Apple buys public transit app startup Embark

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Ex-WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin, who recently reported Apple's purchase of chipmaker Passif, is now reporting Apple (AAPL) has bought Embark, a developer of apps (I, II) that provide public transit info and trip-planning tools for several major U.S. cities (NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.). An Apple spokeswoman has confirmed the deal.

If the description for Embark sounds familiar, it might be because it strongly resembles the one for HopStop, a transit app developer whose acquisition by Apple was confirmed last month.

Apple, intent on improving the quality of the oft-criticized Apple Maps and narrowing Google Maps' local/public transit data lead, also recently bought point-of-interest database developer Locationary.

Google, of course, isn't standing still either. It just added Waze's traffic alerts to its Maps apps.