Want to get about on public trans­port? Time to call for a Google

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

On the El Cap­i­tan preview page on Ap­ple’s web­site, the com­pany says of Maps: “Now ar­riv­ing. Public transit info”.

“At last”, we wanted to yell. “We’ve been wait­ing for this for ages, like some kind of tardy bus”. So, soon you’ll be able to view routes for trains, buses and fer­ries, and how to walk be­tween sta­tions. You’ll be able to get di­rec­tions on your Mac and trans­fer them to your iPhone. There is, how­ever, the draw­back that on launch only a tiny num­ber of cities is go­ing to be cov­ered. If only there was another ma­jor player in tech­nol­ogy that had long had a maps so­lu­tion that was the envy of ev­ery­one else, which worked nicely on your Mac, in­cluded public trans­port info, and could send rout­ing in­for­ma­tion to your iPhone!

If you’ve just yelled “Google Maps” at the top of your lungs, a gold star for you (and apolo­gies to any­one sit­ting nearby). Yep, Google’s so­lu­tion does ev­ery­thing Ap­ple’s will, with the ad­van­tage it’s far more ma­ture re­gard­ing public trans­port in­for­ma­tion, and there­fore cov­ers way more lo­ca­tions. Right now, you can visit, set a start­ing point and des­ti­na­tion, and de­fine whether you want to walk, drive, or use public trans­port. With the var­i­ous tools on of­fer, you can ad­di­tion­ally choose pre­ferred modes of trans­port, the route type (for ex­am­ple, to min­imise walk­ing or trans­fers), and state when you want to leave or ar­rive.

As­sum­ing you have a Google ac­count and are signed in, all this in­for­ma­tion will be find its way over to your iPhone. In the Google Maps app, open the side­bar (via the list-like icon at the left of the search bar), tap Set­tings, and then choose ‘Maps history’. Se­lect the spe­cific route op­tion you want to go for, and you’ll be on your way. Note that Google Maps for iPhone en­ables maps to be saved to use when you can’t get online. Hold a fin­ger on the screen to drop a pin, then tap the search bar, scroll down and pick ‘Save off­line map’. Pan and zoom the map to suit, then tap Save. Af­ter nam­ing the map, it’ll be avail­able from ‘Your places’ in the side­bar – just scroll down to the ‘Off­line maps’ sec­tion.

Google Maps al­ready does more than what Ap­ple’s Maps up­date is likely to, so use it in­stead.

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