Feeds

Keep out of the Olympics' way, earn a haircut from TfL app

Coupons to make Londoners ditch the train for trainers

High performance access to file storage

In the race to get London's road and tube network ready for the Olympics, Transport for London has endorsed a new app called re:route: a map app with reward vouchers.

The idea is that Re:Route (on iTunes here) plans your journeys in the capital and then rewards you for taking low-carbon, calorie-burning and overburdened-public-transport-avoiding route options by dishing out vouchers.

The rewards include coupons for haircuts and spa days. Made by Groupon-for-do-gooders startup Recyclebank, the app uses TfL data and has been officially endorsed by TfL.

ReRoute app, screengrab iTunes

But £5 off M&S vouchers aside, the app has a few limitations and some teething problems that make it less useful than it could be.

Routes, but no route-planning

It's a great idea for a transport app to draw in all forms of transport, but critically for a map app, it doesn't give specific routes. It will show you the start and end points of, say, a cycle journey – but not the bits in between. A spokesperson from Recyclebank explained that it's just not a route-planning app.

The app intentionally doesn't ask for your location either, a decision which is of course better for privacy, but worse for finding your way around – though there's always Google Maps.

Re:Route sucks in travel recommendations from the Transport for London API, using the same data that TFL's web-based journey planner does. However, it doesn't yet include buses – although that data will be included before the Olympics. Until it does, some of the routes don't seem to make much sense.

While the app does get a bit creative, some of the routes are kind of weird: for example, one "Burn Calories" route from Soho to south London suggested getting on the tube for one single stop and then getting on a bike... instead of just getting on a bike.

An additional teething problem was that the app seemed to have some trouble logging short journeys. Despite jabbing the screen for all 10 minutes of a short low-carbon journey (a walk to the shops), the app failed to register where I was, where I was going, or when I arrived. Hitting Start Route had no discernible impact. We've been assured that this is a problem with short journeys and is something that the devs are looking into.

A few updates and the addition of bus info could probably fix most of these things. But currently it's a bit of a white elephant of a piece of software, though worth playing around with if you have a thing for vouchers and don't mind meandering about London, logging your trips, to clock up goodie points.

Re:Route will be available on Android just before the Olympics too. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.