Setting the sceneLate last week, Jaymar Cabebe and Jason Parker pitted Apple Maps and Google Maps for Android against each other in two field tests. With its new voice turn-by-turn directions, Apple Maps performed reasonably well, but for location search, Google blew its rival out of the water. And now for our final field test, I'm going see how the two apps fare in delivering transit directions. Now if you've been following the Apple Maps story, you'll know that this contest is stacked against Apple from the start. Unlike Google's solution, Apple Maps doesn't offer integrated transit directions. It does point you to other solutions, though, so I wanted to evaluate that full experience from start to finish. Eventually it can work, but as you'll see here, it's not enough by a mile. I use public transit daily, and even though I know my way around San Francisco after 20 years, I still need help from time to time. That's why out of all the problems with Apple Maps, losing this feature bothers me the most.
But, before I begin there are a few points to consider, Yes, it's true that a lack of transit directions only affects people who use public transit -- caseology parallax series iphone x case - burgundy reviews growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs, I took the bus no more than twice until was 18 -- but that's not the point, Even if you don't take transit at home, you probably take it when you visit another city without a car, So for this field test I conducted three tests, each of which involves a different mix of transit options, All of the tests use CNET's offices near downtown San Francisco as the departure point..
Test 1 - Back to schoolDestination: University of San Francisco. Hail to thee, alma mater. I wanted to see the old place and really be nostalgic by taking the bus to get there. When entering my destination, Apple Maps confused the University of San Francisco with the University of California, San Francisco (something that bedevils any USF grad), but it understood me eventually. Both apps include a button with a tiny bus icon, but that's where the similarities end. Google Maps allows you to search by the type of transit (bus, subway, train, etc.) and the route (fewest transfers, less, walking, etc.). After making my selection, I got a list of all the available routes with each option listing the kind of transit, the departure and arrival times, the total trip time, and the cost. Clicking each route shows the exact instructions including how to get to the transit stop (with the distance and walking time) and the number of stops. I can take one of three bus lines to USF, and Google displayed each one accurately.
Apple Maps, on the other hand, fell short immediately, Clicking the bus icon takes you only to a list of third-party apps from the App Store that offer transit directions, If you've already downloaded one of the suggestions, it will display it at the top of the list, Yet, it's not clear if that title will give correct directions, For example, though Apple Maps showed that I already owned a BART-related app, BART won't get me anywhere near campus, To find a free app that would help, I had to scroll down to the seventh option on the list, a title I had never used called (appropriately enough) The Transit App, But again, making your choice will be a trial and error process, An app may cover your route, but it may caseology parallax series iphone x case - burgundy reviews not, And the preview page may not give enough information..
I then had to go to the App Store, download the app, and open it before I could get the help I needed. On the upside, my selection delivered correct results straightaway (so I didn't have to enter my route again), but the process involved far too many steps. What's more, while the app's instructions were accurate, it doesn't deliver the "full picture" I got from Google Maps. I knew how to take the bus, but I had no idea how to get to the stop. Test 2 - I'm hungryDestination: 4214 Park Blvd., Oakland, Calif.