My iPhone Homescreen: Transit 3.0

HDM Transit for iPhone

I think there are really only two transit apps worth using: RocketMan and Transit.

I used RocketMan for quite a while because it was the first transit app on my radar, and it was also the most accurate by a long shot. I owe RocketMan a big Thank You for all of the times it saved me from waiting for a bus in the snow, but I do think it’s too utilitarian and blunt in its visual design. Once I realized that there were such things as transit apps for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), I started searching the App Store for alternatives.

HDM Transit for iPhone-2

Transit is the app I’ve ended up sticking with. It’s a gorgeous UI style that’s usually reserved for Twitter apps, but it works beautifully for navigating transit lines. The main screen is composed of timers for each of the closest transit routes (e.g. the 505 East will arrive in 9 minutes, the 63 North will arrive in 10 minutes). A quick swipe on the 505 East route will switch the direction and show me the ETA for the next Westbound streetcar, and tapping on a route shows the arrival times for the next three streetcars.

Transit is also smart about showing me the routes I care about. It remembers that I tend to take the 505 East when I’m near Queen and Ossington, but that I prefer to take it West when I’m near Queen and Bathurst. It’s little touches like this that make the app such a pleasure to use.

HDM Transit for iPhone-3

I don’t spend very much time using Transit, and I think that’s one of the highest compliments I could pay the app designers. The design is so efficient, the information all so clearly laid out, that the app feels effortless to use. I load Transit app a few times per day, check out the soonest ETAs, and then decide how I’d like to proceed. I love it.