3rd party transit "integration" for maps sucks

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by mleary, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. mleary macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2006
    There are at least a couple 3rd party transit apps available now that support iOS6 maps integration (I tried Embark and HopStop). I figured the integration fed data into the maps app, all it does is launch the 3rd party app. How is this a better solution? Apple is kidding themselves.

    Why would I bother launching the maps app in the first place if I'm looking for transit directions, I can just launch the 3rd party app.
  2. gforce216 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    I really thought by "integrate" they meant at least that the app would run within the Maps app in a windowed version. It really does just kick you out of the maps app.
  3. pk7 macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2011
    While I am not too thrilled with the transit solution in the new Maps app myself, I think I know why I would rather launch it from Apple Maps first.

    I use HopStop, and (correct me if I'm mistaken) it requires specific addresses. You can't search POIs. By using Apple Maps as a launcher for HopStop, you can search POIs and generic terms, and then have Maps feed the location/address into HopStop, thus saving you the headache of having to look up the address and copy & paste it.

    Although, for transit apps that allow you to search POIs, this whole point is moot.
  4. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    Because Maps lets you search for POIs whereas many transit apps will only search stations.

    I've never used Maps for transit directions anyway, even with Google's maps. They were never accurate and had very minimal functionality. I prefer a dedicated app that, for example, routes around schedule changes and delays in real time.
  5. jaynor macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012
    HopStop recognizes POIs, though it might not work every time. For instance, you can try 'Penn Station'. It also works with station names.
  6. mleary thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2006
    Google maps does all that, at least in my city. The data is all coming from the same source so it should not matter what app you use aside from different interfaces.
  7. Funkmasta macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    They are supposed to "hook" into Apple Maps.

    So far none of the apps seem to have built in these "hooks".
  8. el3ktro macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2008
    Isn't Penn Station just a station? How is Penn Station a POI like, say, a McDonald's?
  9. Nikhil72 macrumors 65816

    Oct 21, 2005
    It's not ideal, agreed, but I also don't mind having the options. Google's transit was good sometimes, but I actually preferred HopStop's directions and options. The extra step isn't that big of a deal and the app handoff happens pretty quickly too.

    I also love the app Transit, which is useful in the city for knowing when the nearest bus/train is arriving at a quick glance; probably would not have discovered it without the new transit issue.
  10. jaynor macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012
    I can arque with you that stations would also be considered Points of Interest. If you want a non station example try: 'Empire State Building'. It also works fine.
  11. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    Nope, this is the extent of the API hooks available.

    People just assumed Apple couldn't be this dumb previously, but it was always pretty obvious.
  12. el3ktro macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2008
    It seems I'm one of the very few people who welcomes this change in Apple Maps transit directions. The reason is this: Google Maps Transit Directions always sucked in Germany. They have only been for very few cities and for them, they have proofed to be very unreliable. Instead, I'd say most people in Germany use "DB Navigator", a transit directions app issued by Deutsche Bahn that includes ALL trains, trams, subways and busses everywhere in Germany, including information about delays etc.

    Now with this app being able to integrate in Apple Maps such that I can search for an address or POI in Maps and then get directions from DB Navigator without having to enter addresses or station names manually is a very welcome addition.
  13. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    This is just temporary. Apple did this because they couldn't build in global transit in time for the iOS 6 launch. It's just jazz hands.

    What most people overlooked in Apple's response to the Maps backlash was, their PR spokesperson said, "We’re also working with developers to integrate some of the amazing transit apps in the App Store into iOS Maps."

    So basically, Apple has already revealed its hand -- they plan to take data sources from various 3rd party transit apps and include this directly into Apple's Maps app. When this will happen is anyone's guess.
  14. MarqueeK macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Here in Tokyo where public transportation is king and hardly anybody drives, the 3rd party app integration, as ungraceful as it is, is a welcome addition.
    Not even Google, with their transportation endeavor could quite handle all the complexity of navigating the plate of spaghetti that is the train network in Tokyo.
    Where as Google could give you basic information like what station you need to get on at, the timing of the train you need to take, where you need to change lines, where you finally need to get off and how much time and money the journey will take, it failed to provide information like: When is the last train for the day for x station, what platform to head to get on train x, which car to board to make the line changing most efficient and real time information on delays and stoppages.
    So all in all, this is a good thing for Tokyoites. I just wish it was a tighter integration that took the information and put it on the Map App. But this would require a massive reworking of the API and a lot ore control on the part of the 3rd party (which Apple does not like giving).

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