New York MTA launches subway app with real-time train arrival info (for some lines)

new york mta launches subway app with real time train arrival infoNew Yorkers can now plan their subway journeys in a way that’ll allow them to minimize the amount of time they spend on the platform, so on a sweltering hot summer day they’ll be able to make their way from air-conditioned coffee shop to air-conditioned subway car without breaking a sweat – in theory, at least.

It’s been made possible by the Mass Transit Authority’s launch of its new (beta) Subway Time app for iOS devices that enables users to see the minute-by-minute arrival times of trains before heading into the subterranean depths of the sprawling network.

MTA chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota spoke of the new app in somewhat grandiose terms, despite the fact that it currently only covers lines 1 through 6 (as well as the S 42nd Street Shuttle) – that means information is only available for 156 of the network’s 468 stations.

“Today is the day that generations of dreamers and futurists have waited for. The ability to get subway arrival time at street level is here.” Lhota said in a release 0ver the weekend.

He continued, “The days of rushing to a subway station only to find yourself waiting motionless in a state of uncertainty are coming to an end. Now, you can know from the comfort of your home or office whether to hasten to the station, or grab a cup of coffee as part of a leisurely walk.”

The MTA said it is providing a free live stream of all arrival-time data to third-party developers “who can develop innovative ways of using that information to better serve customers on a variety of devices,” so expect an Android version before too long.

In fact, looking at its clunky interface (it’s not even optimized for the iPhone 5’s display so has black bars top and bottom) and lack of station coverage, it’s pretty obvious the MTA just wanted to launch something, anything, to get the word out about the free live stream data, encouraging other developers to put in the graft and come up with something altogether more pleasing to use.

2.5 stars

At the time of writing, the app has an average 2.5-star rating in the app store. “Come on guys, hire some talent and get it right first time,” writes one user in the review section.

“Laughable. Worst app design/usability experience you’ll probably ever see,” says another.

Among the mostly one- and two-star reviews, there were a few users looking at the offering a little more positively. “This app has a ton of potential,” said one reviewer who gave it a generous five stars. “Very good introductory release. Also nice to see the MTA working on something innovative.”

Used Subway Time? What do you make of it?

Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s ‘Refabricator’ lets astronauts recycle 3D-printed tools to make new ones

The International Space Station just received a fancy new gadget in the form of a Refabricator, a machine capable of 3D printing using recycled plastic materials. Here's how it works.
Mobile

9 million veterans can now access their health records on an iPhone

Apple announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allows as many as 9 million veterans to access their health records straight on their iPhone. The announcement could have a significant impact on veterans'…
Mobile

Need more power now? Here's how you can fast charge your iPhone

The new iPhones have almost everything an iOS addict could want -- except for a fast charger. If you need your iPhone powered back up in a hurry, here's everything you need to know to get your iPhone charged up quickly.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Mobile

The Apollo Traveller is the fastest recharging power bank we’ve ever used

Power banks are getting better all the time, but the Apollo Traveller from Elecjet hits new heights in terms of charging and recharging speeds thanks to the use of a graphene composite for cooling. Here's what happened when we tried it out.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

Get ready for new AirPods, MacBooks as rumored dates for Apple WWDC 2019 emerge

Apple developers and fans alike look forward, every year, to the company's World Wide Developer Conference, WWDC, and for this year, we already have the rumored dates that might bring us Apple's latest tech announcements.
Computing

This Mac keyboard is slim, dark, and clicky, but it’s still not perfect

There aren't many great mechanical keyboards for Macs. The Keychron K1 is just the latest attempt to join that hallowed group, but does its blend of style and substance tick all the boxes?
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

One of these monitors will look great next to your new MacBook Pro

Apple doesn't make its beloved Cinema Display monitors anymore, which makes finding the best monitor for the MacBook Pro more difficult. In this guide, we break down some of our favorites and offer something for every size and budget.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.