I have been thinking about the future of transport apps. It seems that a critical feature is
1. notification of serious delay, disruption or planned work. It tells you that your train has been disrupted. You can avoid the jam and go for alternative transport. Notification can be made subtly intelligent by studying your usual travel time and line. Implicitly, it can be based on our favorite route. And the user can disable all notification. Estimated to happen in 2013.
2. a team will be form to work on the transport app. A good graphic designer is needed to ensure the beauty of the app on areas like icon, widgets, app pages. 2 programers will work on the map, timing, and iOS and android. 1 marketer will work on the screenshot, keywords, blog, Facebook, email. The price has to be free, based on my intuition. The use has to be tested locally for several months. The question of capital investment seems to be unavoidable. I am convinced that a team development will be the norm. Capital is required to employ the team. Or a team of owner is form to grow organically. A team is required to make polished app that people want to look at on their personal device.
3. new feature like journey planner, bus and train combination are strong hold of google map. A train map is a necessity to answer the question of how to go to a place. Much of these features are determined by the local demand. Rail and high speed train are also part of most countries. These features will come at a later stage where the real time serves its purpose. I think a section on lifestyle is inevitable. The apps provide event info as one travel on a bus or train since it has my location. Siri may be good enough to answer the question when is the bus coming? :)
I have no answer for income yet. It seems to be not making money for the coming days.. Hope I am wrong about it :) I have not done much thinking in it. And I will be back when I have done more. Initial I thought of groupon and google. But I think there may be virtual goods involved.
"We always plan too much and always think too little. " Joseph Schumpeter
ps. I will be working on the redesign of nyc subway time, this time will be on android version!