Citymapper on Apple Watch

Published in
4 min readMar 27, 2015


In our continued quest to take care of you as you commute and wander around complex cities, we’re excited to be one of the first apps available on Apple Watch.

Tim Cook says it’s time

Citymapper on your wrist baby

We’re well aware that a $350+ device and public transportation may not immediately appear to go together. That’s what they said before about the iPhone:

“Why would people check transit info on a fancy smartphone?”- the naysayers

But they did.

Wearables may initially be a small market compared to smartphones. But early adopters tend to live in cities where mass transit matters (San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo).

And there is something irresistible about the beginnings of a new platform, a whole new category - Wearables - that stretch what’s possible with human computer interaction. A new form factor that brings us even closer to our users, and towards fulfilling our goal of converting complex urban data into usable knowledge, when and where it’s required.

On. Off. On. Off. On. Off.

We’ve learned on mobile that users turn the app on and off multiple times during use.

This is the nature of transit information when you move across the city. You need snippets of information. Different things at different times, depending on where you are along the way.

A wearable is perfect for the step-by-step nature of transit info


Dum de dum


Tick tock



Transit info works well on a device that focuses attention on one thing at a time.

And where the transaction cost (ie hassle) of getting additional information is low (raise your wrist and swipe).

Using a wearable app may also be safer. City dwellers are generally walking too fast, crossing streets, using stairs, jostling through crowds.

Features: the Glance

Apple Watch lets you access some information quickly by swiping up from the watch face. We’re using this opportunity to quickly display how messed up your city is, ie all the status alerts / disruptions currently active.

Yep NYC is usually pretty messed up

Features: Live Notifications

Wearables are arguably a better way to access notifications. You will find us doing some valuable things here: sending you alerts when to get off your bus or train, based on what we know about your location (when you’ve permitted us to do so).

No need to take your phone out, a gentle tap on your wrist will inform you.

We support nappers

Features: Live Departures

And of course it will be much easier to check nearby departures for buses, metros, trains and others, in real-time, right on your wrist.


Attention, votre bus part!


Mind the gap

San Francisco

Uhoh, Caltrain is late

The Wearable app is influencing the design of the mobile app

Back in the days, mobile affected the design of the web. Websites began to be created differently, to be mobile friendly, to be responsive. It hasn’t since been possible to work on the desktop web without taking mobile into account.

We’re feeling similarly about wearables. The Watch app is changing how we think about our mobile app.

Humans focus on one thing at a time. This forces us to figure out exactly what that is, where and when.

The future is so close you can almost touch it..

The latest version of Citymapper on iOS supports Apple Watch. So when you make it to the end of the long queue and eventually purchase your device, rest assure that we will be available to use, ready and working.

We will be active in all of the cities where we are live: London, Paris, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Berlin, Hamburg, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Mexico City, and others that are coming soon… and will support English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, and whatever language we learn next.

Good luck picking your strap. We recommend the green one.

Action figures sold separately

Use: Citymapper on the App Store. Contact: marketing(at) Follow: @Citymapper. Join: Go: