Apple acquires Embark – Back to fight for Maps title?

Apple acquires Embark – Back to fight for Maps title?
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

Whilst Embark could simply be another acquisition by Apple which we won’t see anything productive from for a long time – personally, I think this could be one we’ll see sooner rather than later.

Apple’s in-house mapping solution has been improving rapidly since its disastrous start, but even the most diehard fanbois will likely still have Google Maps installed on their devices.

After all, the company has had years of advantage; bolstering a library of not only unbeatable core maps, but also 3D imagery and Street View (which continues to expand far beyond streets!)

Just over two months ago, Google acquired Social mapping and crowdsourced traffic reporting tool Waze – creating the potential for a complete solution that even dedicated Sat Nav manufacturers should be scared of.

This week, El Goog started merging Israel-based Waze’s traffic data into their main Maps application; helping to further improve the dynamic rerouting and thus reducing the frustration on our increasingly busy roads.

Arch-rival Apple isn’t ready to back out of the mapping game; to the benefit of their customers they are far too stubborn to admit complete failure – especially if it means giving in to Google.

Embark is a small Silicon Valley upstart which builds free transit apps to help smartphone users navigate public transportation. Sure you wouldn’t need more than a single guess to know how Apple plans to integrate the knowledge of the small team.

So whilst Google may be king of the traffic, perhaps Apple’s solution will be king of navigating public transportation. Although, going by Google Now which I use on public transportation every morning in the UK – their integration is also pretty comprehensive.

Embark on the other hand is currently limited to 10 transit systems. Yet combine this with Apple’s other acquisition of Locationary earlier this year – who collect, merge and continuously verify a massive database of information on local businesses and points of interest around the world – you can start to see the potential for live, up-to-date information.

It will be a struggle, but if anyone has the muscle to take on Google at their own game – it’s Apple.

What do you think about Apple’s latest acquisition and how they may plan to use it?

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