Garmin, Embark Bring Public Transit Navigation to iOS 6

The mapping service app Navigon has recently been updated for better integration with Apple’s new Maps app by offering a much-needed “Urban Guidance” feature, which gives detailed information about public transportation. Garmin’s other mapping app, StreetPilot Onboard, is also scheduled for a future update that will offer support for public transportation.

All of this, and people are still complaining that they want Google Maps back.

From Apple Insider, Garmin’s vice president of mobile phone business, Joern Watzke, said, “With our recent updates, our apps can now serve as an extension to Apple Maps, providing iPhone users advanced navigation capabilities.” It sounds like the mapping service is looking for ways to generate more interest in the costly apps that are available. Navigon North America is $49.99, while Apple’s Maps app is free.

Embark, which makes public transportation apps for various big cities, also announced that its line of apps is now available for free on iOS 6 and is designed for the iPhone 5. The updated apps are now integrated closely with Apple’s Maps app.

“We believe it should be easy to get around big cities in the age of the smartphone,” said Embark CEO David Hodge. “With our support for iOS 6, iPhone 5, and the new Apple Maps, we’re making sure transit riders always have access to the information that they need to get where they want to go.”

Embark has routed more than 40 million public transit trips to date and is the most popular app of its kind. The apps offer step-step-directions for cities like, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and London.

Apple’s decision to exclude transit service information from the native Maps app is part of what is causing the outcry for a return to Google Maps. The latter included a public transit listing within the app so that users would have everything they needed, all in one place.

However, Apple’s iOS software chief Scott Forstall said that, with the new Maps app, third-party developers can register their software as a routing app. Their services will then show up within the native mapping application.

“When building Maps, we looked around and realized the best transit apps for metros, for hiking, for biking, are coming from our developers,” Forstall said. “And so instead of trying to develop those ourselves, we are going to integrate and feature and promote your apps for transit right within the Maps app in iOS 6.”

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik