Monday, October 5, 2009

Reminder: please use the comments for support requests!

Dear PDX Bus Users,

Please use the comments from *any post* for support requests & feedback.  The comments for this blog are moderated,  so they will not appear on the blog until I have read them.  Alternatively, I can answer very short questions on twitter!

I use blog comments to maintain privacy for both me and users - my preference is not to email people directly about support for PDX Bus (so I do not have to maintain a list of email addresses, nor be accused of spamming anyone).  Apologies if you left me an email address requesting support - please write up your question as a comment - if you don't want it published please say so and I can still reply on the blog.

I can be contacted via twitter too - http://www.twitter.com/pdxbus - I tend to follow anyone who mentions PDX Bus or tweets @ me.

Here are some answers to some common questions:

  • I write this app in my spare time, for free, for fun as a hobby.
  • I ride TriMet every day, and so I use it every day. 
  • I don't have time to write any other applications!  This one takes up a surprising amount of time.
  • I don't work for TriMet and don't have insight into how they work.
  • The arrival times used in PDX Bus are exactly the same as the ones used on TriMet's Transit Tracker system.
  • At this time, I'm very happy with my job, and am not looking for work as an iPhone application developer.

Have fun!

86 comments:

Unknown said...

Could you post the old version of the app, not requiring 3.1 on your site? I have an unlocked phone running 3.0.1 and I love your app
Bland@McCartha.com

ps an update that wouldn't require 3.1 would be awesome.
Thanks

Teleportaloo said...

Bland - The good news is that an update that does not require 3.1 was sent to Apple over a week ago, so it'll be in the app store any day now.. I hope. It seems to have be taking a bit longer than normal to get approved.

I'd rather not post the old version on this site just for jailbroken folks, probably by the time I have done it, Apple will approve the update!

Sorry about the mistake in posting the 3.1 version, I was rushing to fix the connectivity issues.

Ron Forrester said...

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for all the time you put into this app, for free. I am also an independent iPhone developer (with a day job as well), so I have some idea of the work you've put into this -- and I really appreciate it.

Cheers,
Ron

Teleportaloo said...

Bland - the version that will work on iPhone OS 3.0 has now been posted.

Ron - thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love your app. Thank you very much for all the time and effort you've put into it. I'm new to Portland and this app has been a god-send. mark

Teleportaloo said...

Tom wrote:

Hi! Absolutely love the app, use it daily and think it is great of you to do it for free and put it out there.

I do have what I think is a bug report for you though. I use the Rosa Parks station and on an irregular basis, the program comes up with a "Trip not Possible" message when using the Trip Planner.

When this occurs, the station ID is listed as 1502, dropping the first digit of the stop number which is actually 11502. At other times, it seems to go through fine even though it is still doesn't appear to be picking up the full stop code.

Don't know if this is an issue with the program or Trimet, but thought I would let you know.

Teleportaloo says
A quick check reveals that the app does send the correct stop to TriMet but it comes back with the wrong stop in the text result, but the server returns with the wrong result in the text, but not in the other data. I will investigate further - thanks!

Teleportaloo said...

Tom - TriMet got back to me, and there is a bug in the description for trips that have 5 digit stop IDs. However, we have not been able to reproduce the "Trip not Possible" message. This message normally appears when a leg of the trip is on a route with limited service hours.

Can you give me details for when you see this message (I need the time of the trip and the other end).

Thanks!

Teleportaloo said...

Tom - TriMet got back to me, and there is a bug in the description for trips that have 5 digit stop IDs. However, we have not been able to reproduce the "Trip not Possible" message. This message normally appears when a leg of the trip is on a route with limited service hours.

Can you give me details for when you see this message (I need the time of the trip and the other end).

Thanks!

Tom said...

Hi,

It used to happen every time, but now it seems completely random and is only once in a great while. When it does happen, I am using Rosa Parks as the starting location and somewhere downtown as the destination. I select the arrive by time and then get the message. I haven't been able to replicate it myself as of late and the last time it happened, I went back performed the exact same steps and it worked correctly. Perhaps it is a glitch not with the program but somewhere else along the line.

If I can get it to happen again, I will jot down exactly what I just did and try to take a screen shot. Is there any other information I could get for you that would help you replicate or track it?

Thanks!

Teleportaloo said...

