a number of extra services and features that include providing directions for subways stations and bus stops, sending directions to consumers directly by e-mail etc. Consumers will also be able to plan a trip with multiple destinations, estimate the total time and cost for a journey and more.
Apart from Hopstop, Apple recently purchased another location-based data company named Locationary. If things go on this way, Apple might end up using the best technology and services from each of these smaller companies and try to come up with one single service to provide best maps and navigation.