Cuándo llega? – Rosario” (“When’s the next bus? – Rosario”) allows users to know in real time when the next bus is arriving at any given bus stop in Rosario City, (Santa Fe, Argentina).
Globant offered this app to Rosario’s citizens as pro-bono work for mobile devices with different platforms Android, iOs, WinPhone, Symbian. The app uses mobile Internet connection to access to web services provided by “Ente de Transporte de Rosario” (ETR). By using the app, it’s no longer necessary to make phone calls, send text messages (SMS) or activate a GPS service.
The application is available and can be downloaded and used for free on most smartphone platforms. The enquiry of information (bus stop/ bus line) can be saved as favorites enabling faster access to bus lines users use most. Users can also activate alarms and refresh the information whenever they want. The application also includes point of charge (payment in advance), news from the cityhall and bus itinerary. If the phone is not connected to the Internet (3G or WiFi), the app gives the option to either send an SMS or make a phone call.
This application was originally thought up by two Globers (Ignacio Bergman and Damian Tochetto) and then rolled out as a Lab Project. Ignacio was used to getting bus stop information through Municipalidad de Rosario’s web page. Unfortunately, this website is not optimized to run over mobile devices, making user experience quite uncomfortable and also not allowing users to save their enquiries. Ignacio thought that a way of improving the service, was to adapt the website to an application and run it on a native Android platform. Damian did the same for iOS and that’s the beginning of Cuándo llega?
In order to develop this application the project was divided into different groups, one per each technology. In each case, the development tools were different. The Blackberry team used Java, an adapted J2ME version from RIM; Eclipse and Virtual Machine provided by RIM. The Android version included similar Java tools and SDK from Google for Android; also Guice and Google Maps. On the other hand, for iOS version, the team implemented the environment provided by Apple ( xcode, Obj-C, Cocoa Touch framework)
In a nutshell, each version was developed using the native language of the platform. The main objective was to keep the standard look and feel and performance provided by each mobile technology.
This application has had massive acceptance from Rosarines which can be seem by the amount of people using it. The main market is for Blackberry that captures more than 28,000 users, it is followed by Android users, 35000 aprox. For iPhone we measured almost 3500. In addition, we count on the commitment of the users who actually take the time to either propose new features or report problems with the app.
In the future, the app will also offer a new feature “Cómo llego?” that provides information on how to get to your destination from any point within the city.
The application is available for popular operating systems: iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Symbian and can be downloaded from the following page: