Friday, October 23, 2009

Options for Train Directions (乗換案内) Reviewed

Over the next few days, we will be presenting our thoughts on available options for getting train directions (乗換案内) on an android phone.

Here is the list of the applications/web sites we'll be reviewing.  As far as we know, these are the only ones available.  Of course there exist more options on the web, such as yahoo, but we have an irrational dislike of yahoo.
  • Browser based search
    • Google
      • Google Nori-kae annai 乗換案内
      • Google Transit トランジット
    • Goo
  • Application-based search
    • Google maps (not officially available in Japan)
    • TransitEX application (frontend to Google Transit) 乗換案内 
    • Jorudan application (frontend to Jorudan database) ジョルダン 乗換案内
    • Rosen driod application (frontend to either Google Transit or Goo database) 路線ドロイド
    • Navitime (frontend to Navitime database)
We'll cut to the chase and say that none of these apps are quite there yet, either because of flaws in the backend database server (ahem, google), or lack of options for saving frequently used stations (Jorudan), or accessing history (rosen droid), or because the interface is the butt-fugliest thing we have ever seen even thinking back to the state of Japanese websites circa 1999 (TransitEX), or because the application just dosen't fucking work (Navitime - you should see the comments on the app:  Is this a joke? Is this a beta version? GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK [OK, you can't write Kanji in all caps, but if you could, these comments would be]).

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