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Apple acquires transit mapping app Embark

Sections: Apple Business, iDevice Apps, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad

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Apple appears to be listening very intently to its customers after many complained that the company’s Maps application in iOS was practically unusaebale. This is because a lot of customers in major metropolitan areas relied on the transit directions that the Google Maps for iOS app provided. After the introduction of Apple Maps—which replaced Google Maps—a lot of customers began complaining Apple had ruined something that was working perfectly fine. Now, Apple is trying to redeem itself by making major improvements to its Maps app.

Late last year, Tim Cook addressed the issue and made a public apology followed by an update to Apple Maps that allowed the app to link back to Google Maps transit directions. Since then, the company has gone on an acquisition frenzy by scooping up big mapping companies such as HopStop, Locationary, and most recently, Embark. Apple’s acquisition of Embark shows just how seriously it is taking customer concerns. Embark is a transit application that provides maps for 10 major transit systems, including those in New York City, Long Island, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, and New Jersey.

The acquisition was first noted by a former employee of The Wall Street Journal who also mentioned Apple will be directly integrating Embark into its Maps application for iOS.

Embark, founded in 2011, builds apps for mobile devices powered by Android and Apple’s iOS with information about transit systems in about half a dozen US cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Its iOS apps are still available for download, but its Android apps aren’t, according to our checks.

It is unclear exactly how much Apple paid for the transit app, though it couldn’t have been more than what they paid for HopStop. Hopefully, Apple makes big improvements to the Maps app when it updates it with iOS 7 in the fall, though only time can tell.

Read [Jessica Lessin] Via[TUAW]

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