Apple's decision to drop Google Maps in favor of an in-house created application has been a widely publicized misstep by the company. Released December 13 of last year, the program was such an issue that CEO Tim Cook released a statement apologizing and promising to do better. Apple has since released several updates to fix bugs and improve functionality.
This week, the company announced it has taken another step in the direction of improving application its much-maligned navigation app by purchasing indoor-GPS company WiFiSLAM. For the low price of $20 million, the Silicon Valley startup will be bringing its technology, which helps mobile applications detect a smartphone or tablet user's location within a building using wireless signals, to the Apple Maps app. However, as would be expected, the exact plans are still under wraps.
According to a recent Tab Times article, this acquisition could be the beginning of what might become a larger trend in mobile application use.
"The emergence of public venue small cells and carrier Wi-Fi will also create a new wave of opportunity," the article reads. "As a result, we expect to see a flurry of acquisitions and partnerships in 2013, as major players start to make their moves."
This trend could make it much easier for professionals to navigate airports and convention centers. Imagine being at an expo of 50-plus vendors and needing to talk to a few specific booths for networking purposes. With this technology, all you need to do is pull out an iPhone and pull up corresponding application - instant indoor GPS.
Apple continues to innovate, even in the face of a perceived failure. This is one of the reasons that companies are turning away from PCs and toward a Mac integration for their computing needs.