by Joe White
June 9, 2011
Google has just announced the limited availability of a brand new feature: Live Transit Updates in Google Maps. The feature itself allows users to check the status of public transport on a desktop computer or mobile device. In our case, iPhone users can access the service on their handset using the built-in Safari app. Unfortunately, the service isn't coming to the Maps app - yet. Much like Google's turn-by-turn navigation service, support for Live Transit updates in a smart phone app is currently an Android exclusive. However, Google notes that "mobile browsers" are supported, and this includes Safari for iOS. Another limitation is that Live Transit Updates aren't available worldwide - or even nationwide, for that matter. Currently, only four U.S. cities and two European cities can take advantage of Live Transit Updates. They are: Boston, Portland, Ore., San Diego, San Francisco, Madrid and Turin. Regardless, the service itself looks great. How many times have you stood waiting for a bus, anxious for it to arrive? With Live Transit Updates, you can check the status of public transport on a mobile device, or even a desktop computer. As explained by Google, over at the Official Google Blog:
When you click on a transit station or plan a transit route with Google Maps and there are delays or alerts related to your trip, you’ll now see “live departure times” (indicated with a special icon) and service alerts.It's definitely a handy feature, and one we hope hits other cities across the world soon. If you live in one of Live Transit Update's supported cities, take the service for a spin and let us know how it works for you in the comments.