Android Travel Apps for the London Olympics – Travel Development

For those of you planning to visit London for the Olympics, may be daunted by the number of travel facilities on offer. However, there are a number travel applications for your Android phone that will help you get around London easier.London offer trains, buses and even bikes to the commuter, and London Transport has embraced IT fully, so up to the minute information can be viewed through the web browser. They also make this information accessible to 3rd party applications, which many Android developers have taken advantage of.The Best Application for each method of transport is listed belowLondon Underground: Journey ProLondon has two types of train services National Rail (aka mainline, overground), covering all of UK, and the Underground, which covers just London. A large part of the infrastructure runs under ground, hence the name. It is also sometimes referred to as the Tube. For the Underground we recommend Journey Pro.Journey Pro starts by displaying a scrollable tube/rail map in its main screen, covering all of London. By clicking on stations, you can then set the start or end points of your journey. You can then decide if you want to start your journey straight away, or at some point in the future. It then lists various journey options you can take, such as train and/or buses, together with the estimated times for each one. The routes that it offers can be a combination of trains, buses, trams, etc., so you can decide which one is best for you. What makes this application excel though, is that it shows you what platform and specific carriage to get on to for each train. Useful if you need to change lines during your journey.National Rail: Rail Planner LiveNetwork Rail runs the overground lines, and created their own application called Rail Planner Live. It is a useful application if you want to travel outside of London as it covers all of the UK. Using this application you can find out your train routes and times, all times are live.The developers designed this application for people who commute daily between two locations, e.g. between your hotel and Stratford station, the station is right next to the Olympic village. Once it knows this information, it is only a button click to find out the live departures times.But the best feature we found about this application the widget. The widget allows you to view the status of the trains between two stations, typically the trains that would take to and from work. It shows what times the trains are departing, and what platform, if it is delayed, or on time. So finding out when the next train is departing is quick and easily accessible. What’s more, the widget can automatically use your geo-location to swap the departing and destination stations.Buses: Bus CheckerBus Checker taps into London Transports databases that holds information on where bus stops are, what bus routes are covered by the bus stop, and live information on when the bus will be arriving. The Olympics will be a busy time for the transport services, so having more than one way to get to the Village will be prudent.Starting up Bus Checker will display a map of your current location, with the nearest bus stops around as icons. Clicking on a bus stop icon will display the live timetable for that stop. In addition, on the same screen, you can highlight a Bus number, and Bus Checker will display the route on a list or map, so you will know if you bus stops where you want.Bicycles: Cycle Hire WidgetIf you prefer a bit of exercise, and do not like the idea of getting on a crowded train or bus, then for short journeys a bike may be a pleasant option, through Barclays Cycle hire.The cycle hire system works a bit different from normal hiring systems. Scattered across London are depots with a number of bikes locked into a stand. You a pay a fee, starting at 1 pound a day, to gain access to the bikes for 24 hours. You can then take a bike from one depot to another for your journey. If your journey is less than 30 minutes, then it is free, otherwise you credit card is charged..Although this is very cost effective, there is a problem. Sometimes the depots are full, that is, there are no available stands for you to lock your bike into. So would be great, would be an application that told you if the depot had cycles available to use, and any slots free to return your bike.This is the functionality that Cycle Hire widget offers. You can easily find the nearest depot to you by using the on screen map, or the handy widget.