Apple’s Maps Trade Transit Directions for Apps
Among the features found in Google Maps that Apple’s own company-developed mapping solution replacing it lacks is a crucial one near-and-dear to city dwellers: transit directions. Instead, Apple is relying on developers to plug in that gaping hole lacking dynamic directions based around train, bus, and subway schedules. Could this be a front in the iOS 6 beta for bigger third-party app integration plans?
As an alternative to including transit directions its new map application, Apple has decided to include a feature that finds transit applications based on a user’s location. In effect, this accomplishes the same goal through more steps.
Location-specific apps can provide an experience more tailored to the amenities of an area, so the extra traction placed behind them can lead to transit apps that extend beyond schedules. An issue that comes into play here is that transit apps will not be consistent across cities, with some smaller public transportation areas not receiving the same scope of direction as Google Maps provided. However, not even Google could offer directions everywhere since in some cases municipalities will decide to not release public transportation information through sources other than its own.
While iOS 6 maps be lacking features now, there are still a number of months left until it is publicly released – enough time for Apple to close gaps. Apple has already specifically stated that they will categorize apps for transit based on location, adding fuel to the argument that the company has no plans to add the feature. Surely, the folks in research and development have done their homework to find that transit applications in the App Store can be quite superior.
One thing is sure, we are bound to see a developer gold rush in this category of the App Store in preparation for iOS 6. The onslaught of development frenzy would also we will see more unique interfaces and features as the days wind down on the evolution of transit. In a collective move to provide directions to the most areas possible, it is likely we will see developers cover more transportation than Google does.
Would you be amiss to find the spot “Transit Directions” resided in replaced by “Recommended transit apps”? Or will you be satisfied finding an app that may have more features than Google’s solution (although being one that takes up extra time)?