Thanks Tom. A screen-shot would be great, if possible.

Anonymous said...

When did you add the map view for an entire bus route with all the stops marked? IT'S. SO. FREAKING. AWESOME. It saved my butt a few times already and I discovered it maybe three days ago. I'm gonna kick myself if it's been there for a while.

Teleportaloo said...

Hi jwdoom - the map was only added last week, on 16th November, so it hasn't been there long. :-)

Unknown said...

One option that might be cool/useful would be the ability to take a photo of the stop ID# and immediately get next arrival time information. Just a thought.

Thanks for this fantastic app!
Cheers

Anonymous said...

You've created a great app here, and I appreciate it every day. No more waiting in the cold rain for the bus...I can time it perfectly now.

THANKS!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

hey! out of all the trimet apps i've tried, i'd hafta say that THIS one is the best out of them all! keep up the good work!

one minor thing that I wanna see changed is either: quicker startup loading times and/or get rid of the pic of the MAX at startup. aesthetically, I personally don't like there. it just doesn't feel right with the app. of course, if people still want it there, could you perhaps allow the option whether or not to display the pic? thx

Teleportaloo said...

Hi Anonymous - the startup time is as short as it can be now - it used to try to get the previous displayed arrivals but it no longer does anything with that picture showing. It isn't possible to make the startup picture optional.

Honestly, the picture is only displayed very briefly, and I have no problem with it. I do intend to change it occasionally - this is the second picture that I've had there, currently I don't have a replacement lined up.

Were you the person who gave it a 1-star review on iTunes as the picture was "hoaky"? :-)

Chris Shaffer said...

Personally, I like the picture. I do note that on my phone, "very briefly" is anywhere from 3-8 seconds, so it does seem to be on the screen for a long time compared to some other apps.

Delta said...

Hi PdxBus. I love your app! I use it daily - not so much for myself, but for my teenage kid who uses TriMet all the time. He doesn't have an iPhone, so he texts me for arrival info or how to get from place to place. I just recently found the part where you can email a "trip" to someone. It would be very helpful if I could send him trip instructions directly from PdxBus via text message. Something to think about. Really appreciate you creating and working on this app.

Craig Moore said...

Nice app! Thanks for taking the time to build it. Would there be any way to set an alarm as you approach a given stop number for those of us who like to nap?

Teleportaloo said...

Craig - adding an alarm is on my list of things to add. I am not promising anything, but the iPhone 4.0 OS makes this easier.

Anonymous said...

Stop 12375 is not correct in this app. It is a streetcar stop adjacent to stop 12382. 82 goes north and 75 goes south. Both show northbound and times are incorrect.

Teleportaloo said...

Yup - that stop *is* wrong. The streetcar stops have to be "mapped" onto the TriMet stops and that one looks wrong. I'll fix it ASAP...

Teleportaloo said...

Dear Anonymous - the Streetcar stops will be fixed in the next release, and should be approved next week sometime.

Thanks for pointing out the problem - it turns out that the streetcar data from Next Bus is slightly more complex than I expected - they treat the two stops at 3rd & Harrison as the *same stop* and give the arrivals for both directions at once, and the app was just showing one of the directions, as you spotted. It has been like this for a while before anyone complained!

Anonymous said...

there's a glitch where I can't add new stop IDs when editing the bookmark

Teleportaloo said...

Oh dear - yes - adding a new stop ID to a bookmark by entering the number is broken.

Thanks so much for the feedback - I'll fix it in the next release!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I just loaded this app yesterday and when I have it search for the nearest stations, it initially finds them but then loops continuously on Getting Arrivals. I've turned off the Auto Refresh option but it still loops. I'm running an iPhone 3G, version 4.2.1.
Any ideas?

Thanks.

Teleportaloo said...

I've had one other person see this issue; re-installing the app fixed it. I haven't found the bug yet!

Bill said...

Looping: I've reinstalled the app three times, unfortunately it still continuously loops. When I delete the app I then turn off the iPhone and restart it, then I load a new copy of the app.

Let me know if there are any other options to try.

Thanks.

-Bill

Teleportaloo said...

I'm getting worried as I've not been able to repro this! Can you:

1) confirm if switching off auto refresh in the settings fixes it (I think it dies not)
2) the exact steps (e.g. Are you using a bookmark or the location services?).