Apple has acquired US-based GPS software company Coherent Navigation in a move to boost its location and mapping services.
Apple has not had a smooth ride in the mapping business. Apple Maps was blighted with problems and inaccuracies at launch, and the firm apologised to its customers and suggested that they use alternatives like Google Maps.
The software has improved since then, and Apple has now boosted its capabilities with the Coherent Navigation buy.
Apple rarely comments on acquisitions, and has simply released its usual confirmation statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
The MacRumours website was first with the news, reporting that senior Coherent Navigation staffers left the company for Apple in the past few weeks and that the company website has been closed down. The domain name now points at Apple's servers.
The Linkedin page of former CEO of Coherent Navigation, Paul Lego (pictured), lists working at Apple since January 2015, where he simply states he is a "Member of Apple Maps Team".
Coherent Navigation uses the Iridium satellite network to provide accurate location information and Lego's LinkedIn profile about the company says it works with firms in industries including agriculture, construction, mining, and oil and gas exploration.
"Coherent also does both classified and unclassified work for the US government," he added.
Apple has repeatedly added resources and skills to its Mapping business, with the acquisition of a firm called Spotsetter in 2014 which provides social information overlaid on maps, recommending activities, places to eat and sites of interest.
The move comes as efforts to improve GPS technology continue, with the European Commission launching its Galileo network of satellites to improve accuracy of services and remove its reliance on the US's array of satellites for navigation.
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