Apple Acquires Embark to Further Improve Mass Transit Navigation

embark_iconFormer Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin reports that Apple has acquired Embark, a small Silicon Valley company focused on apps for navigating mass transit. The acquisition is Apple's third in recent months focused on mapping services, following transit navigation service HopStop and local business search firm Locationary last month.

We don’t know how much Apple paid for the several-person team it acquired very recently. But we heard from people knowledgeable about the deal that the company plans to directly integrate Embark’s technology 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.

Apple has confirmed the acquisition, but declined to comment beyond the company's usual statement about acquiring smaller companies "from time to time".

Embark currently has ten iOS apps in the App Store, focused on transit systems in the Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco Bay areas.

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Top Rated Comments

donutbagel Avatar
141 months ago
How about Apple acquires Los Angeles to improve mass transit?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
donutbagel Avatar
141 months ago
I already know what mass transit possibilities for my commute are:
None.

Same :(

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Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.

No, they tend to provide their own data and/or collect data from users.

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Let's see what we might see here:

- "Apple should innovate, instead of buying out companies. At least google uses their talent (even though they also bought out companies)"

- "They should change the iOS 7 icons!

- "This is good, I can't wait!"

- "Google maps is waay better"

- "Where's my rMBP?"

- "I miss Steve"

Anything I'm missing here?

You forgot the "let's see what we might see here" posts.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KirkL Avatar
141 months ago
I'm glad Apple hasn't given up on Maps. But given it's interest in mapping, I'm amazed that they let Google take Waze

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Not unless they acquire Google. All these startups do is provide nice GUI. None of them actually creates the maps.

But these startups have the data for mass transit. That's surely more than a pretty coat of paint :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Snake201 Avatar
141 months ago
Embark NYC is so helpful to me when I go to the city. I am glad to know that hopefully this will some how be implemented to maps and its an extra app I will no longer need to download!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
141 months ago
Just got their DC app to try it out. It's easily the best Metro app I've tried yet.

Great buy on Apple's part. I hope they put it to good use.

EDIT: Holy cow, it shows our bike-share stations and HOW MANY BIKES are currently in each one! This is exactly the kind of stuff Apple needs to be doing.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGuardian Avatar
141 months ago
I don't see why they don't just buy The Transit App. It supports so many regions, and is arguably one of the best transit apps around. It even supports live bus tracking.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)