Apple Maps may finally be getting transit information. The company confirmed today that it has purchased HopStop, which provides this kind of data. This is the second Maps-oriented purchase Apple has made this week.
Apple confirmed the deal to AllThingsD, saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
HopStop looks up transit direction, maps, schedules, and nearby stations through its website as well as its Android and iOS apps. The company provides this data for 300 different cities and also offers city guides to its visitors. It would only make sense that Apple would buy the company to include this kind of information in its own Maps app, particularly as it would bring Apples Maps just a little big closer in competition to Google Maps, which already provides public transit information.
Apple released its Maps app in iOS 6 last year to a dismal reception. The maps were often incorrect, leading to parody sites and videos about Apple Maps directing you to weird places. In order to combat that, Apple at the time promised to fix the app, but it also recommended a number of alternatives such as Google Maps and Waze.
The company, in its journey to fixing Apple Maps, purchased Locationary yesterday. Locationary is a local-data company that helps companies organize this data across different properties (such as websites) that the company might own. VentureBeat’s Devindra Hardawar speculates that Apple might have bought Locationary for under $10 million. The terms of the HopStop deal were not disclosed.