It looks like HopStop is doing the walk of shame back from Apple’s apartment. The city transit mapping service is shutting down as of this October. Apple acquired HopStop in 2013 and seems to have used up just about all of the data it wants for its own Maps app, so the folks in Cupertino have apparently moved on.
HopStop cost Apple a rumored $1 billion at the time of acquisition and it was probably well worth it for the company. Apple’s Maps app was seriously lagging behind the strong competition from Google especially when catering to city folk. Maps in iOS had no way of providing directions for public transit, which is a popular method of transportation in large cities like New York.
On the other hand, HopStop’s specialty was transit directions in a generous list of cities around the world. It’s exactly what Apple needed to give Maps a necessary boost.
Sure enough, the release of iOS 9 on September 16 will include transit directions for the first time. The list is short for now: Transit only supports 10 cities around the world, eight of which are in the United States like New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. This will imaginably grow over time to meet demand in other cities. Plus, Apple already has the data ready thanks to HopStop.
HopStop offered no explanation confirming the reason for its demise other than a large banner on its website that reads, “HopStop will no longer be available starting October 2015.”
You had a good ride, HopStop, and you always provided one too.