It's hard to believe that we had a real time Bus app for Dublin for over 10 years. I loved our first version. We released it in 2012, and we specifically allowed our designer, Orla free reign on the design. She produced a wonderful, comic-like approach to real-time bus information. Who'd have thought that making something so functional a bit more fun would work so well?
We added characters, and even "localised them"; some were Northsiders, and some were Southsiders And used them to handle those occasions where there was network failures, or difficulty in obtaining data.
Our first iteration of this ocurred when apple released the iPhone 5. The screen size changed and we needed a way to make our original designs fit. Instead of a big re-design, we just embraced the new size:
In 2013, Apple released a new version of iOS, iOS 7 and there was a whole new fashion in interfaces. It was described as "flat", with a strong emphasis on getting to your content a quickly as possible. With that in mind, we decided on a whole new look. Gone was the playful look, replaced with a more sedate, "here-is-your-information" look.
We didn't do away with the playfulness though. We added a wonderful Dublin city landscape to the app, and these two gems:
- We took a public feed of sunrise and sunset times for Dublin, and the background changed over the course of the day to reflect the daylight at the time. We even incliuded a "night mode" for our cityscape
- And we took a feed of weather conditions in Dublin. If it was raining, the app would rain. If it was snowing, it would snow.
Over the years, we've made minor adjustments to the app; mainly to handle changes in the operating system; it became the team's "hobby" app that got some love every now and again. It was very well liked
The data was sourced from a publicly available feed, which powered the Dublin Bus stop signage and the official App.
Unfortunately, that feed was disabled a couple of weeks back. We had notice. We knew it was coming. It's been replaced by a more modern feed, and is in fact properly, Open Data, so in theory, we can use the new feed to revive the app.
The new feed is however significantly different from the old one. It has a different structure, limits on how often it can be called. We've taken a look at it, and it would require server infrastructure to process the feed. With some pretty serious crunching of the data too. In short - it would cost to make the app work again, and in fact require server infrastructure, which would add an everyday cost to running the app. It would take it out of the world of "hobby app" into something that would lose money; And we don't believe there'd be a sufficient market to cover the costs. And there's no way we're adding spammy ads to support it.
So, unfortunately, we've had to say goodbye to My Dublin Bus. Thanks to everyone who used it, reviewed, gave us feedback - we appreciate it all - we wrote it for you
Thanks for reading the Tapadoo blog. We've been building iOS and Android Apps since 2009. If your business needs an App, or you want advice on anything mobile, please get in touch