Apple Drops Transit Directions From Mobile Devices

One thing that won’t come standard with the new iPhone: transit directions.

WalkScore is launching a campaign to preserve transit directions as a standard feature in Apple's mobile devices.

Yesterday Apple announced details for iOS 6, the new operating system for iPad and iPhone, and it looks like transit directions will be casualties of the company’s decision to drop Google Maps as its default map application. The new, Apple-developed map application will include driving directions and walking directions, but no transit information, at least not standard. Instead, if you want to figure out how to get somewhere without driving, users will have to download a third-party application.

In response, WalkScore today launched a campaign to have the transit feature restored, asking supporters to tweet Apple directly. “We believe that having built-in transit directions on your phone helps public transit work better for everyone,” the company says on its petition site.

Apparently the change stems from competition between Apple and Google, which, until recently, was gaining on Apple’s share of the mobile OS market. The iPhone maker is in the process of weeding out Google apps from its devices, according to David Herron, reporting for the Examiner:

Even so this is a big step backwards for pedestrians and transit users, because it forces those people to first know they have to acquire a third party application, then find and install the best one, and finally perhaps pay for this support. By contrast today’s iOS users have excellent pedestrian and public transit support in the Google Maps application.

Apple has sold more than 180 million iPhones since the product debuted in 2007.