People will pay for a better mousetrap even if there are free mousetraps out there. At least, that's the bet that developer Lian Yaogang is making.
Even though there are three free apps in the App Store that can tell you what time your bus will arrive at the bus stop, Yaogang has gone on to develop a fourth app. On top of that, he is charging for it. Yaogang's Bus@sg can be yours for just US$0.99.
"I am aware of a few free alternatives out there, most notably, tranSGuide," said Yaogang. "However, in terms of integrating bus stop information with real-time predictions, I am not completely satisfied with tranSGuide and other apps. That's why I created my own."
There are some features in bus@sg that make it very useful. Bus@sg is the first app to track the arrival times of SMRT buses, though this is only for the 166 bus stops in the western part of Singapore covered by LTA's Real Time SMS Bus Arrival Information. this is only at some 200 or so bus stops. Of these, 166 are in the western part of Singapore covered by the LTA's Real-Time SMS Bus Arrival Information system. Another 50 bus stops are those in the heart of town which have the Real-Time Bus Arrival Information Display Panels installed.
Bus@sg also gives the arrival times of SMRT buses for some bus stops in town, like this one outside Lucky Plaza. Bus 106, for example, in an SMRT service.
In addition, bus@sg is fast. It starts up quickly and it locates bus stops near by almost instantaneously. The integration between bus routes and bus arrival times is good, though not unique. SG Buses also has this feature.
One nice thing about bus@sg is that adding a bus stop to a list of favourites is easy to do.
Overall, I found bus@sg to be stable, fast and easy-to-use. If you rely on an SMRT service at any of the 166 216 bus stops covered, this app is your only choice, at least for now.
You can download bus@sg here.