Apple is planning to launch its new transit directions feature in the iOS 9 version of Maps. The company plans to debut bus, subway, and train route navigation in the app during the unveiling of iOS 9 at WWDC 2015 in June. Apple planned to include the functionality in iOS 8, but pulled it before WWDC 2014.
The Transit directions service would allow iPhone users to navigate mass transit via the official Apple Maps application for the first time since Apple removed Google as iOS’s official provider of map data. Sources said last year that the transit functionality for Maps includes larger icons for users to more quickly spot airports, subway stations, and train stations within the Maps app. In addition to the main functionality, there is also a trip planning feature for transit, and a new Transit view alongside the existing Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite/Flyover views.
Apple – faced with issues involving personnel, data inconsistencies, and coverage for only a small subset of Apple’s major markets – decided to pull the transit features from iOS 8 very late into development, 9to5Mac’s sources say. Since that time, Apple has been working to refine the data, add new cities, and develop a new push notifications system to inform users when support for new cities has been added.
Apple has also reportedly been making headway on its indoor mapping project, designed with the goal of helping iOS Maps app users navigate major buildings, offices, and landmarks. Apple is reported to be currently mapping out its own offices in Cupertino, using robots guided by iBeacon sensors. The robots, said to be the size of a Roomba vacuum cleaner, collect data to use for the indoor mapping project.