Best iPhone Apps for Londoners

Londoners have a tough time getting around the capital, with 7.5 million people moving around during the day there are bound to be some problems with public transport, on the roads and in emergencies. Luckily, to soothe your day a tiny bit below are some of the best Applications for Londoners with iPhones.

This article is from 2009, an updated article from 2013 is available here.

TubeDeluxe  (£0.59) - This application is the best transport app around for any city in the world. It gives you live status updates (including via Push Notifications if you enable the feature), station closures and service messages, a tube map (in both landscape and portrait), journey planning (works perfectly when offline), live departure boards so can check how long it is until the next few trains from pretty much every station, Timetables (first trains, now, and last trains) and weekend line closures. What more could you need?

London Bus, Tube and Rail Journey Planner (£0.59) - This fantastic application integrates with the TfL Journey Planner, you can locate your nearest stops, available routes and feed this into the journey planner or specify To and From locations or enter a postcode or an address, you can save your favourite routes and areas, whilst in transit you can track where you are along the route and follow your progress towards your destination and you can look up timetables for bus stops. There are 599 routes covered, 20000+ bus stops, 500+ Tube and Rail stations and real time TfL journey planning.

National Rail enquiries (£4.99) - As a matter of principal no-one should download this application in my opinion because National Rail forced Apple to remove all the other applications that did the same thing saying it violated their terms of service, a few weeks later they released this application for £5 to capitalise on people's need of it. However, as many people will need it - here are its features: Journey planning for single and return journeys across the whole UK rail network, with departure platform information (where available), you'll be told about delays and cancellations when searching for trains and be given alternatives, live departures and arrivals at all National Rail stations in the UK with live train progress, add multiple stations to the application's home screen to one-touch access to their live departures, automatically find your nearest stations and the 'Next Train Home' finds your nearest station and plans the quickest journey home.

London Mini A-Z (£5.99) - Essentially this is the whole London A-Z on your iPhone and this has a search function which is easier than searching in the index for streets. The one major problem, which may be fixed in the future by an update, is that when you are searching for streets you must type them exactly as they appear on the map, so if you were searching for "Great Street", roads that are on the map as "Gt. Street" (abbreviated) would no appear. After a while you may get used to this limitation and remember that instaed of typing "Gardens" you may have to type "Gdn" or "Gdns". There is no need for an Internet connection which is a big plus. If you do have GPS enabled you can find your location on the map which is rather useful.

Tube Exits (£1.79) - Ever wanted to know where the station exit is and on what carriage you should get on? Tube Exits has the answer. It can also tell you what carriage to get on for the nearest interchange to other lines saving you valuable time, especially in peak hours and will even tell you what side the doors will open on. No internet connection required. You can also plan journeys using the app.

iRefund (£0.59) - Have you ever been delayed by the Tube for more than 15 minutes? Then you are probably entitled to a refund (refunds cannot be made if the delay is beyond TfL or its contractors control such as: security alerts, third party action or adverse weather conditions. This also applies to service changes alerted in advance. For all other situations, you are entitled to a full refund, but this can be time consuming so the App does everything for you. When the delay starts, open the app and tell it, when it is over, tell it the delay has finished - the details are saved. Once back above ground click to submit. Your Oyster card, address, name  and other static details are only needed once and will be saved for all future claims. Literally, in under 30 seconds, you can be claiming your refund. It also keeps track of your claim history so you can cross-reference the claims that you have yet to be paid for. Best of all with just one refund the App has paid for itself! A definite must for londoners. (The image of the App on the top left has changed to one of a train lately)

However, some of these Applications have free alternatives which are just as good for no cost at all. Here they are below:

Tube Pro (usually £1.19) - This is essentially the exact same Application as Tube Exits above, but for free. It worked perfectly on the routes I tried. It is only free until 1st November 2009, so get your skates on!

Thetrainline - This is a free alternative to the National Rail Enquiries app but with no live departures or platform info, it only has timetables (which are available offline) and the 'Next Train Home' feature, as well as the ability to locate the stations which are closest to you.

London Tube Status - Check the status of the tube lines live. All the tube lines are covered.

Tube Board Free - Check how long until the next tube arrives, live and free. This covers pretty much every London Underground station. A premium ad-free version is available which also offers a favourites function.

Google Maps - It's already on your iPhone but it essentially is the A-Z but always updated (and free) but requires an internet connection although some maps can be saved (cached), to do this, visit the location where you want the map to appear for with Wifi/3G on, then you can open up that map at any time without an internet connection.

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