By Adele Peters, Revmodo.com
The Maps app on Apple’s latest operating system is full of flaws, and one of them isn’t just bad for users — it’s also bad for the climate. The iOS 6 version of the app no longer includes convenient public transit directions.
The previous version of Maps made it easy to find a train or bus; a click of a button would lead to simple public transportation directions in both a list and a map. Now, unfortunately, pushing the transit button leads to a list of third-party apps rather than directions. You need to choose an app, launch it, and wait for it to load before you can begin to get public transit info.
You’d need to do this for every city where you need directions, so if you’re visiting a friend or family member but want to get around town on your own, you’ll have to install new apps. There’s also no easy way to compare driving, walking or public transit options.
Why the change? The Apple Maps app used to use Google’s mapping service, but Apple has replaced it with their own map data. Over the last few years, as Google became more of a competitor, Appleacquired three mapping companies of its own. Apple either lacks public transit data or decided not to include it. Either way, it’s a giant step backward.
It’s hard to get people to switch to public transportation. Even for city-dwellers who don’t own cars, if public transit seems complicated, someone might choose to take a taxi. To receive mass adoption, public transit needs to be easy to use. The information needs to be at peoples’ fingertips fast, so they don’t miss the bus or train.
There are rumors that Google is planning to offer its own Maps app, separately, in Apple’s App Store. That would be welcome news — if Apple actually allows it. We’ll see what happens.