Australian developer, Nick Maher, chats to ARN about his Sydney-centric public transport app

Cost: $2.99 | Developer: Nick Maher | Platform: iPhone/ Android | Version 3.1 | 2.1 MB | iOS 3.0+

Anybody who relies on the public transport in Sydney will attest to how tricky in can be sometimes to catch the right train or bus at the right time, but TripView is here to make the process a little bit simpler.

The mobile app contains train, bus and ferry timetable data for Sydney that is easily accessible through a quick and simple user interface that shows when the next service is, as well as full timetables for those who want to see the schedule for the entire day.

The app is the brainchild of Australian developer, Nick Maher, whose background in software development, mainly in financial markets and briefly in the games industry, prompted him to get into smart phone development.

“It's always been a bit of a hobby as well and I do a fair bit of programming in my spare time,” Maher said.

Originally developed as a simple version for Java-based mobile phones back in 2007, TripView in its current form came about following the introduction of Apple’s eponymous smart phone.

“TripView was really just an app that I wanted to use myself,” Maher said.

“When the iPhone was released in Australia in 2008, it looked like it was going to be big, so I bought one mainly to port TripView to it.”

While TripView is already popular on smart phone devices such as iPhone, Maher is exploring the possibility of porting to tablet devices.

“I've done some prototyping on the iPad, and it's likely there will be a tablet version at some point,” Maher said.

“The main focus will probably always be on phones though, just because of the nature of the app of being used when you're on the go.”

When looking at the future of TripView, Maher still has a long list of features he'd like to add to the app and has been trying to prioritise them according to user demand, and there might also be good news for users of Microsoft’s smart phone offering.

“I've also been playing around with Windows Phone 7 a bit, and it seems like a cool platform to develop for,” Maher said.

“If I port to another platform, it's probably next in line.”

When asked about what it takes for a smartphone app to stand out in today’s competitive market place, Maher suggests to keep it to the basics.

“I'd say keep it simple, just try and do one thing really well,” Maher said.

“A bit of graphical polish doesn't hurt either.”

Pros: Comprehensive and easy to access time tables of Sydney’s public transport system.

Cons: Still no tablet edition but hopefully one is forthcoming in the future

Verdict: With regular updates to TripView’s timetables and the data stored locally on the phone, nullifying the need for a live network connection, TripView is an indispensable app for anyone living or visiting the Sydney area.

Get it here: Apple's App Store

Got a favourite app? Email our appmeister, Patrick Budmar, your review or the name of the app you would like to see reviewed.

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