Apple Acquires Embark to Further Improve Mass Transit Navigation

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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
  2. macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    Was going to say... wonder why they want two apps devoted to the same task. Beyond me, especially if they use the same tactics.
  3. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    Maps is still pretty basic, hope all these purchases improve the service.
  4. macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2012
    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!
  5. macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2013
    I use Embark Metra and it's a great app, would love to see how it's integrated into Maps
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2012
    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.
  7. macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2012
    All these acquisitions will make apple maps the best
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2013
    How about Apple acquires Los Angeles to improve mass transit?
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2008
    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.
  10. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    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.
  11. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    I already know what mass transit possibilities for my commute are:
  12. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    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.
  13. macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2011
    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?
  14. macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2012
    Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
    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?
  16. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  17. macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    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


    But these startups have the data for mass transit. That's surely more than a pretty coat of paint :rolleyes:
  18. macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    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.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    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.
  20. macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    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.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    They probably want to lock down the technology (patent).


    They should have went after Waze instead of letting Google acquire it. Google Maps + Waze is going to be hard to beat.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2013
    Same :(


    No, they tend to provide their own data and/or collect data from users.


    You forgot the "let's see what we might see here" posts.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2008
    the Embark apps are great, I used them recently in New York and Boston
  24. macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Great, maybe Apple Maps will now indicate NYC subway stops now--something it should have had at launch.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    Best part of Apple Maps, they are basic.

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