SBS Transit IRIS iPhone App

There’s quite a number of iPhone App out there that checks Singapore bus arrival timing. Even the gothere.sg app also allows users to check bus arrival timing. So it kinda puzzled me when I discovered that SBS Transit release their own iPhone App that lets you check bus arrival timing. But why? There’s already tons of 3rd party Apps out there.
I know some of the 3rd party bus arrival iPhone App are quite badly done. But there are also a couple of good ones out there. So why did SBS Transit waste their time and effort to create an iPhone App themselves? Is it better than the rest?

The SBS Transit IRIS iPhone App use GPS to locate and list all the bus stops around you. User can filter the list by distance (0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 KM). Or you can locate the bus stop using a map. I prefer locating the bus stop using the map. It’s much easier and less prone to mistakes.

The Bus Stop page will show you all the SBS Transit bus that is servicing that bus stop. It display the terminating interchange/bus stop, next and subsequent bus arriving time. Note that the page does not display SMRT buses. I know this iPhone App is from SBS Transit. But it would be more useful if it could display all the bus servicing the bus stop instead of just SBS buses.
You can also search bus information using the bus service number.
The Journey Planner is pretty useless. The planner only have SBS bus routes. There’s no train or SMRT buses. It doesn’t automatically calculate the total fair too. You need to access LTA website to find out the fare. SERIOUSLY? The map presentation for the Journey Planner is also badly done.

The interesting thing about the SBS Transit IRIS iPhone App is the bookmark. (although I think some 3rd party app can also do this) The Bookmark allow users to add a bus stop, bus service number and time to the bookmark. When the time is up, there will be a push notification to inform the user when is the next bus is arriving.

Interesting feature, although it would be better if the application can alert the user 5 minutes before the bus arrive the bus stop instead of a pre-defined time. I don’t need the App to act as an “alarm clock” to remind you to check the next bus arrival timing.
As a whole, the SBS Transit IRIS iPhone App is a simple and straight forward application for checking the next bus arrival timing. It could be better if they include SMRT bus route. I know they are from different company. But why would I want to use this SBS Transit IRIS app if other 3rd party app can give me better route planning?
The App crashed a couple of times when I was reviewing it. Hope the developer will fix the bugs in the future updates. Other than that, it’s a pretty normal iPhone app and an alternative for checking next bus arrival timing. It is definitely not the best in the market, but at least it is free and ads free.

PS: Some of you might be wondering why is it all the 3rd party iPhone Apps only show SBS bus arrival timing. Well, that’s because SMRT didn’t release their next bus arrival timing online. I think LTA should make SMRT release the timing online so that we can plan our journey better.

6 comments

  1. There is a similar app for where I’m located (Portland, OR USA). Transit apps are a really great idea for mobile phones because 99% of the time I’m worried that I missed a bus/train or forget when the next one arrives.
    I agree about the push notification, it would be more useful to tell you a few minutes before the bus arrives. Especially if it can track if it will be early or late.

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