Apple has been trying so hard to improve its maps service and it didn’t pretty much succeed in their intentions. They have tried everything – from hiring special developers and technicians and at the end, they have launched Google Maps app version to the App Store. However, Apple’s work on its maps didn’t stop and they are still trying to find a way how to improve it. This Cupertino-based company has decided to acquire Hopstop in order to help them to improve its mapping services.
Hopstop is local directions and transit service that was launched back in 2005. This New York-based company isn’t the only acquisition by Apple recently. Only a day ago, Apple has bought Locationary, a Toronto-based company, to work on its maps improvement. Maybe this means that Apple will introduce new upgrade version for its maps very soon.
Apple has confirmed this purchase but didn’t share any details of its intentions with this company. A person close to this purchase said that Apple is buying small companies from time to time and don’t have any intention of giving details about its future plans or purposes. Getting proper transit directions have been the weakest part of its maps service. People who have been looking for public transportations were using third-party apps which took them outside of the mapping service in order to get results. Hopstop could be great fit for implementing new feature into Apple’s maps.
This local company already has a web site and mobile apps for Android and iOS. You can get directions or find nearby bus stations with these mobile apps. You can use your e-mail to send directions right from its Web site and estimate your travel time and cost when you are about to use a taxi transportation. The most interesting thing is that you can estimate calories burned and carbon savings for your required route. You can see transit schedules and maps and you can search for nearby stations.
An earlier report by All Things D announced that Apple has bought Locationary that collects data from many sources and includes services, products and business listings. Apple mentioned something about collecting more resources for improving its mapping service but we thought that the changes will be made within the company. This service will be available like desktop software later in this year with the new OS X platform. The thing that isn’t clear now is what will happen with Android’s app version of this Hopstop service. I’ve seen lots of reviews saying that isn’t something special and won’t be a problem if Apple decides to eliminate it. The same thing happened after this company bought Chomp, discovery service, last year. Apple has collected all results out of Android and shut it down.
It’s nice to see Apple to improve something that has been causing them headaches all the time. It’s early to say if these are good acquisitions but I assume Apple has a great plan how to implement them in its work.