When Apple introduced iOS 6, many users became very dissatisfied with its Maps application. This was because Apple tried to implement its own Maps instead of relying on Google, which already provided very detailed maps from all around the world. This is why it was so hard to compete with Google’s own Maps platform, and as it turns out some 3rd party developers made a profit from this situation. These are developers who already made a Google-supported maps, and also implemented advanced routes and public transportation features, which are all weak spots of Apple’s own Maps.
One of those applications which became very popular during that time was The Transit App. At that time, The Transit App was a paid application which showed very detailed public transportation schedules and it was a good routing app as well. In its 2.0 version, this app become completely free and provided us with a beautiful interface, so now there are no reasons why we shouldn’t try it.
The Transit App can be used in 37 cities, where it supports numerous transit agencies. In order to see if you can fully benefit from this app, I recommend checking this info before downloading. It can be used to check real-time schedules of public transportation, to plan trips and routes, and to check real-time vehicle locations.
Once you open The Transit App on your iPhone you’ll see a list of nearby routes which are updated in real-time. On the left side of your screen, you can see route numbers and icons, indicating a public transportation type. On the right side, you can see exact time of next departure. If you click and hold any of these routes, you’ll get a small list of additional actions. These can be used to check routes on a map, to see full-day schedules, check for other routes, or make a certain route your favorite.
Besides checking when the next train is coming your way, you can also use The Transit App to plan complex routes around your city. Simply enter your desired destination, and this app will show you exact steps how to get there. You’ll get very detailed information on your progress, departure times and which trains to use to get somewhere. You’ll also receive estimated time between certain points during your route, which I believe could be a real life-saver if you’re traveling through some unknown city. This way you can easily keep track of your route, and even see your progress on a map.
It is nice to see an application that’s beautifully designed and offers innovative gesture controls, which also implements Apple’s Maps. This combination looks beautiful, and these two perfectly complement each other. Even though we all use navigation apps a bit differently, I don’t see a reason to use any other application than The Transit App for routing around my city. It is also important to say that this app can work in an offline mode, by downloading transit info in advance.
PROS: Beautifully designed. Very detailed and accurate info. Completely free of charge.
CONS: Some users reported instability and crashes.