Can Apple Maps Redeem Itself on iOS7?

Seemingly determined to come out with a solution that competes against Google Maps, Apple is on a mapping acquisition streak. The company has reportedly snapped up yet another mapping technology company.

This time, Apple is betting on Embark. Embark is a mobile application designed to make it easy to get around cities using mass transit. Among other features, the iOS and Android application tells users when trains and busses are coming and will send push notifications when services are delayed.

With over half a million users and rapid growth, Embark's mobile application is working to bring urban transportation into the age of the smartphone and has attracted plenty of investors -- including BMW. Embark is available for 12 major transportation systems in the United States and the United Kingdom. Recently, Embark won best transit and mobility app awards from the New York MTA App Quest and NYC Big Apps 3.0 contests.

Stacking Up Mapping Tech

We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his thoughts on Apple's latest mapping acquisition. He told us this is another company in the mass transit arena that also offers the iPhone-maker some useful data and technology, such as offline transit maps.

"This acquisition complements the HopStop acquisition from just a few weeks ago," Sterling added. "This, HopStop and the earlier Locationary buy indicate that Apple is further beefing up its mapping and location data capabilities to try and better serve Apple users and compete with Google Maps. Mapping is one of the key capabilities of mobile devices and, arguably, for the iPhone to remain competitive with Android the core maps on the device must be top-tier."

Apple has struggled to get its mapping software on the right track after an embarrassing debut and plenty of consumer backlash. HopStop brought a pedestrian navigation...

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