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Google launches public transport app in Delhi; offline routes and live notifications

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Google has launched a new public transport app called Delhi Public Transport Offline, that lets users check direction and timetable information about New Delhi metros and buses. The app, which was designed ground up by the Google Maps team, is capable of displaying timetables and directions offline but requires data for news and notifications.

On opening the app a user is presented with three options, to search for directions from stations, places etc.,which then returns all the public transport options plying that route. Users can also use GPS to auto-detect their current location. The second option displays the timetables for metros and buses. All the buses and metros and their routes are listed under the tab, although users can quickly look for the relevant transport by searching for the bus/metro number. The third option allows users to view their saved or favourited routes.

Other than this, the app provides users with notification about blocked roads, route changes or delays, although this feature requires an active internet connection. The option to turn off the notification is displayed quite prominently on the home screen along with an option to share the app link via social media and to provide feedback about the app. As of now, the app claims to be experimental, and that features could change quickly based on usage and feedback from users.

Note that Traffline’s Ridlr app, which was launched in April in Delhi, provides similar services. It provides users with real time bus metro and rapid metro schedules, as well as helps locate the nearest bus stop or metro station. It also allows users to download timetables to their phones for offline use.

Other than Delhi, the Ridlr app also works in Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Bhavnagar, Indore, Bellary, Vijaywada, Ludhiana, Vadodara and Nagpur.

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Wifi at railway stations: Late last month, Google announced that it would tie-up with the Indian Railways and RailTel to provide high speed WiFi coverage in 400 stations across India. The company mentioned that the WiFi would be provided for free at the start, the with long-term goal of making it self-sustainable. According to the company, it will begin the rollout starting at 100 stations across the country, with this batch expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

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