Apple has bought online mapping services HopStop and Locationary as part of its effort to create a competitive alternative to Google maps.
Apple has agreed to buy online transit-navigation service HopStop.com Inc., seeking to improve mapping tools after a buggy debut for its directions software last year.
HopStop, based in New York, provides directions for more than 140 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and six other countries, and includes public transportation.
Cupertino, California-based Apple also purchased Locationary Inc., a Toronto-based company focused on business-location maps. Locationary collects and analyzes data to help create more precise maps.
Apple needs to improve its mapping software. Last year, iPhone and iPad users discovered Apple's maps sometimes gave faulty directions and misplaced famous landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook ended up apologizing for the issues, and recommended iPhone and iPad users rely on Google's maps until improvements could be made.
When Google released a new mapping app for the iPhone late last year, it quickly became one of the most downloaded programs for the device.