Apple makes purchase in bid to improve Apple Maps

Apple makes purchase in bid to improve Apple Maps
Apple, looking to improve its Maps application, has purchased Silicon Valley start-up company Embark for an undisclosed amount. The company was founded two years ago and builds apps for the iOS and Android platforms that deal with public transit. Several Embark team members will be immediately integrated with the Apple Maps team.

Apple originally passed on offering public transit information when it launched Apple Maps last year. The failed launch of the application led to an apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook and the departure of iOS chief Scott Forstall who refused to take the hit for Apple Maps. That in turn led to new responsibilities for Jony Ive, including the re-designing of the iOS UI which will debut on iOS 7. Apple Maps launched with incorrect directions, benchmarks were labeled with the wrong name, and in the Australian Outback users could have fallen victim to an incorrectly named area of the country and ended up in a dire situation.

Google Maps already includes public transit information for users, which gives Apple an incentive to offer such information itself. Embark's apps had over 500,000 users back in November when it disclosed the number during a financing transaction. The apps, offering information in major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, are still available for iOS users to download while the Android flavored apps do not appear to be listed in the Google Play Store any longer.

Apple has confirmed the transaction. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said a Cupertino spokesman. Meanwhile, Google has improved Google Maps by purchasing crowd-sourced navigation app Waze and has started to integrate some features of Waze into its mapping application.

source: Jessicalessin via Pocketlint

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38 Comments

1. Santi_Santi unregistered

I'll keep GMaps, just in case

2. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You've really made the right choice. Waze + GMaps = perfection.

12. AnTuTu

Posts: 1621; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

No one can compete with a Giant like Google. Apple keep dreaming.

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Hard to compete with a monopoly.

16. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Bing it on, Mxy.

27. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Oh I will.

31. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Hmm... What happen to Apple = pure innovation!? Best mobile experience ever!!! Mxyzptik I used to respect your Apple devotion! oh crap! now you are just a sore loser!!

33. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Apple Maps is still # 1 (useless) Map. So be happy ... it's still #1 :)

24. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

i love waze even more. it was missing a great search engine and now that's happened

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Bing doesn't own Waze.

32. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Apple Map is sub standard behind every possible online maps, be it Google map, Bing Map, Garmin map. Map that are not accurate cannot be called a map in the first place. Only Apple fan can overlook this faults.

26. Sauce unregistered

Waze alone is the best. Google maps, from my experience is nothing compared to Waze. I hope google doesn't destroy it.

3. GeekMovement unregistered

Google maps is the best.

8. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Actually Nokia HERE maps is better in many cases.

17. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

No one uses Nokia maps nowadays! Except Nokia users! Like wise I think it's the same. ™

29. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

and next too WAZE

4. Atlas

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 15, 2012

Apple maps will never be anywhere as good as Google maps.

9. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

It took google 8 years to make google maps as good as they are today(first lunched 2005). So dont judge a one year old map app. Apple made a map and improved it a lot in a year. You think its wise saying what you said when they just started the app?

21. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

hahaha. so when apple releases a predone app and calls it a finished product you applaud them for giving a good try. that right there is not good business. apple made a major blunder by releasing a product that wasn't fully implemented. the only reason it hasn't completely bombed is because apple users tend to be blindly loyal

36. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

Google does it every year and calls it Android.

34. Atlas

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 15, 2012

Yes, but I'm saying it won't be up to the standard of Gmaps for a long while. When Apple maps will be the same as Gmaps, Gmaps will be implanted into your eye or something.

5. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Won't make any difference after how much Apple Maps trolled the users.

19. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Like this time it will make you end up 100 meters away from your destination ™

6. vandroid

Posts: 405; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

I'm sticking with google maps because apple maps is too unreliable, I made the wrong turns af it made my journey home longer than it should've been

7. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Almost seems like they're admitting they can't pull off a mapping application on their own.

10. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Of course they cant. Very few companies have done it so far and it took them almost or over a decade to achieve that. Google, nokia, etc. You need lots of satelite data, experts and time to make it good. Give apple 2-3 more years and apple maps will be good.

11. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

It will eventually, but many will remember how it was rolled out, with expectations set way too high. Add to that how they replaced Google maps only to later recommend users go that route when their own was flawed in numerous ways. Google on the other hand has a fleet of cars constantly improving theirs with street views, and even planes taking images to help their 3D portions. I don't see Apple giving their maps that much dedication, and the results show the differences.

14. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Yeah, 8 years in, GMaps is almost flawless...except it still lacks some features of Apple Maps and the 3D implementation on desktop was as much of a joke as Apple's mobile 3D launch, with no mobile 3D in sight for Google. 12 months versus 8 years, and look who is getting better faster. That is the problem for Google.

18. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Apple bought their 3D, Google developed there's. No mapping application was as much of a joke as Apple's launch.

22. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

apple will make it good by buying out there problem, and using experts to fix something that is broken

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