Apple has bought public transport app developer Embark, as it looks to finally integrate train, bus and underground directions into its much-maligned iOS Maps.
The two-year-old company will eventually have its features built directly into Apple’s Maps, according to ‘people knowledgeable about the deal’, who have spoken with former WSJ editor Jessica Lessin.
Embark’s free iOS app is still available, but its Android version has now been pulled from Google Play in the US. Being so close to the final unveiling of iOS 7 however, it appears unlikely that it’ll be part of any imminent Apple Maps update.
Apple has already picked up another transport app company this summer. HopStop, which handles walking and cycling as well as public transit directions, should help Apple offer something resembling decent competition to Google Maps.
Cupertino confirmed the deal with Embark, saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”