Apple failed to add public transit directions to its Maps app this year with the release of iOS 8, but a new patent from the company suggests those features may still be on the way. The documents, which were published by the U.S. Patent Office this week, reveal plans for a new user interface with support for both public and private transportation.
Sketches included in the patent are a little rough, but offer a taste of what Apple may have planned. Like with Google Maps, you’ll be able to pick from a number of routes with estimated times for each one. The update might also add a separate tab for advisories, which could let you know if a train isn’t running on time. There’s even a favorites tab, presumably for storing a list of the locations you visit most often.
If Apple is planning to update Maps with transit directions, it probably won’t happen until next year. The company generally groups new features into bigger updates, which means we might be waiting until the release of iOS 9. Of course, it’s possible Apple could push out transit directions in a smaller update earlier next year, but we wouldn’t count on anything until Cupertino makes an official announcement. Though it does seem Apple is serious about upgrading the Apple Maps experience with this development as well as recent hiring attempts.