“HopStop users are mourning the demise of the go-to transit app. Apple bought HopStop in 2013, and come October it will shut it down,” Sara Ashley O’Brien reports for CNN. “But HopStop’s technology is already fueling Apple’s plan to overhaul its maps, which severely lag behind the competition. Analysts say mapping is a priority the company must get right to successfully develop autonomous cars.”
“Apple has a long way to go before it’s positioned as a firm with superior mapping capabilities. After all, it’s still hard to forget Apple’s troubled Maps release in 2012,” O’Brien reports. “‘The company has been playing catchup ever since,’ said PrivCo analyst Chris Pisarski. ‘This has resulted in a more urgent and aggressive M&A strategy.’ Apple has purchased 11 map tech companies since 2009, according to data from PrivCo and Mattermark. But the vast majority have taken place in the last two years.”
The “HopStop price vastly eclipses some of its other deals: Apple bought it for $1.1 billion, according to PrivCo,” O’Brien reports. “Apple’s latest operating system upgrade improves on its maps — they now incorporate HopStop-like transit directions. But it still has a ways to go to catch up to the competition. One of the reasons? The maps still aren’t accessible for users when they’re offline. Google, on the other hand, lets users save maps for offline access. ‘The bottom line is that Apple maps, in a consumer way, is still not on par with Google and [Nokia’s]’ added Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner Research.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: $1.1 billion greenbacks for HopStop? Wow!
BTW: Since iOS 6, released on September 19, 2012, Apple’s vector-based Maps have worked offline, covering vast areas without a data connection.
Regardless, this article today piles on more of the same, as we predicted years ago:
No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population… Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip… Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labeled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred. — MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012
One thing Apple will have a difficult time buying: Respect for their Maps app, no matter how superior it gets over all others (and many parts of it already are – and even were at launch). It’s unfortunate, but first impressions were so badly botched by Apple (a simple “beta” tag would have sufficed) that it will take a sustained herculean effort to reverse the public misperception of Maps as inferior to Google Maps. — MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015
Apple acquires Mapsense – September 16, 2015
Apple buys online transit-navigation service HopStop – July 20, 2013
Apple escalates maps war by nabbing Locationary – July 19, 2013
Apple acquires crowdsourced location data company Locationary – July 19, 2013
Google’s new 3D Maps destroy Manhattan with melting buildings and buckled streets – May 22, 2013
U.S. patent application reveals Apple is working on ‘Street View’ mapping technology – April 4, 2013
Apple acquires indoor location company WifiSLAM for $20 million – March 23, 2013