Apple is now the proud owner of Canada-based Locationary, a company that crowdsources information about local businesses. The purchase means Apple has yet another tool in its arsenal to help ensure its Maps app has up to date and accurate information about stores, restaurants, and other businesses.
Locationary buy gives Apple more accurate business data for Maps
There isn't any word on how much Apple paid for Locationary, although the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker did confirm that the deal really did happen, according to AllThingsD.
Apple is keeping tight lipped about why it purchased Locationary, but it's pretty easy to glean the reasoning: Apple Maps needs accurate and timely data to compete with Google Maps, and that's something it gets from this purchase. With the user-provided data it collects, plus its Saturn data exchange system, Locationary has the potential to give Apple a leg up in near real-time business data.
With Locationary's data, Apple can let Maps users know if stores and restaurants are still in business, if they move to new locations, and what customers think of the establishments, too. Since Locationary's data has a higher likelihood of being up to date and accurate, it could be a nice draw compared to mapping services that rely on more static business listings and information.
Apple has been working hard to overcome the bad press it received when Maps launched last year as part of iOS 6. The company dealt with complaints about inaccurate location data, bad route directions and map photos that looked more like Dali paintings than city locations.
Apple recently filed a patent application for a Waze-like service that will let Maps gather real-time information from users about traffic conditions and driving routes, and now the company has the tools to add in quick updating business information, too.
Apple Maps still has room for improvement, but it's clear that company CEO Tim Cook was serious when he said he would do what it takes to make the service a serious competitor in the mobile mapping and navigation market.
Now it's up to Apple to roll out its new Map features without stumbling again. Hopefully their road map won't get them lost along the way.