Nokia's Transport Beta was one of the many announcements the company had back at Mobile World Congress, a free app for Lumia owners that delivers local public transportation directions. It's arrived in the Windows Phone Marketplace today, though not publicly, but we've been tipped off to the download link which you can find - along with our first-impressions - after the cut.
Like Nokia Drive and Nokia Music, the Transport Beta is intended as a value-add for those who opt for a Nokia-flavored Windows Phone. A free download, it offers walking, bus, metro and tube directions for multiple cities around the world.
When we installed, the app automatically located us in London, UK, and confirmed that it had Transport for London (TfL) data to work from. A list of other coverage is available too, with around 33 locations currently supported: cities include New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Helsinki, Denmark, Berlin and Greater Toronto, among others, and more are in the pipeline.
Your current location automatically populates the "From" field, with search for the "To" field that shows results - with their distance from you - as you type. Select one, and you have a grid of possible routes, organized by time. Scrolling right shows later routes, and you can pull the pane further right again to load even later journeys. Periods of walking, bus rides, train, and other elements are shown in different colors - the Tube lines match the official London color-scheme, for instance - and each shows the estimated duration.
One thing that wasn't working at MWC was pinning a favorite route to the homescreen. That's a matter of searching for a journey and then choosing "Pin to Start" from the pop-up menu; a new tile is added, which takes you directly to the latest transportation times.
It's a slick little app, and since it's based on official journey planner data you have the reassurance of knowing you're getting the most accurate information. Many of the transportation providers themselves offer web-based planners, but they can be tricky to use while on the move in a phone browser; Nokia Transport Beta makes it as straightforward as driving directions in Nokia Drive.
You can find the Nokia Transport Beta download by visiting here on your Lumia. Let us know how you get on in the comments!