Inside iOS 9: Apple Maps gains transit directions for buses, trains, subways, more

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
For years, the biggest omission in Apple Maps has been the lack of transit directions. But that all has changed with this year's iOS 9 update, which includes built-in support for buses, subways, trains, and more in select major cities.




At launch, transit directions are available in Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington D.C. It is also available in 30 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

In those cities, the new transit view offers detailed directions that are customized for each location. These include specific places on the map where the subway entrance may be, or where exactly on the street a bus stop is located.

Like competing transit directions from services like Google Maps, Apple gives users a number of transit options when they search for a location, including different train routes and departure times. Where available, Apple Maps includes the schedules of incoming trains.




Directions can be seen in both a map view and a step-by-step list view. In the detailed list view, users can also check to see every stop along the way, to aid them in their trip.

One feature unique to Apple Maps in iOS 9 are underground maps, which show a sort of bird's eye X-ray view of underground train stations. With this, Apple can show travelers exactly where they should go and where they can exit a subway station, for example.




Users can also schedule future trips with Apple Maps by entering a custom departure time and date, and the system will give users the best possible routes available at that time. Types of transportation can also be included or excluded, such as for those who may not wish to take the bus or subway.

Transit directions in iOS 9 are also compatible with Siri, which means users can simply speak to their iPhone to get the proper directions. Support for Apple Maps transit will also be coming to OS X, meaning a user can plan their trip on their Mac and then follow the route on either an iPhone or Apple Watch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member

    Looking forward to using this in Philadelphia. Another loss for Google and gain for iPhone owners.

     

    Sadly, I see no evidence of Apple Maps showing bike lanes and bike friendly streets.

  • Reply 2 of 43
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

     

    Looking forward to using this in Philadelphia. Another loss for Google and gain for iPhone owners.

     

    Sadly, I see no evidence of Apple Maps showing bike lanes and bike friendly streets.


     

    Craig's mention that Apple Maps was the clear winner among iOS mapping apps just reinforces the fact that the echo chamber here isn't accurate.

  • Reply 3 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,961member

    Google Maps didn’t appear by magic over night. It took years to build it into what it is today. Apple Maps is still building, still improving and coming along nicely. I personally no longer have any incentive to use Google’s product. Apple Maps has been ‘good enough’ for me for the last year or so. I’m not an urban anthill dweller so transit data wasn’t that important to me. To others this addition will be the incentive to switch.

     

    If Apple can become a serious alternative to Google’s search and map businesses then they will kick Google where it hurts. Various surveys and reports confirm Google needs Apple more than Apple needs Google in terms of revenue and sales. Google Maps doesn’t sell iPhones but iPhones make Google lots of money because people use their services on iPhones.

  • Reply 4 of 43

    Hmmmm.   In the photos (bottom, center) the one that says Lincoln Square - see an option icon with a car, and one with a transit vehicle.   I don't see one with a person.   I assume you can get walking directions to places as well????

  • Reply 5 of 43
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     Google Maps doesn’t sell iPhones but iPhones make Google lots of money because people use their services on iPhones.


    I would disagree there, a lot of switchers move to IOS because pretty much everything in the Google ecosystem works just as well on IOS devices.

  • Reply 6 of 43
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,718member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

     

    Hmmmm.   In the photos (bottom, center) the one that says Lincoln Square - see an option icon with a car, and one with a transit vehicle.   I don't see one with a person.   I assume you can get walking directions to places as well????


     

    Drive, Walk, Transit:  Yes

    Bicycle:  No

     

  • Reply 7 of 43
    laleslales Posts: 31member
    Maybe someone can explain why Los Angeles, America's 2nd largest city, with the 9th largest transit system (per Wikipedia, and larger than Chicago and Philadelphia's systems), is not only NOT one of the launch cities in Transit, but also low on the priority list (per Apple 9 to 5).
  • Reply 8 of 43
    getvoxoagetvoxoa Posts: 82member

    I still use google maps for bike routes. The searching in Apple maps needs a lot of improvement. I use apple maps 50% of the time, the rest on google maps.

  • Reply 9 of 43
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Hopefully, the transit features will also include maps of airport interiors and how to get about them.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,527member
    applezilla wrote: »
    Looking forward to using this in Philadelphia. Another loss for Google and gain for iPhone owners.

