Following an acquisition of location data startup Locationary, Apple has gone and swooped up popular transit-navigation company HopStop. That makes two purchases in a single day, suggesting Apple is intent on improving its mapping experience ahead of iOS 7’s release. The company is has to now that Google Maps 2.0 is out, easily the best mapping service out there.
HopStop is still a relative unknown—only just launched back in 2005—but its expertise should play a huge part in the evolution of Apple Maps. The startup’s data currently helps users with transit guides in over 300 cities; that kind of information will be invaluable for the platform seeing as Apple Maps is quite lacking in subway directions at the moment. The company also provides walking, biking and taxi information in addition to public transit.
Although Apple confirmed to AllThingsD it has purchased HopStop, the company wouldn’t reveal why. “We generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” a spokeswoman said. Well, I think it’s obvious why. HopStop allegedly has more than two million monthly active users, and it recently launched a Waze-like service that allows users to report real-time delays and the like.
HopStop’s data might not get consolidated into Apple’s service right away, or even before iOS 7 launches this fall, but its an acquisition—along with Locationary—that shows intent. And even if the acquisitions fail to improve on Apple Maps, there’s always alternatives.