Montreal-developed Transit App is widely regarded as the best public transit application on iOS, Android, Android Wear and even Apple Watch – and it looks like the app just got a little better.
A new update to Transit App adds a “stop notification” feature that will likely be extremely helpful for anyone using public transportation in an area they’re unfamiliar with, or if they happen to be concerned they might fall asleep at some point during their journey.
Remember that friend from school who’d wake you up before your bus stop came? Well, he’s back. New in 3.8: stop announcements. ????⏰????⏰????
— Transit App (@transitapp) September 22, 2015
According to Transit App, stop announcements are designed to ensure public transit users always know when to get off at the correct stop. In order to activate the feature, users need to tap a small bell icon located near their intended stop, then a push notification indicating the correct moment to disembark will automatically be sent to the individual via Transit App.
Users will also be able to indicate how often they want to receive Transit App stop announcement notifications, whether it’s only for a specific stop, or for all future stops on a particular route. When it comes to Apple Watch and Android Wear app integration, stop announcements will be pinged directly to the appropriate wearable, adding an additional level of convenience.
Vermette says implementing the often-requested feature was relatively simple for his development team, although stop accuracy was initially difficult to pinpoint.
“We spent a significant amount of time playing around with the geofence APIs but in the end found that they were not accurate enough. We actually ran a beta of this feature more than a year ago, but general feedback was that it wasn’t accurate enough. The last thing we want is for our users to miss their stop and have to walk, especially in the cold winters ‘north of the wall,'” said Vermette.
“Stop Announcements now use location access in the background so they can be more accurate. As soon as a user has reached their stop though, we stop polling location data, resulting in a negligible impact on battery life.”In the past, Transit App has been prominently featured at Apple’s keynote presentations and was also a marquee app during Apple Watch’s initial launch. What separates the application from similar transit route apps is its ability to organically learn your most frequent commute routes, as well its ability to give users routes relevant to their current GPS location, a subtle but extremely useful feature.”
In order for this feature to work, Transit App says it requires access to user’s location data.