Apple may not have given up on ousting Google as the leading mobile map application on the market. According to reports, Apple has agreed to acquire location-based social search engine Spotsetter.
Spotsetter combines maps, business location information, user images and reviews to form a personalized recommendation engine across a user's social network. The technology enables consumers to search for venues, or search by location, to read about their friends' experiences.
Industry reports suggest Apple will leverage the social aspect of Spotsetter to improve interactivity within its own Maps application.
Apple Maps … oy vey
With Spotsetter's technology, it may be possible for users to open Apple Maps and receive personalized recommendations based on their social networks without leaving the application.
Two years ago, Apple pre-installed its Maps application on the iPhone, but ultimately urged users to install and use Google Maps after its own app was deemed unreliable.
Prior to the acquisition, Spotsetter had processed more than five million user profiles, 40 million venues, and one million curated venue content items from around the world, according to TechCrunch. The company was founded by ex-Google Maps engineer Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee.
Spotsetter has been removed from Apple's App store. Tse announced Spotsetter would be shutting down six days ago in a blog post. Lee and Tse now both list Apple as their current employers on LinkedIn.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.