Google's Android platform has had a robust mapping and directions system for years now, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for innovation in this space. Today, Transit is releasing an Android version of its very popular iOS app, which offers bus, subway, and train directions in 43 cities across the world. Transit's claim to fame is its easy-to-read interface and hyper local "nearby" routes that provide up-to-the-minute departure times and step-by-step directions. Fortunately, both of those features translate well to the Android app, which also offers schedule timetables, itinerary maps, and route planning features.
Unfortunately, one big feature missing from the Android version is any kind of offline capability, which makes the app more or less useless once you get on a subway. For its part, Transit says that it will be adding offline capability along with other features in the coming months. On an HTC One, the app performed well, though it did take longer than we would like to acquire our location and provide nearby directions in midtown Manhattan, so hopefully that gets improved as well.
While it can be argued that an Android user doesn't really need a separate app for public transit directions thanks to the solid features found in Google Maps, Transit offers a pleasant interface and enough features to make most strap hangers satisfied. Once offline support is added, it will be a no brainer for anyone that regularly uses public transit. Transit for Android is free and will be available in the Google Play Store today.