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Apple Maps iPhone 5

Apple has received quite a bit of flak for its Maps app that debuted with iOS 6, and CEO Tim Cook has gone so far as to apologize for its performance. The Cupertino firm appears to be taking steps to improve its mapping game, though, as Apple recently snatched up two companies with location and navigation experience.

Apple today confirmed to AllThingsD that it has acquired HopStop, a transit navigation service that helps users to get around over 500 cities by foot, bike, and taxi. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," a spokesperson for the company explained. Meanwhile, AllThingsD claims that Apple also recently purchased Locationary, a location data company that crowdsources information on businesses and points of interest.

While Apple isn't exactly being open about its plans for HopStop or Locationary, it's clear that the company is working to improve its own Maps app so that it can better compete with Google and other navigation services. Whether or not Apple will succeed is still a mystery, but considering that Apple's Maps app currently doesn't feature any sort of transit information, acquisitions of transit-focused companies like HopStop will certainly help its effort.

Via Bloomberg, AllThingsD (1), (2)


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