Apple’s Latest Acquisition Suggests More Mapping Changes Ahead


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired yet another mapping app company in a purchase that suggests that the iPhone maker is still working on revamping its own native mapping app. According to unnamed sources cited by TechCrunch, Apple has acquired Spotsetter, a mapping app that combines social network data with a maps interface to create a unique, personalized maps experience for users.

As noted by TechCrunch, Spotsetter works by gleaning information from multiple social media and review sites. Users can then access maps that have been enhanced with personalized social network data related to specific search words. For example, a search for coffee might present a user with a map of coffeehouses with highlighted locations that have been recommended by friends.

The sources noted that the deal appeared to be driven by Apple’s desire to acquire Spotsetter’s proprietary social maps algorithm, as well as the company’s two founders, Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee. Although the financial terms of the Spotsetter purchase were not disclosed, TechCrunch’s sources reported that “investors are happy” with the deal. While Spotsetter did not officially announce that it had been acquired by Apple, the company did post a farewell message on its official blog. “With fondest emotions, I’m announcing that we are closing down Spotsetter app,” wrote Johnny [Lee]. “We still have big dreams for personalized search for places and look forward to seeing great progress in this area.”

Interestingly, there are indications that Spotsetter could eventually find its way to the iWatch, Apple’s long-rumored wrist-worn wearable tech device. In a post on the company’s official blog, Spotsetter stated that it is “bullish on wearables” and predicted that users will “migrate from mobile to wearables when looking for places.”