Transit Directions Icon for iOS Maps Briefly Shown in Apple WWDC Session Slides
While improvements such as transit directions had been part of the early rumors for iOS 8, a follow-up report from 9to5Mac on May 1 had indicated that the feature might not make the cut for initial versions of iOS 8 as Apple was pulling resources from the iOS team to work on what would be introduced as OS X Yosemite.
Indeed, Maps improvements went essentially unmentioned at the WWDC keynote last week, and sources speaking to TechCrunch outlined "internal politics" including the departure of several key members of the Maps team as one of the reasons for Maps improvements not being ready for a WWDC presentation or inclusion in the initial iOS 8 beta.
As highlighted by BGR, one developer spotted a slide in an Apple WWDC session video showing an iPad version of the Maps app with a "bus" icon in the center of the bottom toolbar. While it is unsurprising that Apple is indeed working on transit directions for Maps given previous rumors and Apple's several corporate acquisitions in the area over the past year or two, the inclusion of a slide showing the feature suggests that discussion of the transit features may indeed have been a fairly late cut from the keynote presentation.
The screenshot, which can be seen above, shows an icon of a train or a bus at the bottom center of the screen, which presumably indicates transit directions. It comes from the session titled “Power, Performance and Diagnostics: What’s new in GCD and XPC,” and BGR was pointed to it by Jesper.
Interestingly, Apple has moved quickly to address the errant inclusion of the screenshot showing a transit-enabled Maps app and has already pulled the session video and slides from the developer website.
Apple's scheduling plans for transit directions in Maps are still not entirely clear, as there is still plenty of time of the feature to be added during the beta testing period prior to public launch, which is expected around September. Alternatively, the feature could be held back for a later update such as an iOS 8.1 to give Apple more time to polish it.