Thanks for all your feedback on the Bike Hub iPhone app. One of the key features requested was drop-pin navigation. This has now been added to the app. Version 1.1 is now in the App Store on iTunes. The app is now easier to use. It’s already getting new people on bikes and, by displaying clever short-cuts and bicycle-friendly routes, is cutting the journey times of existing cyclists.
The revised Bike Hub app is free on iTunes.
The app uses a satnav-style routing engine developed specifically for cyclists. Unlike standard satnavs, or Google Maps, the Bike Hub iPhone app can route cyclists along cycle paths, such as routes on the Sustrans’ National Cycle Network.
Users can still choose between three route modes: quietest, quickest or balanced.
‘Quickest route’ users are directed via roads (although not dual carriageways or motorways). Those cyclists who don’t care to mingle with motorised traffic would choose ‘quietest route’ and would then be guided along back-streets and, where available and sensible, cycle routes. The ‘balanced route’ provides a good mix between the two.
As well as working out bicycle-friendly routes the app has a ‘bike shop finder’ button, calling up bike shops within a six mile radius of an iPhone. Directions are then given to the shops discovered, of which there are 2500 across the UK. The database was supplied by the Association of Cycle Traders. App users have told us of shop address changes and these have been added to OpenStreetMap.
We’d really appreciate App Store feedback. iTunes reviewers have so far been overwhelmingly positive. iTunes reviewer ‘AndyGoodas’ wrote:
“I thought the roads on my South London commute were too dangerous for me to consider riding as an amateur, but this showed me a brilliant alternative route on quiet back roads I’d never thought of without the app. Going to ride to work most days now, wish I’d started ages ago.”
Andrew Norton of the Aarght art gallery in Oxford emailed BikeHub.co.uk with his praise for the app:
“I thought the fastest way to work was 18:40 minutes but after 2 years doing various different routes, you showed me a path and a couple of shortcuts that have reduced it to 16:50! Gob smacked!”
The revised app does not yet feature a turn-by-turn voice for directions but this will be added in the next update. As well as a synthetic voice, the app will feature the famous voice of TV commentator Phil Liggett. The turn-by-turn directions feature is being worked on now, with the synthetic voice to be added as a freebie. The Phil Liggett voice will be added later and will likely be an in-app purchase.
On iTunes, the Bike Hub app stresses that cyclists should not navigate with one hand and steer with another. Instead the app recommends the use of one of a growing number of iPhone handlebar mounts, stocked by the Apple Store and other outlets. The Bike Hub Cycle Journey planner requires the iOS 3.1.3 Software Update or later. Here’s a key to the OpenCycleMap icons and lines.