'Citymapper' and 'Transit App' Offer In-Depth Looks at Transit Experiences on Apple Watch

As a few popular iPhone apps begin rolling out updates for their built-in Apple Watch apps ahead of the April 24 launch, a pair of transit-focused services have posted on Medium to share detailed looks into exactly what kind of experience users can expect from Citymapper and Transit App on the Apple Watch next month.

Sifting through the data gathered from its iPhone app, Citymapper learned that its users frequently turned their phone on and off throughout one trip, unlocking to reorient themselves and quickly locking the device again to save battery. That's where its upcoming Apple Watch app comes in, Citymapper promising an experience tailor-made for the wrist-worn device.

Citymapper apple watch

This is the nature of transit information when you move across the city. You need snippets of information. Different things at different times, depending on where you are along the way.

Transit info works well on a device that focuses attention on one thing at a time. And where the transaction cost (ie hassle) of getting additional information is low (raise your wrist and swipe). Using a wearable app may also be safer. City dwellers are generally walking too fast, crossing streets, using stairs, jostling through crowds.

Citymapper has a few cool things planned for its Watch app, with Glances showcasing "how messed up your city is", pointing out stalled bus and train schedules around a user's location. The app will even notify a user, with the much-touted wrist-tap feature, when to get off of a current bus or train route to continue along their way.

Citymapper on the Apple Watch will be available in every city Citymapper has already established itself, including places like New York City and Rome, and support English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, with more cities and languages "coming soon."

Transit's Apple Watch app appears to be providing less of a notification-heavy experience and more of a straight-forward curated list of departure times and easy-to-follow directions, with a static "Take Me Home" button always on hand for when users get lost. The company aims to shave off as many precious seconds as possible with its wrist-worn experience.

transit apple watch

It’s not every day that developers get the chance to build something for a completely new platform. And we think that the Apple Watch might just be the ideal platform for us. Sure, it’s not so difficult to pull your phone out of your pocket. But it’s while we’re in transit that those seconds matter most.

With Transit App for Apple Watch, all of that friction is gone. No matter where you are, you will have instant access to departure times for nearby routes — on hand at all times. Sprinting for the bus? Need to know which route is leaving soonest? Don’t want to interrupt your game of Candy Crush? We’ve got your back.

Both Citymapper [Direct Link] and Transit App [Direct Link] promise to be available on day one of the Apple Watch's April 24 launch.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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70 months ago
As more and more developers start developing better experiences adapted to the unique experience of the watch, the naysayers are going to look sillier and sillier.

Apple's real secret to success is they create awesome platforms that make developers lives easier (with well thought out and advanced APIs) and rewarding (with financially sustainable systems).

Their haters and competitors still don't seem to have figured this out yet.

Also, most people aren't developers and they don't understand that the hardest work goes into developing platforms and systems. Those well thought out APIs are the reason developers are able to create such great apps with ease. But if you aren't a developer, you have no clue what's going on behind the scenes.

The difference between the Apple Watch APIs and the Android Wear APIs are so big it seems like Google just rushed something out the door to compete with the Apple rumors. You can tell Apple put a lot of thought into everything and spent a long time developing this.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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70 months ago
Sounds like a must have if you live in a city with public transit.

I'm in Detroit and it's got pretty limited transit compared to other cities that I've been in.

Gary
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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70 months ago

The problem I have with these types of apps is that GPS location is not very accurate underground or when surrounded by very tall buildings. Often the Transit App things I am at one of the adjacent stops, or on a different line that happens to run nearby. It is also problematic in high-traffic areas such as central subway hubs where many lines and bus routes intersect. The list of "nearby" stops is often very long on my iphone in these areas, where I have to scroll to find the route and direction I actually want to go in.

I don't think the Apple Watch will address the first issue, and it will make the second issue much worse.

I actually think transit apps need bigger screens, not smaller, and most importantly more accurate and quicker positioning systems.

We need Apple to give away iBeacons to subway stations, at least in a few major cities.

I don't really know if this would fix the GPS issue, but it would be an easy way for Apple to give publicity to its iBeacon and show off its potential uses outside of department stores/sports stadiums.

I'm assuming Google (or Samsung themselves) have an iBeacon alternative, but why not beat them to the punch in big cities for commuters? Might be that extra cool thing to sway someone to Apple.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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70 months ago
Apple watch may work well with turn-by turn pedestrian directions.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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70 months ago
This is the first (and so far only) category of app that might push me to buy an Apple Watch. Not having to pull out the phone to go around would be quite the convenience.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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70 months ago

Have you actually seen worked directly with the Android Wear API's or are you just saying that based on a few website watch app pictures?


I'm a developer. I've seen both the Apple and Google Wear APIs. And yes the Apple Watch APIs seem far more advanced than what Google has put out there. And Apple hasn't even allowed us to create apps directly on the Watch yet.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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