Some of the most useful applications on smartphones are those that let us know where we are and what’s around us, and even if Google Maps integrate many functions including Transit information to know how to get to any given place using public transportation, users are required to use an internet connection to make it work. That wouldn’t seem to be such a big deal and it actually gets very useful as users get updates about changes in the schedule of some routes, but there are some regions where a mobile connection is still considered expensive. Google has now released an experimental app to get users around Delhi on public transportation that doesn’t require a data connection.
The app is called Delhi Public Transport Offline and it will search the Delhi Metro and bus networks for directions and timetables and if users have access to an internet connection, they will be able to get updates about transit news or delays. Offline functionality includes directions to any DMRC metro station or Delhi bus stop and the ability to choose a route, plus users will be able to see the schedules for any Delhi Metro line or Bus Number. Other supported transportations include DMRC Metro, DTC bus, Gurgaon Rapid Metro, and DIMTS Orange buses.
The app looks very simplistic and uses a rather dull palette of colors, but it’s probably designed that way so that phones with low-resolution displays can still use it. The main screen includes 3 buttons: Search, Saved, and Timetables. Users can also get alerts with news related to the traffic on their region. The timetable shows the name of the transport which is color coded accordingly and users can scroll to see additional parts of the day or the complete list of stations on that route. It is an interesting approach and it’s still unknown if Google will release a similar app for more regions. Meanwhile, HERE Maps offer a lot of offline functionality as well, as users can download maps for certain cities to navigate with voice-guidance and also some routes of public transportation, so this might be a good alternative while travelling or in situations when mobile connections are not reliable.