Continuing with its shopping spree, it appears that Apple has acquired another mapping company with an intent to add more features to its Maps platform.
According to a blog post
by Jessica E. Lessin, Apple has bought Embark, a small startup based in Silicon Valley that develops transit apps helping users navigate public transportation.
While the website was not able to confirm the monetary value of the transaction, it does mention that Apple will directly integrate Embark's technology into its Maps, citing people aware of the development.
The deal was also confirmed by an Apple spokeswoman, according to the blog. She said "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
As per Jessica Lessin's blog post Embark was founded in 2011 and creates Android and iOS apps featuring public transit systems information for the US cities of New York, San Francisco and Chicago, among others. It says the iOS apps are still available for download, while the Android apps appear to have been removed from the Play Store.
The company claimed to have a user base of more than half a million in November 2012. It had benefitted from Apple's move to its own Maps platform from Google Maps, as Apple Maps did not include public transport information and recommended a number of third-party apps in its App Store, including Embark.
Last month, Apple had bought online mapping services HopStop and Locationary
to strengthen its own Maps platform, which has been panned for its inaccuracies and for missing out critical features like transit information. New York-based HopStop provides directions to major transit systems and biking routes, popular features on Google's maps. Locationary, which is based in Toronto, collects and analyses data to help create more precise maps.
The acquisitions come after a series of similar buyouts. In 2009, Apple bought Placebase, followed by Poly9 in 2010 and C3 Technologies in 2011.