One of the best ways to travel around London is on the Tube Network. By giving you quick access to every part of the city its a transport network many commuters couldn’t live without. However, for newcomers to London the Tube can feel like a complicated arrangement. With different lines and hundreds of stations its not hard to be confused.
When I’m in London the only choice for me is Tube Map. With its extensive detail and navigational features it makes the whole experience far easier. Read on to find out more!
If you’ve ever been to London there is a strong chance you’ve experienced a trip on the Tube. By transporting thousands of people around the busy city its an invaluable network. For newcomers to the service you would often pick up a Tube map and then plan your route. However, I feel the time has come that commuters should ditch the flimsy paper copy and start navigating on their mobile devices.
Navigating Around The Application
After downloading and opening the application you’ll be faced with a complete Tube Map. From this screen you can find stations, lines and locations which you’re aiming for. The map is fully interactive too, so clicking on a certain place will take you to more information. There will also be a link to Bing Maps at the bottom of the page which gives you the chance to see where the station is in relation to London.
The first button at the bottom is “Lines.” Here you’ll be able to see the status of the thirteen different lines. This is indicated by telling you whether there is closures or good service. You also choose whether you would like to view the status of the lines now, for later or for the coming weekend. Giving you the opportunity to plan your route around the closures.
Going back the main page your second option is called “Route,” and as the name suggests, this is the part of the app which plans your route for you. This process is really simple, only requiring you to select a start station, destination station and journey options — the two options are “fastest” and “fewest changes.” After inputting your information you can tap calculate.
Almost instantly the app will then provide you with a suggested route. The route I put in was Acton Town to All Saints, selecting the fastest route. I’m instantly informed that the estimated journey time is 49 minutes, it passes through 18 stations and over three different lines. Below that I’m given a full run through of where I need to change lines.
It was this route calculator which really made Tube map invaluable to me. With its quick service I never need to worry about how to navigate around the Tube again.
The third option on your main page is called “Find,” and lets you find a specific station. After selecting a station the map will highlight the one I clicked, making it easier to locate. The final option on the main page allows you to see the departure boards from a certain station and line.
Integration With Your Oyster Card
When riding on the Tube you’ll soon notice nearly everyone using blue cards to pay for their rides, an Oyster Card. For those that don’t know, this is a card which makes traveling around London far easier. One thing I really liked about this app is that you can link your Oyster card to the application.
After linking your card you can then view an instant balance to find out how much you have remaining. This integration is fantastic and it even allows you to pin your Oyster balance to your start screen with a live tile — making the process of checking your balance far simpler.
Tube Map Pro
Tube Map is available for Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and 8, however, there is also a Windows 8 specific version called Tube Map Pro. This costs £0.79 and removes the advertisements from the application. And to be honest, the advertisements do get really annoying. They take up quite a big section at the top of the screen and you definitely notice them.
However, I would only recommend the Pro version for regular Tube travelers. For the people who travel less often the free version will be sufficient. It possesses all the same abilities and you probably won’t notice the adverts as much.
Why I Use Tube Map
Probably the most important reason I chose Tube Map over other similar apps is because the app still works when you have no internet connection. The first time I visited London I used a different application and as soon as I descended on the station my connection depleted completely. Leaving me with a useless app and no idea where to go.
However, that problem isn’t a problem with Tube Map and you can still form routes or view the map without any connection to the internet. This, along with other great features made this the only viable choice for me.
As I’ve stated above, Tube Map is the only app I would ever use to help me navigate around London’s underground. With its readily accessible map, station information, route tracker and offline mode the app successfully ticks all of my boxes.
Tube Map is continually being updated too, I can’t wait to see what else is done to improve this fantastic application!
Thanks for reading! How do you get around the Tube network? Still using an old-fashioned map or have you started using a mobile app? Let us know below.