The Wall Street Journal has added to the speculation that Apple could be planning to team up with Foursquare to improve its Maps app.

Last week, Apple's SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue tweeted a Foursquare check-in from Apple's Cupertino HQ, leading many to believe that the company could be planning to integrate the social app into iOS.

Now, WSJ cites "people familiar with the talks" in a report that claims that Apple is "in early discussions to integrate local data from Foursquare Labs In. into its mapping application… as the company continues to build an arsenal of local data to try to take on Google Inc."

WSJ says that Apple's recent talks with Foursquare have involved Cue, which could be the reason behind the mysterious tweet that was removed from Twitter moments after it was posted.

 

Foursquare is a social recommendation service that allows users to check in to coffee shops, bars, tourist attractions and more, designed to help other users find a good place to visit.

"Apple has been building up its own local search listings to incorporate into products like Maps and Siri," WSJ continues. "Apple views such services as increasingly strategic as it looks to get users to local information directly, bypassing search services like Google."

Apple's Maps app was launched in September to wide criticism, leading CEO Tim Cook to issue a public apology for the app's inaccuracies and poor quality.

Just last week, Google launched its Maps app in the iOS App Store, which was downloaded more than 10 million times within 48 hours of becoming available, and sparked a 29 per cent rise in iOS 6 adoption.

But Apple has promised to continue improving its mapping service, and a partnership with Foursquare could mean a new Find My Friends app, improved point of interest (POI) information and directions, and more.

See also:

Why Google Maps for iPhone is good for Apple

Hands on with Google Maps for iPhone

Apple corrects 'potentially life-threatening' map that left Australian drivers stranded

Australian police warn against using Apple Maps application

Apple reportedly fires Maps chief as part of project's overhaul

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Google: 'Our iOS Maps app is better than Google Maps for Android'