Apple snaps up HopStop as Maps overhaul continues
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired transit navigation app developer HopStop. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the deal but declined to supply additional details, including the transaction price.
HopStop's free mobile applications offer door-to-door transit, walking, biking and taxi directions spanning more than 300 cities worldwide, complete with real-time alerts and planned service changes. Users may also estimate travel times or taxi costs, identify nearby subway stops and bus stops, find wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly routes, and plan trips with multiple destinations. HopStop remains available for Apple's iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) rival Android mobile operating system, although AllThingsD notes that a version optimized for Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone disappeared from the Windows Phone Store soon after the acquisition closed.
The HopStop deal enables Apple to integrate mass transit directions into Apple Maps, launched last year in association with its iOS 6 operating system update as a replacement for preloaded Google Maps services. Consumers have been harshly critical of Apple Maps, identifying dozens of inaccuracies, and the outcry even prompted a public apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who later said the company is "putting all of our energy into making [Maps] right."
Last week, Apple also acquired crowdsourced location services provider Locationary. Its Saturn platform merges information from more than 250 different feeds and repositories to assemble a real-time database for local business listings, building merchant profiles including details like hours of operation, products, services and rich media efforts. The Saturn platform spans more than 5.6 million data fields and 175 million profiles; Locationary services are offered to data providers and distributors, enterprises, and Web and mobile app publishers.
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