The current Apple Maps app doesn’t have the public transit info incorporated into it. Public transit commuters get no help from Apple Maps when they want to travel by bus, train or other public transport. Now it looks like Apple wants to add this feature to its Maps app as a couple of new patents filed by Apple with the US Patent and Trademark Office reveal.
Since long, there have been rumors that Apple would add the public transit feature to its Apple Maps in its iOS but it didn’t happen in iOS 6. However, a programming interface was added to iOS 6 through which 3rd party apps could link into Apple Maps to provide transit directions to commuters. Even the iOS 8 didn’t get this feature, maybe because it was not ready by then.
Now, as the individual app cannot be updated singly, the public transit commuters will have to wait till the next iOS i.e. the iOS 9 is out. Apple’s new patents published by the US Patent office are titled “User Interface Tools for Commute Assistant” and “Location-Based Features for Commute Assistant”. These patents reveal that Apple is developing a “Commute Application” that provides different travel routes, scheduled stops, arrival/departure times, current statuses, automatic updates, the ability to select a route and much more.
The app will guide a user to go from one place to another using public transportation. A user will be able to save the routes he chooses, to his smartphone and get alerts for delays. He will also be able to find the transit lines located nearby.
Apple has already acquired several mapping and navigating companies such as HopStop, BroadMap, Locationary, Emabark etc. and this will certainly help the company. Google Maps is offering such a feature since long. The Apple patents don’t mention specifically that the Commute App is for Apple Maps but it is expected that this new app will go into the Apple Maps and such a move will definitely help the commuters who use public transportation.