    Sadly, I see no evidence of Apple Maps showing bike lanes and bike friendly streets.

    That is because when you have bikes and cars on the same streets it is never friendly to bikes, this is why we have something called a bike trail, bike only.

    I know that bikes are becoming more and more popular in cities like NYC, and all can think is is those video of bikers in china getting whipped out by cars. China is very bike friendly but as more cars are added to the equation it is become less friendlier.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    cm477cm477 Posts: 95member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lales View Post



    Maybe someone can explain why Los Angeles, America's 2nd largest city, with the 9th largest transit system (per Wikipedia, and larger than Chicago and Philadelphia's systems), is not only NOT one of the launch cities in Transit, but also low on the priority list (per Apple 9 to 5).



    I was asking myself the same thing. I guess Apple assumes that those who use public transportation or walk in Los Angeles don't use iPhones. I just hope they launch it for Tokyo soon... That city's trains are confusing as hell. 

  • Reply 12 of 43
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 822member

    Credit to Daniel Eran Dilger. He had predicted the underground images a few weeks ago, based on Apple's Maps displays in China.

     

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/05/23/apple-maps-in-china-offer-a-sneak-peak-whats-in-store-for-maps-in-ios-9

  • Reply 13 of 43
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member

    I'm looking forward to the underground walking directions.

     

    I live in New York City and have also lived in Tokyo, and in many of the larger subway/train stations, finding your way to the proper exit is a pain in the ass without specific directions. I wonder how Apple will solve the problem of determining a user's location below ground where there is no GPS signal.

     

    It's nice to see Apple not only reaching parity with Google Maps and other mass transit apps, but also bringing something unique to the table.

  • Reply 14 of 43
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

     

    I wonder how Apple will solve the problem of determining a user's location below ground where there is no GPS signal.


     

    iBeacons seems the obvious answer.  Or triangulating wi-fi signals.  Either way, not things that are pervasively present in all underground stations yet.

  • Reply 15 of 43
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,242member
    patpatpat wrote: »
    I would disagree there, a lot of switchers move to IOS because pretty much everything in the Google ecosystem works just as well on IOS devices.

    The stuff `just works' because of the iOS Cocoa Frameworks, not because Google works harder on iOS/OS X. Sorry, but it is a monetary fact that the financial benefit of this partnership has been significantly one sided.

    Google's future is to diversify from competing directly with Apple or its valuation will keep dropping.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 313member
    lales wrote: »
    Maybe someone can explain why Los Angeles, America's 2nd largest city, with the 9th largest transit system (per Wikipedia, and larger than Chicago and Philadelphia's systems), is not only NOT one of the launch cities in Transit, but also low on the priority list (per Apple 9 to 5).
    Rome wasn't built in a day?
  • Reply 17 of 43
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Geekmee View Post





    Rome wasn't built in a day?

    The Irish weren't on that job!

  • Reply 18 of 43
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,943member
    Google or Apple or any Mapping software on smartphone is still short in features, not complete until it has a desktop mapping software that can sync/send already routed direction to it's counter part map software on smartphone.. I should be able to route/drag/re-route through POE to finalize my direction on desktop and than send exactly the same to follow on smartphone while driving..
  • Reply 19 of 43
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post





    The stuff `just works' because of the iOS Cocoa Frameworks, not because Google works harder on iOS/OS X. Sorry, but it is a monetary fact that the financial benefit of this partnership has been significantly one sided.



    Google's future is to diversify from competing directly with Apple or its valuation will keep dropping.

    Nobody mentioned anything about who was making more money out of the partnership. My response was that a lot of people switch from Android to IOS because they can continue with the same ecosystem.  Your response if nothing else just validates that Google is making a lot of money off IOS. A lot of these Google users are prior Android owners.

  • Reply 20 of 43
    This sounds very well done and I'm looking forward to using it.

    What surprises me is the lack of a few major North American cities like Miami and Vancouver, but 30 cities in China will be covered at launch. Tim knows to put production where the money is and that intriguing to say the lt would seem that Apple has at least as many Chinese speaking Maps developers as they do English.
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