Apple Acquires Another Crucial Mapping App Company

apple mapsApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired yet another mapping application company that will help it to further improve Apple Maps. According to insider sources via Bloomberg, Apple has agreed to buy the mass transit navigation app company HopStop.

HopStop specializes in providing users with directions to locations via public transportation services. According to its website, the company has real-time transit information from “millions of highly-engaged mobile users across seven countries, 700 transit agencies, 20,000 lines and 750,000 stops.”

The news of this acquisition comes on the heels of a report from AllThingsD that Apple has also recently bought the location data company Locationary. Both acquisitions will give the Cupertino-based company powerful tools to further improve the mapping capabilities of Apple Maps.

Apple originally launched Apple Maps as part of iOS 6 in September 2012, after removing Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps from its mobile operating system. However, the application was criticized for inaccurate and outdated mapping information. Google Maps for iOS remains the most popular free app in the App Store.

However, HopStop should enable Apple to make Apple Maps a more viable alternative to Google Maps. One of the new features in Google Maps for iOS is an indoor mapping functionality for some airports and public transportation stations. With HopStop, Locationary, and indoor-GPS company WifiSLAM, Apple will be able to provide comparable or superior mapping information for these crucial areas.

Besides acquiring various mapping app companies, Apple has also been making many user interface improvements to Apple Maps, including a revamped error-reporting system. Apple has also deeply integrated the use of Apple Maps throughout iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

Here’s how Apple closed out the week on Friday.

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Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

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