Apple's Embark acquisition could bring transit information to Apple Maps

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple has acquired yet another mapping company, this time snapping up Embark, a move that has the potential to bring public transit information to Apple's in-house Maps app.



Sources familiar with the deal say that Apple acquired Embark's entire team and will directly integrate Embark's technology into Apple Maps. News of the acquisition broke on Friday, with Jessica Lessin securing a confirmation from an Apple spokesperson that the Embark buy had occurred.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time," the spokesperson said, "and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Embark also makes apps for Google's Android platform, and the future of those applications is as yet unknown, as Apple declined to comment. Previous Apple acquisitions of cross-platform developers have resulted in a loss of support for those competing platforms, as was the case with HopStop's Windows Phone app and Chomp's Android compatibility when Apple bought out those developers.

Embark's current App Store offerings include public transit information apps for New York City, San Francisco, Boston, New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, D.C., the Long Island Railroad, Caltrain, the Metro-North commuter system, and the Metra commuter rail system.

Embark was one of the apps Apple pointed to in the wake Apple Maps' introduction with iOS 6. In dropping Google Maps as the default option, Apple effectively removed the most popular public transit information option from its platform, a move that drew complaints from some users.

The move is the latest in a number of location service buys Apple has made since 2009. In that year, Apple bought Placebase, and that buy was followed by Poly9 in 2010 and C3 Technologies in 2011. In this year, Apple has purchased WifiSlam, Locationary, HopStop, and now Embark.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member

    Time for an official renaming? Mapple?
  • Reply 2 of 35
    It looks like Apple is continuing to add more functionality to Apple Maps in an attempt to present the best app it can.

    I am looking forward to seeing Maps in iOS 7.

    On an editorial note, did the news break Friday or Thursday? This is the first day I heard about the purchase.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    The sad thing here is that even though they are (finally!) moving on this, it will be at least iOS 8 before we actually see usable information in Apple's maps. Maybe by that time they will have maps of my city that aren't a joke also? So that's two or three full years of their maps not working at all before they (might) be okay again. Great.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    gazoobee wrote: »
    The sad thing here is that even though they are (finally!) moving on this, it will be at least iOS 8 before we actually see usable information in Apple's maps. Maybe by that time they will have maps of my city that aren't a joke also? So that's two or three full years of their maps not working at all before they (might) be okay again. Great.

    And what city would that be?
  • Reply 5 of 35
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Cool. I have both the Embark iBART and Embark SF apps.
    Looking forward to seeing Apple improve them and/or the Maps app.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Embark also makes apps for Google's Android platform, and the future of those applications is as yet unknown ...


     


    You get one guess.  Think hard.

  • Reply 7 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Hmm. I guess Embark and Embarq can both exist in the tech realm due to the former only being maps and the latter an ISP. Seems a fine line to toe.

  • Reply 8 of 35
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member


    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post





    And what city would that be?


     


    Somewhere in the Cheese.

  • Reply 9 of 35
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 155member
    This is what Apple needs to do. Quickly fix all shortcomings of the maps app through acquisition of personnel and technology with experience in that sector.

    Acquire as many companies with valid/usable technology and patents as 10 billion will buy.

    Continue to innovate but at an accelerated rate to bring those products to market.

    Make a bigger better screen for the iPhone sooner rather than later. Not a phablet but at least 4.5-5".

    Continue to grow the Apple Eco system.

    And maybe be one ad about the failings of android or Samsung. Please!!!
  • Reply 10 of 35
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,722member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pujones1 View Post



    This is what Apple needs to do. Fix the shitty Yelp POI data.


     


    FTFY.

  • Reply 11 of 35
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,496member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    The sad thing here is that even though they are (finally!) moving on this, it will be at least iOS 8 before we actually see usable information in Apple's maps. Maybe by that time they will have maps of my city that aren't a joke also? So that's two or three full years of their maps not working at all before they (might) be okay again. Great.

    Why a major release and not a dot release? They added Street View with 2.4
  • Reply 12 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,504member


    Oh, fantastic. Embark is my favorite app for mass transit. Best designed, anyway. Hopefully will show the way forward (graphically) for Apple's Maps integration.

  • Reply 13 of 35
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    The sad thing here is that even though they are (finally!) moving on this, it will be at least iOS 8 before we actually see usable information in Apple's maps. Maybe by that time they will have maps of my city that aren't a joke also? So that's two or three full years of their maps not working at all before they (might) be okay again. Great.

    I'm hoping we see an announcement with some of this tech in September.

    At this point all they have to do is bake in the tech these companies have already developed much like what Google did with Waze.

    Hoping it doesn't take a year for that to happen.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    I tried searching the web but I couldn't get a answer, so I'll ask here.

    How much has google spent on their mapping efforts? I guess it would be a number in the range of billions, but I would like to read something about that.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,823member
    I think that Apple should purchase HTC. HTC has made very good phones like the One. They have needed manufacturing capacity. Apple should switch them over to IOS and let them make phones that are released when At different times than when apple releases products.

    Apple makes great looking phones but they aren't the only ones capable of beautiful products. As it is their output is too restricted by the time constraints of individuals like jony Ive. They need to radically expand the IOS user base and the best way to do that is via an acquisition that could act as semi-independent subsidiary.

    If Google can buy Moto then Apple can buy HTC.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Originally Posted by K2kW View Post


    Apple should switch them over to IOS and let them make phones that are released when At different times than when apple releases products.


     


    Nope. Never going to happen, nor should it.






    As it is their output is too restricted by the time constraints of individuals like jony Ive.



     


    And this means what, exactly?





     They need to radically expand the IOS user base


     


    90% of all tablets in use, 30% of all phones in use, and 70% of all personal music players. No, they don't.

  • Reply 17 of 35
    Will it work in Great Britain?
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Embark has a very nice and user interface but lacks the walking, Bike and Bus capabilities. That's where HopStop comes in.

    Integrate the 2 for a fast Apple Maps winning combination.

    Go Apple Go, Go, Go...
  • Reply 19 of 35


    Hey.... I use their SF Bart app... and yes I do want a Twinkie or cookie for announcing that info. Can't speak for other cities but the Bart app is okay but nothing special. Good for when I need to take the train on an airport or weekend trip on occasion, not for everyday use.

  • Reply 20 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,504member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Nope. Never going to happen, nor should it.


     


    And this means what, exactly?


     


    90% of all tablets in use, 30% of all phones in use, and 70% of all personal music players. No, they don't.



     


    I agree. Apple doesn't need to be weighed down by buying a phone manufacturer. Let 'em compete for Apple's orders.

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