What is it with this week and the New York City Subway?

First, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) launched MTA Subway Time. Then, Subway Surfers kicked off its world tour with a virtual trip through the NYC Subway. And now, here comes NextStop – NYC Subway with a significant update.

Actually, NextStop’s new update has everything to do with MTA Subway Time and practically nothing to do with Subway Surfers. But then again, that should come as no surprise at all, given that both NextStop and MTA Subway Time deal with the real subway, while Subway Surfers deals with the virtual one.

MTA Subway Time was released to serve a particular purpose: to display the exact train arrival times for selected routes of the New York City subway system.

While MTA Subway Time is undoubtedly well-intentioned, it is noticeably lacking in the graphics and usability department.

Fortunately, the API that makes MTA Subway Time’s core feature possible has been made available by the MTA to third-party developers. One such developer is Pliable Matter, which has already integrated that API in the latest version of NextStop.

NextStop – NYC Subway

Just like MTA Subway Time, NextStop is able to show the real-time arrival times on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and Grand Central Shuttle lines.

In addition, the app displays a dot next to the countdown to indicate which type of information the arrival estimate is based on.

The dot is green when the estimate is based on recent real-time information, yellow when based on older real-time information (between five and 10 minutes old), and gray when based on MTA’s published schedules.

The new version of NextStop is also able to use geofencing. As such, it can automatically download the latest real-time information as you enter a subway station so that you have recent information available on the platform.

Optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later, NextStop – NYC Subway is currently available in the App Store for the discounted price of $1.99.

The new version of the app also features the latest schedule data and maps from the MTA.