Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Appy with Android Apps? [part 1]

In Search of the El Dorado of Bus Travel?
fbb has had a smart phone for about 18 months. He uses it mainly for taking photographs and receiving & sending txts. But recently No 3 son has installed K9. Now for fbb that is a robotic dog, at one time constant advisory companion to several Doctors Who.
But this telephonic K9 allows the chubby one to receive and sent emails "on the go" and thus annoy his friends, shop assistants and bus drivers by pinging annoyingly at the most awkward moments. Occasionally (nay rarely, nay very rarely) fbb used the thing to make and receive phone calls.

It is, apparently, powered by Android ...
... which, needless to say, is part of the ongoing attempt of Google at world domination.

Android is a mobile operating system currently developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android's user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gestures that loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping and pinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard for text input.

Apparently "K9" is classed as an "App". There is a diddy K9 head on the screen ...
... but there are lots of "Apps"; and a blog correspondent suggested that fbb should take a look at some of the bus users' useful information sources available on a smartphone. "You should take a look at T M Travel's App - it's really very good."

So the first move is to "download" the "App" which was surprisingly straightforward. Well, even fbb managed it! So there on your blogger's "device" is a little blob of red.
What now?

Tap it and see. There is no printed manual, no instruction screens and No. 3 son explains that smartphone users are used to prodding, swiping and squeezing to expose the contents of any App. fbb has, over the last 18 months, improved his screen swiggling skills to a point that he gets the result he expects in about 70% of the time.

But before we proceed, a word of warning. The T M Travel App has a nasty tendency to give up the ghost. In preparing this series of blogs, this screen ...
... appeared in response to one poke or prod in ten. Is that usual for an App?

Now we get a screen full of opportunity and choice.
T M Travel is a bus operator based in Halfway, Sheffield operating bus services in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Founded in 1995 as a family-owned operation with one bus, by March 2008 it had expanded to become the largest independent operator in Derbyshire. The company was taken over by the Wellglade Group (Trent) in January 2010.

Boss Phil Stockley, a colleague of fbb in a former life, is a keen technology enthusiast and is the progenitor of the App. He is a nice bloke so fbb will be careful what he says.

So let's get going. Starting top left we tap on "map" ...
... and up pops a map. Surprise, surprise! Each red blob represents a bus in motion. As with most cartographical phone stuff the map can be enlarged and slid in all directions.
This is all very jolly; we can see all of Phil Stockley's buses and watch them jiggling along the roads on the map. Big Deal. Is this useful or just entertaining?

Next heading is "Updates" ...
... which contains a Welcome. Tap the welcome and you get ...
... another Welcome.

 fbb has a nagging suspicion the a fair amount of modern technology is available because it is ... like ...

... available. The question has to be whether it delivers something that helps bus passengers.

 Maybe tomorrow we shall find something a bit more useful. 
Sheffield Changes, Sunday 3rd January
A correspondent paid a visit to Arundel Gate and the Interchange enquiry offices on Monday 4th, the day after minor but, in some cases, significant "improvements". Our man was looking for information about the changes. He writes:-

As at 1500 hours, 4 Jan, no indication of the timetable changes anywhere.

Arundel Gate : Full collection of 1 November leaflets available on self service basis.
Sheffield Interchange : Ditto available on request from the Customer Services counter.

Obviously many of these are now out of date.

Did I really expect anything else?

Thanks John for the report. It couldn't get much worse, could it?
 next app blog : Thursday 7th January 

No comments:

Post a Comment