Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seattle Bus Finder - a promising Android app

Open Seattle Bus Finder, enter the bus route that you want to track, and the GPS function actually pinpoints where the buses are at that very moment. I stand at the bus stop for the #18, for example, look at the app and see a map with my current location at the center. On the map I see that the 18 is just four blocks from where I’m standing and heading my way. Cute little bus icon. All is revealed. The bus arrives shortly thereafter. I love this.

The next time I use it, however, the map shows no buses in my vicinity. I look forward to a long wait. But to my surprise the bus arrives at that very moment and there’s no sign of it on my app map. I hate this.

I don’t know if the inconsistent performance has to do with unreliable performance of the GPS on the bus, in my phone, in the sky, or what. The app is free so I have nothing more to say except that I hope the next upgrade can deal with this. If it worked consistently, I’d definitely pay for this app. I could reliably stand on my front porch and know whether I can stroll to the bus stop or whether I should run.


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