As if making a statement about Google's recent Waze social-mapping integration, Apple has acquired public transit navigation app maker Embark.
While it's unknown what Apple paid for the Silicon Valley startup, the cash is also seen as an "acqu-hire" of Embark's seven-person team, according to reporter Jessica Lessin. Embark joins Apple's other location-based apps, Locationary and Hopstop, that it bought last month.
Apple plans to integrate Embark's technology into Apple Maps as a way to enhance its product. Embark provides free mobile apps for navigating transit systems in major cities such as New York City, San Francisco and London. Apple confirmed the deal to Lessin but refused to comment on plans for the app or its staff.
Apple has been under pressure to improve its Apple Maps app since its failed launch last year and subsequent apology by Apple chief Tim Cook. Failure is likely not an option the second time around.
It appears as if Apple and Google are putting serious money into acquiring information for their map apps and battling each other, but who will win the war? So far, Google Maps has the edge, but Apple is attempting to garner more market share.