Google Maps finally gets step-by-step transit navigation
Google Maps is an awesome app for getting you where you need to go, but lately the app has treated transit directions like a second-class citizen. For years, driving, walking, and biking directions have had a "navigation" mode, which shows you a live map and gives you turn-by-turn directions. Transit doesn't have a "navigate" mode, though—it only ever shows a flat list of directions.
Today, Google is finally adding an actionable navigation mode to transit directions. Now when you pick out a transit route, you'll see a new "start" button at the bottom of the screen, along with the familiar navigation icon. This brings a number of improvements to transit directions.
When you hit the start button, the next step in your journey becomes a stickied, ongoing notification. The old transit mode was just a list inside the Maps app, which made multi-tasking on your phone very annoying. While sitting on the bus or subway, I would rather be reading a website, texting, or playing a game, but the anxiety of possibly missing my stop would have me constantly opening Google Maps again to check on my progress. With the notification, I can now easily see where I am without leaving the current app.