Never miss your train or your stop again with this useful Android app
Finding the fastest train when you're on the move can be a tricky business if there are changes to make. And it gets even worse if, once you're on the train, you're not sure if it stops at the right station. The National Rail app for Android puts the full timetable in your hand and is much easier to use than the National Rail website on a mobile browser.
The app is easy to install from the Google Play app and at 1.55MB on our test phone won't take long to download even over the mobile phone network.
The permissions are reasonable. The only one that caught our eye was the ability to disable the keylock. Potential security problem though that might be, the last thing you want to have to do is enter your password again while running for a train.
Other permissions include: preventing the phone from sleeping, full internet access, reading the phone state and identity and location from GPS and network, controlling the vibrator, and setting an alarm.
When the app starts, you can set your home and work station. Once that is done, the 'Get me home' option can be used for a quick automatic journey planner home.
The other program tabs include live train running information, the full journey planner and the settings.
The app costs nothing to install but it is ad-supported. The ads are not too intrusive, but £5 to remove them isn't too expensive either.
The geolocation works well and means that when you click on the 'from' button in the journey planner the list of possible stations is based on how close the stations are rather than an alphabetical order. The station search shows the most likely choices as you type, making the process quick and reducing the possibility of making mistakes.
Results appear quickly and it's easy to change the times of the trains displayed or look for more information.
Route information about trains also includes icons to show when trains divide. Sadly, this didn't include which section of the train was going where but at least it ensures you'll be listening out for the announcements.
The 'Wake me up' button sets the phone alarm to go off five minutes (by default – this can be changed) before the train is due to arrive at the station. This is ideal for those of us who use the train as a chance to take 40 winks.
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An essential app for regular train users with an Android phone
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