Thursday, June 5, 2008 | 11:04 AM
Joe Hughes, Software Engineer
Ever since Google Maps added public transportation directions for San Francisco, it's been a lot easier for me to figure out which buses and trains will get me where I'm going around town, so that today's gas prices take less of a toll on my wallet. Even so, I've often found myself wishing that I had an easy way to get transit directions while I'm out and about.
Enter the new version of Google Maps for mobile. This version (2.2) allows you to get transit directions in all the same places as the web version of Google Maps, including Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Vancouver, and over 40 other cities in North America.
This version of Google Maps for mobile even has a few tricks not yet available on the desktop version of Google Maps. For instance, you can find the last transit trips of the day (to figure out how late you can stay at the party) and more easily browse through earlier or later trips. The My Location feature, available on most phones, also makes it easier to set the start point of your journey.
To see how the transit feature of Google Maps for mobile works, take a look at this quick video walkthrough with my co-worker Ryan:
This version of Google Maps for mobile also includes a bunch of other goodies, like faster searching on BlackBerry devices and star ratings for businesses. It's currently available for BlackBerry devices and many other Java-based phones. To download it to your phone visit http://www.google.com/gmm from your phone's web browser or on the desktop.
We're working to bring public transit directions to Google Maps on other devices, so stay tuned!