Apple reportedly buys local search app Spotsetter — and shuts it down

Closeup of a red pushpin on a map

Social search engine startup Spotsetter is Apple’s latest acquisition, reports TechCrunch.

Spotsetter focuses on helping you search for places using big data and providing recommendations for where you might want to go. The startup basically adds social data (via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, etc.) and venue-review data to maps to accomplish this task. [See screenshot below.]

Screenshots of Spotsetter's now shuttered social map searching mobile app.

Above: Screenshots of Spotsetter’s now shuttered social map-search mobile app.

Image Credit: via Spotsetter

The move could signal that Apple is turning its attention toward making the native Apple Maps app more attractive, or at the very least, more competitive with Google Maps.

While we don’t have confirmation that Apple purchased Spotsetter, the company did publish a blog post last week letting people know the app would soon be shutting down. So if Apple did buy Spotsetter, the service itself won’t be continuing on as a standalone product.

Also adding credibility is Spotsetter founders Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee LinkedIn profiles displaying the pair as Apple employees, as TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez points out.

We’re reaching out to Apple for comment about Spotsetter, and will update the post with any new information we find.

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