In a bid to boost it’s maps offering and compete with Google Maps, Apple has acquired indoor mapping company Wifislam.
According to the the Wall Street Journal Apple paid around $20 million for the company, which is based in Palo Alto and specialising in indoor mapping.
According to its website (which doesn’t work any more) the technology will: “Allow your smartphone to pinpoint its location (and the location of your friends) in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings.’
Apple is remaining quiet about its intent stating: “Apple invests in smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans.’ But confirmed the acquisition to the BBC.
Apple Maps was one of the flagship features of iOS 6. Despite some great features like 3D mapping, from launch it was beset by problems including incorrectly located places, spelling mistakes and areas concealed with cloud. Following complaints from the press and customers Tim Cook took the unprecedented step of apologising to customers
With this purchase it’s clear Apple is committed to improving the functionality of its maps, taking on Google in the process. Google is working on its own indoor Google Maps, using floor plans to map airports, train stations and shops.