back to article Reading punts free mobile info service

Reading Borough Council has launched a free service for locals and visitors interested in live information on buses, parking spaces and even cinema times, all through a mobile phone application. The app comes from mxData, which already provides a similar service to people living in York, Sheffield, Birmingham and Stratford Upon …

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A triumph

Great case of good idea done poorly. Most of this information could be done on a simple mobile website - why do I have to download an app? The UI is so poor and is a struggle to easily navigate. With a small screensize available, people should really put more effort into the UI. I'm technical and have already given up.

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Lee
Joke

Will it help me get off the IDR?

or will I become forever trapped in The Oracle?

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just tried it on my old Nokia 6288

aaaaand - out of memory error! Oh well, back to Opera Mini and a bit of gumption.

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Ha!

People don't visit Reading!

Not if they can avoid it anyway. So I suppose high-tech access to bus times is fairly useful for anyone that fnds themselves stranded..

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Don't try to use this

to find post offices in Sheffield. You will be sadly disappointed.

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Great Potential Poorly Realised

I live in Reading, and have been using this application for a couple of days on a Nokia S60 phone. Under it's default settings, it prompts for permission to send/receive data FAR too frequently - I counted ten requests just to show cinema times! However, this was easily remedied by altering the Network Access settings in Nokia's Application Manager so that the application only asks for permission once.

The application's interface is list-based, and feels five years old. While it is rather laborious to use, everything loads fast, and once the order of the menus has been learned, it is just about bearable. Over a WLAN connection, all data and images loads instantaneously. I've found the train times and ATM finder to be particularly useful, and being able to view the CCTV cameras overlooking key junctions throughout the city, and see which car parks have spaces, has saved me time and aggravation.

I think this application is a mediocre implementation of a fantastic concept, I hope they're working on updating the interface!

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Anonymous Coward

Mobile website

Good idea but why not create a mobile friendly website for this instead of an app? That way it will be accessible to a wider range of phones makes and models and visitors to Reading won't have to remember to download the app before they go.

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Unhappy

Worries

The application is interested. Looks like it links straight into google maps. But I found it unreliable, it kept dropping the connection.

If it's paid for with advertising, then it's not really free, is it?

I didn't see any warnings about data costs, but then I didn't see any adverts either :)

I notice there's no privacy policy available on the site. Can a company based on advertising revenue be trusted with your mobile number if they're not prepared to tell you what they might do with it?

I'll wait and see.

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Reading - why not sort out the roads first dingbats???

They're currently trying to reorganise the roads in a car-hating dipstick way that no-one wants.

The parking is done in such a way that their own staff don't understand it and frequently tow away vehicles that have permits.

The only way to get to the city centre disabled parking if you live on the wrong side of the city without going around the whole town is to ignore a left-turn only sign on a road that has traffic that goes both ways.

They hate cars and obviously don't live in the city they govern.

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Alert

I have a bad feeling about this...

... and it has to do with the Road Pricing initiative in Reading, which was allegedly dropped..

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