Apple acquires transit-navigation company, HopStop

Apple has reportedly bought HopStop, a New York based location company that provides real-time social transit navigation in 7 countries, for 700 transit agencies, on 20,000 lines, and 750,000 stops. According to Peter Borrows and Sarah Frier for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) agreed to buy online transit-navigation service Inc., people with knowledge of the deal said, seeking to improve mapping tools after a rocky debut for its directions software last year.

When Apple relaunched their Maps app with iOS 6 in 2012, it was without the transit directions that many users of the previous, Google-powered versions depended on. Apple will bring their Maps to the Mac later this year with OS X Mavericks.

If, when, and how a HopStop acquisition will help Apple Maps in that regard isn't immediately clear. What is clear, however, is that Apple continues to invest heavily in mapping companies and their technology. To date, that includes HopStop, Locationary, WiFiSLAM, 3C Technologies, Poly9, and Placebase.

That being said, it'd be nice to see at least basic transit directions return to the built-in Maps app, wouldn't it?

Source: Bloomberg

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.