Transit directions in Windows Phone 7

27 11 2011

I got a Mango phone. I still feel like biting into it… so juicy and cute 🙂 Bing maps looks amazing! But the problem (other than the fact that you need to touch the screen for “turn by turn” navigation) is that there is no public transit directions… yet.

There are a lot of third party apps of course that do query Bing transit. One of the good ones is Mango Transit (Free). The problem with this app – like many others, is that your destination is not searched for. It almost seems like all these apps expect you to provide a full address. No way I will do that. That is a search engine’s job 🙂

So I actually started to build my own Bing Maps app for WP7. The problem was that the results were pathetic for businesses (restaurants, stores etc). They were in a different continent – and were spelled wrong. I guess you need to use some other API to search those, but anyway, that is not the point of this post.

The solution is actually quite simple. Install the transit app (Mango Transit (free)). The native Bing Maps client on the phone searches for businesses very well. So, search there. Once you pick your destination, swipe right, (about>reviews>apps). Your installed Mango Transit should be listed there. CLICK ON IT! 🙂

Now this only works when you need directions from your current location to somewhere else. The main advantage of course is GPS. It does not work if you want transit directions from two other points in the world. But then again, you can directly hit maps.bing.com on IE (make sure you set the Desktop version as the preferred site) – you wont use GPS anyway. … I know I know I’m just making excuses.

 

UPDATE: Forget everything I just said. The author of the app (yes Jeff himself!), just commented on this article to let me know that he had updated Mango Transit. Silly me, I should have checked it out after it was automatically updated a few days ago. In any case, the app now does EVERYTHING. It even searches for places based on partial name matches, amazingly shows you pins at all appropriate locations (unlike a list of places on a separate screen that you need to click), AND continues to provide transit directions. Awesome, just awesome! Thank you so much Jeff!!! 🙂