It’s been a busy year for Apple, with CEO Tim Cook noting the company made 15 acquisitions this year during its last earnings call. We already know about many of those acquisitions – Topsy, PrimeSense and Matcha.tv being three relatively recent examples. And now, 9to5Mac reports that, based on evidence and its sources, Apple likely acquired mapping firm BroadMap and note-taking service Catch as well.
BroadMap, a firm that specializes in digital mapping and location intelligence, would be a natural fit for Apple, which has long been looking to improve its own Maps app. But according to 9to5Mac’s sources, Apple acquired the company for its talent as much as its technology. There’s some evidence to support this online, as well. Broadmap CEO Daniel Perrone claims that BroadMap was acquired by a Fortune 5 company to support its digital mapping efforts (Apple is ranked #6). In addition to this, many of BroadMap’s executives are now on Apple’s mapping team.
Next up is Catch, a note-taking app and service that shut down earlier this year. Catch was similar to Evernote, and could likely be used by Apple by integrating it into its own Notes and Reminders app, as well with Siri. Catch also operated the Android app Compass, which could be folded into Apple Maps. Although Catch initially reported that it was shut down, the company’s former Vice President of Business Development revealed that it was acquired.
And speaking of Siri, 9to5Mac’s sources also noted that Apple’s acquisition of Cue and Topsy were likely to provide enhancements to its voice-controlled assistant software. If all of these reports are true, I’m not really surprised. As we saw with the introduction of Apple Maps, the company has struggled to provide certain online services to a degree. Pooling the expertise of existing companies — as well as some of the talent within those companies — could go a long way towards fixing this. And after acquiring 15 companies in less than a year, it looks like Apple’s got a lot of work to.