After Locationary and HopStop, Apple now acquires Silicon Valley startup Embark

Apple-EmbarkApple, continuing with its spree to acquire small mapping software based companies, has recently made its shot at Embark, a Silicon Valley startup, reports TechCrunch. The move was however, first reported on Jessica E. Lessin.com.

Like always, the deal amount and other details remain undisclosed with company’s as usual standard statement, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”. However, as per Jessica, the company plans to directly integrate Embark’s technology into Apple Maps.

Embark, founded in 2011 and led by CEO David Hodge, develops Android and iOS based apps to make trip planning and mass transit via public transports simpler for smartphone users. It is currently operational in U.S. cities like San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston and many more.

The company’s investors include Y Combinator, Start Fund and SV Angel along with venture arm of the BMW group. It claimed to have more than half a million users of its apps and faced competition with existing players like iTransitBuddy and Rover.

As per the reports, Embark’s iOS apps are still available for download, but its Android apps aren’t.

Apple is investing into mapping software companies, since late 2012, after the faulty iOS map app release made it to replace map app by Google Maps in  iPhone. The current acquisition followed after its recent buying out of Locationary and HopStop.com mapping services along with  WifiSLAM, a location identifying technology maker, to locate a person inside a building.

Recently, Google has also acquired traffic mapping software Waze and has updated its mobile Google maps app for iOS and android devices that introduces Waze’s real-time incident reports. Also, Google is regularly updating its streep map view with Oceans, Zoos and several other landmarks in the world.

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Clearly, the war is on between the two giants. However, till date any of Apple’s acquisition have not indicated towards any new feature that can make its way ahead of Google. Thus, at present, it’s quite difficult to judge whether Apple is just trying to be another Google in maps or is trying to build its own new place in this smartphone map app world.

 To contact author of this post, email at meha@wirefootindia.com

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