Apple is finally adding transit options to its Maps app for the city of Paris. Starting today, you can use Apple Maps to calculate itineraries using public transportation.
You’ll find subway, RER and bus lines, and even Transilien lines. Just like in Google Maps, you can look around the map with a new subway layer or you can calculate an itinerary from A to B. If you tap on a station, you can see all the lines leaving this station as well as real time information about the next departures.
Finally, you’ll also find Autolib car sharing stations as well as Vélib bike sharing stations. Unfortunately, it doesn’t say if there are bikes or spaces available.
Apple is late to the party with this one as Google Maps has provided transit data in Paris for years. Many Parisians also use Citymapper for more complicated itineraries.
Still, I’ve been using Apple Maps over Google Maps for a couple of years now, and there are a few nifty features that you won’t find in Google Maps. For instance, Google Maps doesn’t tell you the next departures. Even better, Apple Maps has identified all station entrances, which is quite useful when you want to find the nearest entrance.
Apple Maps works really well with the Apple Watch. If you’re walking around a city, your watch vibrates with two distinctive vibration patterns to tell you if you’re supposed to turn left or right. This way, I get to look around and leave my phone in my pocket.
Apple has been aggregating data from a lot of third-party companies for Apple Maps. In Paris, Apple uses Yelp, TripAdvisor and Pages Jaunes information and reviews. You can book a table using La Fourchette.
Transit data is available in many cities in the U.S., the U.K., China and Japan, as well as other major cities across the world. It’s interesting to see that Apple isn’t rushing this kind of features. Instead, the company wants to collect exhaustive information before rolling it out to its users.