It is no news that Apple’s Maps app leaves much to be desired. In recent times, Apple has been acquiring several companies in a bid to improve its Maps app. As a part of this strategy, TechCrunch reports that Apple has now acquired Spotsetter, a social map app that “provides personalized recommendations for places to go” such as restaurants, places of entertainment and stores.
Spotsetter’s technology involves placing social data such as trusted reviews or friends’ recommendation on top of the maps. Spotsetter app pulled in user data from social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram as well as content for places from more than 30 review sites like Yelp, TripAdviser, The New York Times, Zagat etc.
When you looked up any places in the app, you got personalized results based on what your friends have said about them. You could also browse the map for checking out new places and get info about places where your friends have been and what they have shared.
This acquisition will help Apple to better compete with Google maps. The interesting thing is that the founders of Spotsetter are Stephen Tse who is an ex-Google Maps engineer and Johnny Lee. Apple will now benefit from their vast experience in the field. These two founders and some of the team members of Spotsetter have now moved to Apple.
There has been no official announcement from Apple yet but around a week ago in his final blog post “Farewell and Thank You!” Johnny Lee announced that they were closing down the Spotsetter app. If the news is indeed true, then Apple will integrate Spotsetter app’s features into its own Maps app to make it still better.