APP OF THE DAY: UK Bus Times review (Android)

We've mentioned bus apps before. Why, you might ask, are we so obsessed with them? Well, the answer, dear reader, is that buses are Satan's own work and we need all the help we can get to overpower their forces of evil.

For example, there are certain bus stops, even in the heart of London, where if you miss a bus by a few seconds, you'll be standing around in the cold, rain and murderous suburbs for 20 minutes waiting for the next one to arrive. This is irksome in the extreme, but the good news is, it can be averted.

UK Bus Times

Platform
Android

Price
Free

Where
Google Play

Also, our previous looks have been a bit London-centric. That's partly because the London system has a single API for developers to use, but also because most apps seem to focus on the capital. Well good news, UK Bus Times is national, and that's very cool indeed.

We used the app in a squall of rain in Brighton after visiting the Sea Life centre - don't bother, it's far too expensive and there's not enough to see. There was more rain falling outside than there was water in tanks inside, so we needed to time our sprint, child in hand, to the bus stop to the minute. We failed, but that wasn't the app's fault.

Like most of these apps, it's a simple enough process to find stops close to you. You can search for them by location, postcode or near where you are. This is terrific if you're in an unfamiliar area. It will tell you the destinations of buses from each stop, and how soon they're expected.

When we tried it, it was very accurate but we can't vouch for how it performs in rush hour when buses start to get delayed. The accuracy, of course, depends very much on the information bus companies allow people to access.

You can set favourites too, which is handy if you're a frequent traveller. There aren't a huge number of options, it's really just about the data and making sure you can clearly see what options you have for transport where you are. We like that, and it's a basic but clear interface.

The only downsides we noticed were that you have to manually refresh the map if you move to a new area. Small niggle, but it might lead you to conclude that there are no bus stops at all, if you didn't know that you needed to refresh.

All-in-all, this is a must-have app. It's free, and it will make the satanic ritual of bus travel that little bit easier. And there's no need to sell your soul to pay for it.



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