Apple Acquires Transit Service HopStop to Further Improve its Maps App

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple has acquired transit service HopStop.com to improve its mapping service, reports Bloomberg. News of the deal comes just hours after the reported purchase of Locationary, a company that focuses on location crowdsourcing.
    Apple has confirmed the acquisition in a statement to AllThingsD, but declined to comment further: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

    According to its website, HopStop, which also has an iOS app, is a service that is designed to offer detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions to more than 600 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

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    The service's App Store description also notes that it provides HopStop Live! functionality that allows its users to communicate in real-time about stations, train lines, and buses, relaying potential delays and other pertinent information.

    Apple's Maps app, which was introduced alongside the iPhone 5 after a move away from Google Maps, has been widely criticized for both its poor directions and its glaring lack of public transportation directions. Currently, the app redirects users to third party mapping applications when public transit routes are required.

    As with its acquisition of Locationary, HopStop will allow Apple to strengthen its mapping services, incorporating accurate, real-time information on public transportation routes and improved walking/biking directions.

    Article Link: Apple Acquires Transit Service HopStop to Further Improve its Maps App
     
  2. macrumors member

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    #2
    Apple's heading in the right direction :)
     
  3. macrumors regular

    thisisdallas

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    #3
    Glad they're improving maps! I've personally never had any issues with them, but it's definitely great to see they're improving them for the people who actually do have issues.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Kariya

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    #4
    In before Google fanboys coming to complain about Apple trying to improve its Mapping solution. Because how dare they :rolleyes:
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #5
    Nice :p.

    I'm really glad that Apple is still taking Maps seriously despite Google Maps etc. being available. Apple could probably stop updating Maps for a while and not get in any more trouble than they already have. It's an old joke by now.

    Edit. I actually like the 3rd party transit app system, but I can see how that can be an annoying hurdle for users who just want to get directions. Hopefully Apple Transit is just as good as alternatives so we don't in fact have to go through Apple Maps Mockery Round 2.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #6
    Yes, awesome. Apple maps is severely lacking in NYC subway information, for instance. This is great!
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    Surprise
    #7
    Cool - use that cash stock pile.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    diddl14

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    #8
    Look forward seeing the result in next monday's iOS7 update...
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #9
    Which mapping solution? :p
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Portland, OR
    #10
    Having to go to a 3rd party app to get transit data when you live in a city is really unacceptable and it's good to see Apple finally realized that. People are shifting away from cars and the mapping apps need to keep up with that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/u...ng-less-led-by-youth.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Defender2010

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    #11
    I hardly think they work that quick!
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    kjs862

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    #12
    what took so long?
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1611850

    So they are just going to buy a bunch of companies and mash the data together. Worked out real well on launch, didn't it?

    Apple just needs to let Apple Maps die. They are going to spend the next decade throwing away lots of money for a product that will never be as accurate as the competition.

    License Google's data, eating whatever concessions they need to and put it into their own app.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #14
    Ummm, no.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    As if that's not exactly what google did? Maybe do a little research before you comment about stuff you don't know about.
     
  16. macrumors member

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    #16
    Hah first establishing an inhouse team to handle how to compile data from multiple sources, then locationary to get expert talent to lead the team and add some more of their own gusto to Apple maps, and now Hot stop, and who said Apple doesn't know how to improve their services!?
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    600 cities sounds a lot at first, but considering it includes Europe, Canada, Australia, USA and New Zealand it is actually not that many.
    It is a beginning though and there still is hope Apple will please us with their offering in the end.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Eduardo1971

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    #18
    This is awesome for those that enjoy taking light-rail/subways!

    Looking for to its implementation.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #19
    Even Google took someone else's data. Apple is sourcing the data from the same few companies, and then value add on the consolidated data.

    In some areas (e.g., China), Apple Map is already more accurate than Google.

    With "iOS7 in the Car" and Locationary, the POI data will be even more accurate and used.
     
  20. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
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    #20
    What ignorance. Apple isn't throwing away any money. They have already saved tons of money in license fees that don't get paid to Google anymore. Google still wants to sell its customers to the advertisers, so they have to make their own Google Maps available for free.

    And maps don't stand still. The maps that Google has today will be worthless in four years time. Over the next four years, Google will have to pay out as much as Apple does to keep up with Apple. Worse for Google, they haven't only lost the platform already that makes the most money (iOS), they will lose the Macintosh market when Mavericks is released, and I bet Apple will make their maps available on Windows and Android as well.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    UK
    #21
    I just tried the Hopstop website, it is shockingly bad, at least where I live.
    It is as useful as a hole in the head.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

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    #22
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #23
    You seem to miss out on what important feature - Google didn't completely and utterly fail like Apple did.

    Looks like you're the one that didn't do his research.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #24
    Excellent!
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #25
    Ha ha, Apple Maps didn't completely failed. It worked okay for most of my use cases in US. It's more bad in foreign countries.

    A lot of Google projects didn't work great from day one too. Google just released them as "beta".

    Just keep improving and tapping on the developers. They are Apple's best friends and problem fixers ! It is possible that Apple is already working with Locationary and HopSpot before acquiring them. After all they need to make sure the companies are a good fit. Can't wait for iOS7 and "iOS in the Car".


    They hired the Amazon search engine lead 1-2 years ago. The Locationary business database will clearly enhance Siri and general location search too.
     

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