Rating: BlackBerry & WP7 users must use 3rd party apps
How about this? In only 10 weeks over a million Brits have installed the official National Rail Enquiries (NRE) free smartphone app since its launch in May 2012. This instantly makes it one of the most popular travel apps in the UK. It’s even more remarkable since the app is only available for iOS and Android users. Tough luck BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone (W7 Mango) owners. Anyway, GoMobile News can exclusively reveal that the split in the usage base is 7:3 in favour of the iPhone with 70.5 per cent of downloads being iOS and the remaining 29.5 per cent being Android. The NRE is also a prime example of a mobile app which successfully leverages geolocation capabilities.The introduction of the app came at a price for some developers. They were advised that they are no longer be able to use the National Rail logo to identify their app in the app stores.
However, NRE continues to license information from its Darwin real time system to developers – many of whom have already brought successful apps to market.
Interestingly, although the NRE app can be downloaded for free, an advert-free upgrade is also available for £4.99. There’s also a TV app for Samsung, LG and Phillips TVs.
The app utilises geolocation technology so that passengers can quickly find their nearest station.
Usefully, instant alerts are still pushed out via SMS even when app isn’t running.
GoMobile News particularly likes this feature – a ‘wake-me-up’ alarm which alerts passengers at their final destination.
How many passengers have avoided over-shooting their stop using that, we wonder?
“Over one million people have downloaded the app in just a few weeks, demonstrating we are giving customers the information they need, in the way they want it,” argues Chris Scoggins, CEO with NRE.
He adds, “We are constantly seeking feedback from our customers and will continue to develop our services to provide passengers with innovative tools to access real time information about rail travel in the UK.”
Hmm. Sounds like Windows Phone (W7 Mango) and BlackBerry OS owners ought to try complaining, then.
Their current alternatives include real time information through NRE’s mobile website http://m.nationalrail.co.uk and live updates through its many Twitter feeds.
Alternatively, they can visit this page to find details of third party WP7 and BlackBerry apps using NRE data feeds.
Avid GoMobile readers with long memories will remember that NRE’s relationships with mobile app developers weren’t always so cosy.
Read ‘UK railways trumpets its data licensing’ here.
© Dollargate Publishing 2012. All rights reserved.