10 brilliant iPhone apps for commuters
23rd Oct 2009 | 12:00
Be on time and in the right place with these handy iPhone apps
Commuting is undoubtedly the most frustrating aspect of working life for many people.
Getting stuck in traffic jams or hit by delays to trains can be a major headache, but these things are avoidable if you have access to the right information.
And if you've an iPhone or iPad about your person, there's an app that can help you get where you're supposed to be, on time, whether you're travelling by car, train or the Tube.
1. TomTom (£59.99 for UK & Ireland version)
It took a while, but the kings of sat-nav arrived on the App Store this summer with a set of apps whose polish puts the company's standalone units to shame.
TechRadar's TomTom for iPhone review noted that the TomTom app sometimes struggles in built-up areas, but the TomTom car kit should deal with that shortcoming. It's just a pity about the hefty overall price of the solution.
2. CoPilot Live (£25.99 for UK & Ireland version)
It might be a cheaper alternative to TomTom's range of apps, but CoPilot isn't some dodgy bargain-basement offering. In fact, TechRadar's reviewer preferred Co-Pilot to TomTom's iPhone app, enjoying its clear UI and road display (including impressive 'realistic' motorway exits), and the strong feature set. The keyboard has also now been updated to the standard iPhone model.
3. Fuel Prices UK (£4.99)
With petrol prices again on the rise, it pays to know where the most affordable fuel can be purchased. Fuel Prices UK locates garages near your current location, showing prices on a sliding scale, although you can't search other locations nor see exact prices for each garage. The app's at least immediate and doesn't require a log-in. However, the description notes that it's "purchased from the App Store on an annual subscription basis".
4. PetrolPrices Pro (£2.99)
A cheaper alternative to Fuel Prices UK, PetrolPrices Pro comes from the team behind petrolprices.com.
The app is very flexible, and although it automatically searches for petrol stations near to your location, it also enables postcode and town searches. Furthermore, the results list is superior to the one in Fuel Prices UK, displaying garage brands and prices. Note, though, that the app requires a petrolprices.com account and an in-app subscription purchase after the first year.
5. Traffic Info (free)
By turning the traffic incidents feed provided by the Highways Agency into a usable app, Traffic Info becomes a must-have install for car-based commuters lacking traffic info on a sat-nav. The most recent update adds a map showing where major incidents are, along with your current location.
6. iFlight UK (£0.59)
Whether you're rushing to meet a colleague or darting off to foreign climes for an important meeting, iFlight UK should appeal.
Its streamlined interface provides access to arrivals and departures information for nine major UK airports, and the listings can be filtered by flight number or location.
7. National Rail Enquiries (£4.99)
It's fast and efficient, enabling you to plan journeys, view station departures, and tap the screen once to find the 'next train home'. For more, see our review.
8. London Tube Deluxe (£0.59)
It almost seems insulting to only pay the developer 59p for the wonderful London Tube Deluxe.
Along with a map and status updates, you get an offline journey planner, a tool for finding your nearest station (the app provides services for finding your way there), timetables, and optional live status updates via push notification. For a fiver, this'd be a bargain; at its current price, London Tube Deluxe is a steal.
9. Tube Exits (£1.79)
You might be questioning the point of another Tube app being in this list after the previous entry, but Tube Exits justifies its place purely on a time-saving basis, by recommending which carriages to board to arrive by platform exits.
With this info, you can beat the crowds - essential if you're on a tight schedule. The app also bundles a 'shortest journey calculator' and, where available, information about street exits for once you reach your destination.
10. Weather Pro (£2.39)
Regardless of your preferred form of transport during your commute, the weather has the potential to influence your journey time substantially.
Apple's own Weather app provides basic forecasting, but Weather Pro is far more informative. You get highly detailed forecasts for the coming week, along with useful radar and satellite imagery.
Liked this? Then check out our bumper list of 10 essential iPhone and iPod touch apps for web designers
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