Today at WWDC Apple unveiled iOS 9, the latest version of its mobile operating system. Among couple of other cool features the new mobile OS will give Apple Maps users the ability to receive public transit directions. The new transit functionality covers bus, ferry, subway, and train routes and will be launched in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC, Baltimore, as well as internationally in London, Toronto, Berlin and over 300 cities in China.
Transit has been awaited by Apple users since 2012 when the company replaced Google Maps with its own software. Google Maps offers a very good transit directions all over the world for many year already. It even created a GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) standard format for public transportation schedules and related spatial information.
We can’t forget that back in 2013, Apple acquired two transit navigation startups HopStop and Embark, so they’ve got some know-how in playing with this kind of data. Obviously Apple Maps will still stay behind Google but I guess that it’s good that someone with appropriate resources is trying to complete with the Mountain View giant.