Apple recently acquired the GPS software company, Coherent Navigation, in a bid to improve its maps service. Apple Maps got off to a difficult start, and early versions were plagued with inaccuracies and navigation problems – to the point that Apple actually recommended that their customers use Google Maps or other alternatives until the software improved. Since then, the quality of the maps has improved a lot, but Apple is still not content with the quality of their software. That’s why they have started to look at adding new features to make Apple Maps a firmer competitor against Google Maps.
More Data, More Accurate
Coherent Navigation is able to provide very accurate location information thanks to the Iridium Satellite Network. The company has worked with a lot of high profile customers in construction, oil and gas, mining and agriculture, as well as for the government. The rumours of the acquisition started when several senior staff at Coherent Navigation left the company to work at Apple. Now the acquisition has been confirmed (although Apple has refused to give any real details about it), and the Coherent Navigation website has been taken down, with the domain name now pointing to Apple’s webservers.
Important for Local Businesses
This latest acquisition continues Apple’s commitment to improving its mapping services. In 2014, the company acquired Spotsetter, a company that provides social information such as places of interest and restaurant recommendations, overlaid on their maps. Google has started implementing similar features on its mapping service. It is becoming more important than ever before for webmasters to maintain their local listings, and these latest acquisitions mean that brand owners cannot afford to dismiss Apple when they are considering their promotion activities. Local search is rapidly becoming one of the biggest and best converting traffic drivers for brand owners, especially those who run bricks and mortar services. Google speaks of the “want to do, want to know and want to go” moments that people have throughout their day. These are moments when users pull out their phone to search for information that they will immediately act upon. Having a mobile friendly, well localised website and a presence on as many of the mapping tools as possible will increase your visibility during those moments, and make it easier for you to capture the attention of people who have strong purchase (or visitor) intent.