Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Google Now Lets You Know When to Get Off the Bus

From the Google blog is an announcement of Transit Navigation (Beta):
Today we’re releasing Google Maps 5.7 for Android. From Bangkok to Baltimore, we’ve added Transit Navigation (Beta), updated access to directions, better suggested search results and a photo viewer to Place pages—all of which can help you whether you’re traveling to an unfamiliar part of town or visiting a city across the world.

Transit Navigation (Beta)
Google Maps Navigation (Beta) currently provides over 12 billion miles of GPS-guided driving and walking directions per year. Now, GPS turn-by-turn (or in this case, stop-by-stop) navigation is available for public transit directions in 400+ cities around the globe with Transit Navigation.

Transit Navigation uses GPS to determine your current location along your route and alerts you when it’s time to get off or make a transfer. This is particularly helpful if you’re in a city where you don’t speak the language and can’t read the route maps or understand the announcements. After starting your trip with Transit Navigation, you can open another application or put your phone away entirely and Google Maps will still display an alert in your notification bar and vibrate your phone when your stop is coming up.

There is a short video on the Google blog that demonstrates how it works. Is this enough to get people to take transit or give up their iPhones for Android? We shall see, but this is pretty neat.
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