Apple Buys Public Transit Navigation App HopStop

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It looks like Apple is serious about beefing up its less-than-perfect Maps app.

After acquiring the crowdsourced location data company Locationary, Cupertino has now picked up the public transportation navigation service HopStop for an undisclosed sum. Apple confirmed the acquisition to AllThingsD, but did not reveal what it plans to do with the mapping company.

Those who live in large cities like New York are likely familiar with HopStop. Launched in 2004, the site’s initial focus was helping users find their way on New York City’s sometimes perplexing mass-transit system. Since then, the company has expanded to offer door-to-door transit, walking, biking, and taxi directions for more than 300 cities worldwide through its website and free mobile apps.

The move is likely intended to help boost its struggling Maps product, which does not currently include public transportation information like bus, subway, and train schedules.

Following the acquisition, it appears that the Windows Phone version of HopStop has disappeared, according to AllThingsD. The app was available as recently as last week, but has since been pulled from Redmond’s Windows Phone Marketplace. In addition, the app now pops up an alert saying “HopStop no longer supports the Windows platform” when launched.

At this point, HopStop is still available for Android devices through the Google Play store and iOS devices via the App Store.

The new mapping acquisitions come after CEO Tim Cook publicly apologized for Apple maps in late September, even suggesting that users, in the meantime, use rival applications like Bing, MapQuest, and Waze (since acquired by Google).

By Angela Moscaritolo, PCMag


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