Apple acquires HopStop to integrate public transit directions in Maps app

hopstop

Apple seems to have been on a major buying spree. Bloomberg reports that Apple has acquired HopStop.com to improve its mapping service.

This comes hot on the heels of news that Apple had acquired Locationary, a crowdsourced location data startup.

Bloomberg reports:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) agreed to buy online transit-navigation service HopStop.com Inc., people with knowledge of the deal said, seeking to improve mapping tools after a rocky debut for its directions software last year. 

HopStop.com currently offers a transit app in the App Store that offers official transit maps, nearby station search, and station-to-station schedules in over 600 cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It also offers detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions, and real-time transit information via “HopStop Live!” AllThingsD reports that HotStop has two million active users.

Apple has confirmed the acquisition in a statement to AllThingsD:

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Apple’s Maps app that was launched last year to replace Google Maps powered app, lacks public transit directions, and instead directs users to third-party apps for it.

So Apple will likely integrate HopStop to offer public transit directions in the Maps app. It remains to be seen how long it will take to launch the feature.

HotStop’s iPhone app is still available in the App Store, so you can download it for free using this iTunes link to check it out.

Source: Bloomberg, AllThingsD