While Yahoo! has become the undisputed king
of start-up acquisitions
over the past year or so, Apple has definitely been on a fairly steady buying spree as well. While Apple
never makes public its acquisition targets, huge innovations in the company's portfolio have began as ideas that were born outside of Cupertino. Take Siri
, for instance. Now, Locationary looks to be the latest start-up joining Apple's ranks. It's a local data outfit based out of Toronto, and while Apple would not confirm what plans it had for the new kid on the block, it's fairly obvious: bolstering its mapping services.
Apple has taken a particularly harsh lashing from the media and critics alike due to its subpar mapping service that shipped as a part of iOS 6. Teams have been working tirelessly to right the ship and produce something that actually comes close to rivaling Google Maps, and using localized data may indeed enhance the offering. Locationary presently acts as a Wikipedia-style guide for local businesses, which relies on input from crowdsourcing and a heavy checks-and-balances system to verify information.
The goal of the system is to eliminate out-of-date information as quickly as possible in order to provide reliable results. Every mapping system struggles with this. If you've ever routed to an eatery via Google Maps that has since closed, you know all too well the frustration involved. Apple seems to be sparing no expense to ship a laudable mapping product; the only question is... when will consumers actually see it?