Apple added two new cities today to its list of locales supported by Apple Maps public transit directions. Now Boston, Massachusetts and Sydney, Australia residents can use the built-in iOS mapping app to find local bus and train times.
The lack of transit directions was a gaping hole in Apple's map offerings, giving city-dwelling smartphone owners another reason to use Google Maps. Apple added the much-needed feature in its iOS 9 software update released this month. Initial launch cities included Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, as well as international support for London, Toronto, Berlin, Mexico City, and hundreds of Chinese cities.
Apple will shut down HopStop in October
The company's improvements to Maps are thanks in part to acquisitions of startups like HopStop, a public transit website and app maker available in more than 300 cities that Apple acquired in 2013 for an undisclosed sum. HopStop announced in September that Apple plans to shut the service down in the coming weeks, seemingly in a move to funnel users toward its own Maps app instead of letting users switch between the two services. In a contrasting move, Google lets mapping app Waze, which it purchased in 2013, operate as a standalone app, but integrates Waze data into its core Maps service.