Apple has acquired a pair of mapping and location firms in a bid to improve its mapping applications.
The company has been tied to acquisitions of Canadian firm Locationary and New York-based HopStep in a pair of deals that could help to boost the company's often-criticised location services.
The company was pegged for the buys in reports from AllThingsD and Bloomberg, though Apple rarely provides details on its corporate acquisitions and did not provide official confirmation on the deals.
The purchases could help Apple to bolster its mapping application. Planned for release with iOS 6, the Apple Maps application marked a departure from the Google-based iOS application and was widely panned by reviewers who noted the inaccuracy and poor presentation of the application.
The iOS-native Maps application was such a failure that the company was forced to issue a rare public apology when chief executive Tim Cook reached out to customers.
The acquisitions come as Apple is believed to be preparing the next versions of its iOS and iPhone product lines. The new version of iOS is said to provide a cleaner interface and additional enterprise features, while the next iPhone is reported to be a marginal update to the Apple smartphone platform with hardware upgrades to the company's flagship handset.
The news also comes as rumours swirl about Apple's plans for its hardware market. The company has been tied to a number a reports about a branded smartwatch mobile device. Companies including Microsoft and Google have been reported as possible competitors for the so-called iWatch appliance.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007