According to people familiar with the matter, Apple plans to roll out a new transit feature to its Maps app when iOS9 will be finally launched.
The move was announced last fall at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference but the company failed to make the system work due to technical and staff issues.
The announcement comes after two major moves Apple had made to improve its Maps app and morph it into a worthy opponent of the Google Maps service.
Last week, iPhone maker purchased Coherent Navigation, a tech startup focused on providing high quality GPS mapping through aid from a network of iridium satellites. The accuracy of the locations is rendered with errors of a few centimeters, which may help Apple’s Maps put an end to Google’s monopoly.
Also, Apple announced a couple of days ago that it agreed on continuing the business relationships with the Dutch mapping firm TomTom. Additionally, rumor has it that Apple plans to purchase Nokia’s mapping application HERE since it had already launched an undisclosed bid.
The company’s Maps app will soon be able to report transit directions for subway, trains and buses while using TomTom’s mapping data. Commuters will find it more convenient to use only one app when searching for information on their commute.
Apple will offer its users a well-organized and up-to-date set of data on public transportation with a touch of their fingertips. To this moment, Apple Maps users had to use separate apps or web services to obtain their much-needed transit directions.
Apple pledges that its updated maps will be able to inform commuters on times of arrival and departure and help them take the most informed directions when they have to make multiple trips.
Sources say that transit directions will be very user-friendly since they will come with larger icons that will be easily to detect when looking at a map. The new feature will also offer transit routes, a possibility to plan your trips and a transit view.
Apple plans to (re)launch the new feature during this year’s WWDC which is scheduled to take place in June.
Furthermore, Apple also plans to take further steps toward implementing its indoor mapping project. According to sources, the company plans to integrate into its Maps app a feature that allows users to explore public buildings, offices and other facilities.
It is too soon to tell whether the feature may be ready for launch by the end of this year. But Apple insiders say that the tech giant has already mapped its California-based headquarters with help from self-guided mini-robots equipped with sensors.
Image Source: 9t5Mac