Apple buys Embark & HopStop, wants to beef up mass-transit support in iOS Maps

Embark
© Embark

When Apple launched its Maps app for iOS (and soon coming to the Mac in their Mavericks OSX release), it caught some flak for not supporting public transit natively. Since then, Apple has been working on improving Maps, fixing many bugs and improving the quality of the geographical data, but transit is still missing.

Reading the tea leaves, I think that might be about to change. Apple acquired HopStop in July, a company that specializes in giving its users detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions, with real-time transit information.

And now we learn that they've bought Embark, another mass-transit information company. See a pattern developing here?

© Embark

Of course, Apple is a very secretive company and we won't know what they're plans are until they have something ready to show the world, but it would be surprising if iOS and Mac Maps didn't have transit info in the near future. Hopefully it'll also get walking and biking directions.

Via Jessica Lessin

See also: Apple's iOS 6 Maps Doesn't Have Transit Directions

Tags: Apple Inc | Apps | Transportation