Digital

Apple Put a High Priority on Navigation Acquisitions in 2013

Dec 25, 2013 8:00 am

Skift Take

Decent maps are high on Apple’s must-have list. Consumers are eager to see how Apple integrates Embark and the other services it bought in 2013.

— Jason Clampet

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An Apple Maps satellite image on an iPad.


Two technologies acquired by Apple earlier in 2013 were revealed this week: BroadMap and Catch.

Apple’s acquisitions were reported by 9to5Mac and later confirmed by Apple to AllThingsD. BroadMap specialized in mapping data; Catch was a cloud-based note-taking app.

In the case of BroadMap, Apple acquired the company’s team and technology but not the actual company or its name. The BroadMap deal likely occurred in the first half of 2013, and Apple may be using the firm’s technology to improve Apple Maps, according to 9to5Mac.

Catch was acquired around August, when its app was shut down, and its team is likely being used to improve Apple in multiple ways. 9to5Mac speculates the Catch team might be working on Siri, iCloud, Apple’s Notes and Reminders apps and with Apple’s mobile user-interface design.

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The teams from Cue and Topsy, two companies that also were acquired by Apple earlier this year, are helping the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant with enhancements to Siri, 9to5Mac reported.

Interest is always high on the companies that Apple purchases as they usually give clues about what may come next from the tech giant.

For example, Apple purchased Siri Inc. in 2010 before integrating the startup’s software into its own and releasing the iPhone 4s with Siri in 2011. Last year, Apple purchased AuthenTec, a fingerprint-authentication products maker, before releasing the iPhone 5s in 2013, which users can unlock by scanning their fingerprints.

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