Monday, 14 March 2011


Discovering just how late my train is
(taken before the piece was written)
Just occasionally I find an iPhone app that's so good I want to bleat on about it. I recently highlighted Evernote, of which I am growing increasingly fond. I'm writing this on a train to Cardiff (we've just arrived at Bristol Parkway if you're interested), yet when I get home it will be waiting for me on my desktop PC, without my doing anything, ready to copy straight into my blog.

But the app I want to rave about a little is the UK railway timetable app shown here (I know, not much use if you are in New York, but hey). It's one of the few apps I've paid for and I don't resent a penny.

Of course it does the obvious things like looking up train times, but there's so much more. I can check departure boards at any station. I can choose one of those trains and see just how it's progressing. I can even ask for the next  train home from 'here' with a single touch.

What's more I can think of so many clever ways it could be even better. At the moment, if I'm leaving from Paddington, I stand with hundreds of others watching the departure boards, waiting for a platform to be announced, then get trampled in the rush. Imagine instead I could set an alert on a particular train on the board. The app could then monitor it and signal when a platform has been displayed. I could go and have a coffee without hovering by the boards. The opportunities are manifold.

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