San Francisco BART Navigation Apps For The iPhone
Macworld 2011 is less than two weeks away and one great way to travel in San Francisco is through the BART subway system. If you are not familiar with the different stops you will need an app for that. This AppGuide will help you pick out the best BART app for your iPhone.
If you are looking for an app that does it all, this is it. The app includes the majority of the data offline. The maps, trips you plan, and train schedules are saved right onto your device. The real time arrival information is the only info that needs an Internet connection to use. The app includes the best interface of all of the BART apps showcased in this guide. The app also includes advisories to alert you of any broken trains or delays. The trip planner is very fast and easy to use. iBART Live will even let you know how much money it will cost. If you take certain trips frequently you can save them to your favorite trips list. The app also includes a system map that you can browse at any time. If you are in need of a truly great BART app, this is it.
BART Live Arrivals PRO
BART Live Arrivals Pro makes getting from point A to point B a snap. The app features a mixture of locally stored data and data that you need a 3G or EDGE connection to access. The maps are all stored on your device, which is a great thing to have in this city. The interface is absolutely dead simple and easy to operate even when trying to catch the train. The app includes walking directions to help you get to the station on time. The app also lets you set your favorite train stations and includes a tourist mode to help out newbies to the city. The app also includes some nice backend to help when your Internet connection is going in and out. The combination of a great interface and features make it a real winner. If you want an alternative to iBART Live, this is a great choice.
NextTrain BART - AR
Next Train provides one very cool bit of functionality … augmented reality. If you use the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, then simply pointing your camera in front of you will show you were the nearest BART station is. The great thing about this is that you can just be using your iPhone and let this feature guide you to your station. The app also features an alphabetical listing of all the stations, quick access to the nearest station, favorite stations and the BART map. The app will also pull down arrival times. The app is not the best for those that need directions, but it is a very cool alternative to those more familiar with the city.
Routesy Pro Bay Area San Francisco Muni, BART, Caltrain, AC Transit
Routesy Pro for the Bay Area includes information on the Muni, BART, Caltrain and AC Transit. So beyond traveling with BART, this app provides access to the other popular public transit options. The interface is simple and easy to use. The app also provides live data on when your train or bus will arrive. The app can help you plan out a trip within San Francisco and includes both directions and a map. However, it may be wise to preload your travel plans before leaving a Wi-Fi zone in this city.
Another good option for BART travelers is the iTransit Guru app. The app features a built in timer to awake you before your train arrives. The app also integrates with Google Maps and Yelp to provide some extra functionality, such as food near your stop. The app does include offline train schedules and advisories. The app does allow you to set favorites and includes directions to assist those unfamiliar with the area. Overall the app is pretty good, but does not compete with the Essential apps.
Those that want a free option can download BART map. The app is dead simple. The app features a single page where you can see the map of the BART. The map is stored right on your device to make it easy to use anywhere. If you simply need a map of the BART this is a wonderful free option.
iTransitBuddy - BART
ITransitBuddy provides a nice and simple interface to build different trips. The app is designed around the concept, "I want to start here and end up at my destination". The app will help you get to where you need to go. The app also features a trip planning feature to help you plan everything out in advance. The app also has a "favorite" feature. The one drawback of the app is that it does cost $0.99 every year you want to use the app. The other apps in this guide do not have this requirement and many of them offer even better features.
This app is more for the commuter who is familiar with the area. The app does not assist you in knowing which stops to get off at. There is no trip planning or anything like that. The app does include the Muni, AC Transit, and the BART. The app lets you set favorite stops and routes. The app is fairly basic in functionality. The app is too limited currently to be something we would recommend.