Apple Acquires Transit Service HopStop to Further Improve its Maps App

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

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has acquired transit service 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.

    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. pixelpro macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
  3. thisisdallas macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2012
    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. Kariya macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2010
    In before Google fanboys coming to complain about Apple trying to improve its Mapping solution. Because how dare they :rolleyes:
  5. polymersayb macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2012
    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. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    Yes, awesome. Apple maps is severely lacking in NYC subway information, for instance. This is great!
  7. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
  8. diddl14 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2009
    Look forward seeing the result in next monday's iOS7 update...
  9. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Which mapping solution? :p
  10. york2600 macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2002
    Portland, OR
    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.
  11. Defender2010 macrumors 68030


    Jun 6, 2010
    I hardly think they work that quick!
  12. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
  13. macsrcool1234 macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010

    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. bkushner macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2011
    Ummm, no.
  15. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    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. putongnihongo macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    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. BSben macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2012
    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. Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    This is awesome for those that enjoy taking light-rail/subways!

    Looking for to its implementation.
  19. viacavour macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2012
    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. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    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. BSben macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2012
    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. viacavour macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2012
  23. macsrcool1234 macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010
    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. brueck macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
  25. viacavour macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2012
    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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