At the critical mass ride a couple of weeks ago I got a chance to speak with Alex who is developing the London Cycle Hire app. He told me how he built the application on his train commute into work just to use it as a bit of a case study for work. I was pleased to hear he already had a working version and I had a play around with it.
The Cycle Hire app will be available for free and be possible to use both on the iPhone and on the iPod Touch. Obviously with the iPod Touch having slightly more limited functionality.
Within the application you will be able to locate bikes either using the GPS, near London’s stations or near a popular London attraction. I like the simple interface and the icons Alex has created. Apparently he simply drew them out on a piece of paper and scanned them in.
Another cool function that Alex is adding is details of each station and how many bikes are available. This will stop you walking over to a station just to discover there are no bikes.
Apparently he has already been contacted by TfL who are very interested in the app and how it is progressing. All we need to do now is wait for the Cycle Hire scheme to “go live” on the 30th of July.
Screenshots of the Cycle Hire app
What about us non-iPhone users?
On Friday night I cycled over to Notting Hill for a few beers. On the table everyone had their phones laid out. There was a 50/50 split between iPhones and Blackberry’s. We soon proceeded to show off what apps we had downloaded. My favourite was one girl who had a page simply for her boyfriend with all the seedy apps!
But what about all the non-iPhone users out there? Well, I’ve currently not heard anything about any kind of Blackberry or Android app. However, this would clearly make sense for someone to develop. If you hear anything about an app in development then let me know.
In the mean time, head over to the Cycle Hire app website and sign up to their mail list to be told when the app becomes available.