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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Apple Acquires Embark to Further Improve Mass Transit Navigation




Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin reports that Apple has acquired Embark, a small Silicon Valley company focused on apps for navigating mass transit. The acquisition is Apple's third in recent months focused on mapping services, following transit navigation service HopStop and local business search firm Locationary last month.
Quote:
We don't know how much Apple paid for the several-person team it acquired very recently. But we heard from people knowledgeable about the deal that the company plans to directly integrate Embark's technology into Apple Maps.

Embark, founded in 2011, builds apps for mobile devices powered by Android and Apple's iOS with information about transit systems in about half a dozen U.S. cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Its iOS apps are still available for download, but its Android apps aren't, according to our checks.
Apple has confirmed the acquisition, but declined to comment beyond the company's usual statement about acquiring smaller companies "from time to time".

Embark currently has ten iOS apps in the App Store, focused on transit systems in the Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco Bay areas.

Article Link: Apple Acquires Embark to Further Improve Mass Transit Navigation
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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Was going to say... wonder why they want two apps devoted to the same task. Beyond me, especially if they use the same tactics.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Maps is still pretty basic, hope all these purchases improve the service.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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Embark NYC is so helpful to me when I go to the city. I am glad to know that hopefully this will some how be implemented to maps and its an extra app I will no longer need to download!
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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I use Embark Metra and it's a great app, would love to see how it's integrated into Maps
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:24 PM   #6
SJism23
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It's great that Apple's improving their Maps service, but I don't feel that it'll affect me much since I don't live in a major urban city.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:26 PM   #7
Aussi3
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All these acquisitions will make apple maps the best
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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How about Apple acquires Los Angeles to improve mass transit?
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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I don't see why they don't just buy The Transit App. It supports so many regions, and is arguably one of the best transit apps around. It even supports live bus tracking.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:31 PM   #10
Small White Car
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Just got their DC app to try it out. It's easily the best Metro app I've tried yet.

Great buy on Apple's part. I hope they put it to good use.

EDIT: Holy cow, it shows our bike-share stations and HOW MANY BIKES are currently in each one! This is exactly the kind of stuff Apple needs to be doing.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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I already know what mass transit possibilities for my commute are:
None.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squilly View Post
Was going to say... wonder why they want two apps devoted to the same task. Beyond me, especially if they use the same tactics.
Do you get that they will not likely run two apps, rather, they would likely take the intelligence behind one and merge it into another.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:35 PM   #13
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I guess this is what you do when the competition already has this built into their app, available on your device AND bought the company you really wanted instead?
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussi3 View Post
All these acquisitions will make apple maps the best
Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:42 PM   #15
adildacoolset
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Let's see what we might see here:

- "Apple should innovate, instead of buying out companies. At least google uses their talent (even though they also bought out companies)"

- "They should change the iOS 7 icons!

- "This is good, I can't wait!"

- "Google maps is waay better"

- "Where's my rMBP?"

- "I miss Steve"

Anything I'm missing here?
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:43 PM   #16
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I like where this is going...
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:47 PM   #17
KirkL
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I'm glad Apple hasn't given up on Maps. But given it's interest in mapping, I'm amazed that they let Google take Waze

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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Love.Apple View Post
Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.
But these startups have the data for mass transit. That's surely more than a pretty coat of paint
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Love.Apple View Post
Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.
Almost True Dat.

I hate Transit only because the old Maps app 'just worked' for my implementation. And was consistent with my google maps on safari (well, except for calculating time to bus stop to create the 'start' time)

I do think that over time, the critical mass of mass transit knowledge may shift to near parity with Google's. The fact they are buying them does show that there is a strong demand within the iOS user community. The key is that each of these are a different set of algorithms and collection methods for various transit authorities. Improving the smarts behind the scenes is critical, and this may be the best way, since apple considers google dead to them.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:47 PM   #19
MVallee
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I used this app while on a trip to London earlier this year and it was very helpful and accurate. Hopefully they will have this baked into iOS maps and also add more cities.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:48 PM   #20
PDFierro
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I love the Embark apps. I can only imagine how it will be combined with Apple. I'm glad to see Apple is actually working on improving the transit directions in their Maps.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:51 PM   #21
dlmart2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squilly View Post
Was going to say... wonder why they want two apps devoted to the same task. Beyond me, especially if they use the same tactics.
They probably want to lock down the technology (patent).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussi3 View Post
All these acquisitions will make apple maps the best
They should have went after Waze instead of letting Google acquire it. Google Maps + Waze is going to be hard to beat.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAT View Post
I already know what mass transit possibilities for my commute are:
None.
Same

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Love.Apple View Post
Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.
No, they tend to provide their own data and/or collect data from users.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by adildacoolset View Post
Let's see what we might see here:

- "Apple should innovate, instead of buying out companies. At least google uses their talent (even though they also bought out companies)"

- "They should change the iOS 7 icons!

- "This is good, I can't wait!"

- "Google maps is waay better"

- "Where's my rMBP?"

- "I miss Steve"

Anything I'm missing here?
You forgot the "let's see what we might see here" posts.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 03:58 PM   #23
b.c.
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the Embark apps are great, I used them recently in New York and Boston
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 04:03 PM   #24
barkomatic
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Great, maybe Apple Maps will now indicate NYC subway stops now--something it should have had at launch.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 04:05 PM   #25
spazzcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Blue View Post
Maps is still pretty basic, hope all these purchases improve the service.
Best part of Apple Maps, they are basic.
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