Review: Buses Due
Buses Due has a limited user base - you need to be in London, and you need to be looking to catch a bus. If you fit into that group, then this free application from Lama Apps is for you.
Version Reviewed: 220.127.116.11
Using travel data supplied through Travel for London's APIs, the app knows all the bus stops in the UK's capital, it knows which buses depart from each stop, and it can pull down real time data through those APIs to let you know when the next buses are due and where they are heading.
Picking up on the geo-location data from your Windows Phone, Buses Due will bring up a map of the stops closest to you, and highlight the direction of travel from each stop - which is far more useful than having a simple dot in the middle of the map. Once you step out of central London you might need to walk some distance to get to a stop, in which case the turn by turn directions will kick in to guide you to the stop.
If you'd rather look to another destination, then you can either scroll the map if you know where the destination is (and then hit the 'stops here' menu button), or use the search box to zero in on somewhere in London.
For roaming around the city, Buses Due will get the job done, but the main strength is when you know your regular routes, such as the commute to and from your work. You can 'favourite' any bus stop, and have the data about the departures at that stop available instantly, without needing the search or geo-location services to kick in. You can also pin a bus stop to your home screen as a live tile for quick access to the bus stop data.
Buses Due is not a game changer in terms of functionality, there are a number of bus trackers available in the Windows Store. But I like the locality of Buses Due. It's not trying to pull in data from everywhere, it's simply focused on London. I like my apps to have focus. It wouldn't surprise me if the developers are using this every day, and if that's the case then they're far more likely to spot the errors that only locals will pick up on.
It also fits in well with the rest of the Windows Phone user interface. Live Tile support is very much welcome, giving fast access when on a well travelled route, it's easy to navigate through the panoramas and menus, and it recognises the chosen theme and spot colours you prefer.
A simple task well done, presenting itself well on Windows Phone, with form and function working together. Windows Phone could do worse than have many more applications that follow the same strategy as Buses Due.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at