Jessica Lessin, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, reports that Apple has acquired the transit app Embark. Lessin writes that Embark’s technology will be “directly integrated” into Apple Maps.
Embark, founded in 2011, builds apps for mobile devices powered by Android and Apple’s iOS with information about transit systems in about half a dozen U.S. cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Its iOS apps are still available for download, but its Android apps aren’t, according to our checks.
The Embark acquisition marks the latest effort from Apple to shore up its Mapping team as it pertains to public transit. Most recently, Apple purchased HopStop, a public transit app with mapping information across hundreds of cities.
When Apple first released its homegrown Maps app in iOS 6, one of the app’s glaring shortcomings was that it lacked integrated public transit directions. With Apple’s recent mapping acquisitions, we can only hope that Apple is working hard to address this in future iterations Apple Maps.
Apple confirmed the acquisition with Lessin, trotting out its favored statement whenever it acquires a new company: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”