Apple has had a bit of a busy year — especially when it comes to acquisitions.
The company’s fourth-quarter earnings call revealed dizzyingly high revenue and profit numbers from the sales of millions of iPads, iPhones, and Macs. But Apple also welcomed a fair number of other companies into the collective through acquisitions this year, including 3D gesture-sensing company PrimeSense and productivity app Cue.
Let’s add two more to the list: mapping firm BroadMap, and cross-platform note taking app Catch, as reported by 9to5Mac.
BroadMap isn’t a mapping company so much as a provider of tools and resources to analyze and process large sets of geographic information system (GIS) data. Improving the backbone of geographic technology would go a long way toward bringing Apple’s beleaguered Maps initiative to stable footing with its competition from Google and Microsoft. 9to5 Mac’s sources report that many of BroadMap’s executives have joined Apple in the last few months, a notion confirmed by their LinkedIn profiles.
Catch is (or was, rather) something altogether different: a cross-platform note-taking app that was a competitor for Evernote, but it shut down in August of this year. 9to5’s sources once again report that the majority of the Catch team —including the note-taking app’s cofounder — found a new home at Apple.
Coincidence? Maybe. But keeping an eye on corporate acquisitions can go a long way toward helping us suss out Apple’s plans. BroadMap is a no-brainer, given Apple’s woes in getting Maps off the ground.
Catch is a bit more interesting. Google has taken a bit of a scattershot approach at the personal-assistant and note-taking game, with Google Now and Google Keep working together to track your notes and reminders and update you on what’s going on during the day. It stands to reason that a tag-team of Siri and something like Catch would be in the works, taking a few of Apple’s disparate apps — including Reminders and Notepad — and making something more cohesive out of the whole.