Today we’ve learned that the folks over in Cupertino from Apple have just purchased the popular Android-friendly indoor mapping company WiFiSLAM to the tune of around $20 million. WiFiSLAM is an indoor mapping start-up company from Silicon Valley, one that many Android developers have been using to integrate indoor features to their Android apps. It sounds like Apple is trying to improve their Maps offering – and quick.
WiFiSLAM is a 2-year old company that has been working hard on their WiFi-based indoor mapping technology. Instead of using GPS, crowd-sourced WiFi is much quicker, but we already knew that. Android developers have been enjoying the WiFiSLAM SDK for sometime now, but now that Apple’s acquired the company that is no longer available.
This is likely a move to improve the quality of Apple Maps, as well as a serious attempt to take on the getting better by the day Google Maps. Google’s indoor maps, and even Street View have continued to improve and are showing no signs of slowing down. Apple’s finally getting started, but look to be a little behind.
Interestingly enough, one of WiFiSLAM’s founding members was a previous Google employee. And even a current employee of Google, Dan Dodge, is an angel investor in the start-up company. Those things aside we can expect to see Apple Maps get a few improvements in the mapping department sometime soon. While Apple plays catch-up, check out Google Maps Street view at the Grand Canyon, under water, and a few other awesome locations from the links below.[via Apple Insider]