CATA Releases Android App… Finally!
About a year after CATA dropped its iPhone app on the smartphone-toting masses, it finally decided to let the worshipers of the little green robot in on the fun. On Friday, the official CATA app appeared in the Android market, letting users check to see where their buses are.
I used the app over the weekend and found it to be pretty similar to the iPhone app that I had noodled with on my friends’ iPhones, as well as the realtime.catabus.com web interface. Upon opening the app, you’re presented with three options at the top of the screen:
- Favorites – which allows you to store your routes of preference. It also gives you the neat option to place multiple routes onto one map. For example, I created a map which has all the campus routes on it.
- Routes – which is the typical individual routes; however, it makes you choose between “campus” and “community” before you can see a route. With only 24 routes, there doesn’t seem to be a need for two different categories. You can also see the route schedule by clicking the little clock icon next to the route name.
- Info – contains contact information for CATA, service calendar, and other general information.
The bus location is based on the same tracking system found on the website and iPhone app, and basic comparisons between the website and the Android app showed the same information. Note, however, that the system is not realtime, it is actually updated once a minute, so you’ll need to plan that into your calculations if you want to cut it close.
In all though, the app feels well designed and offers a great service to Centre County Android users. If only they had come out with this, you know, 11 months ago.