GoMetro App

App Icon
GoMetro is an app designed for your travel needs. It brings together announcements, timetables, maps and more. Also it provides an easy-to-use journey planner that will give you more flexibility when commuting.

Main Screen Results Screen

New Features

  • Metrorail timetables
  • Favourites
  • Fare calculator
  • Railway line maps
  • Announcements
  • OS theme aware
  • Fast and easy-to-use

Privacy Policy

The GoMetro app takes your privacy very seriously and does not, in any way, share, store information about your phone or identity number.

For Windows Phone, By Surface Pro

Surface Pro and Windows Phone

I was just reading through my usual news feeds, one of them being Windows Phone Central when I came across a cool post from Microsoft, “Geek out with Surface and win!“. So I started thinking about what I could do. I am one of the very few people in South Africa that has a Surface. The shipping is what kills, but I had to get one. I am also a developer, so it seemed natural to get a tablet that ran Visual Studio. Only the tablets running Windows 8 Pro was of any real value, so after a bit of thought, I got myself a Surface Pro – and have been loving it ever since.

Just to show how great this tablet really is, I can say that I gave my PC away and never once regretted that decision. I have developed an app for Windows Phone 8 exclusively on the Surface. It is available on the Store: GoMetro | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store. I am proud of this app as it is my first for Windows Phone as well as it being developed on my favourite device – my Surface.

Some time ago, before I started the app, I wrote a post on what I was going to do: “GoMetro for Windows Phone 8

I love my phone and my tablet, and I develop apps for both. I am working on several projects ranging from websites, Windows Phone and desktop. C# is my main language, but I do do extensive JavaScript and CSS development for those wbsites.

As you can see, my Shift and Ctrl keys are a bit worn from my continuous use! I won’t recommend the touch cover for extensive use, certainly not for development, but it can be done – you just hve to get used to typing.

Overall the tablet is very good, it can play the average game as well without a real problem. Excellent for surfing the web and social networking, emails and other light use. I read my digital comics on this device and they are clear, crisp and vivid.

On more serious tasks, it is also oustanding, development is slightly harder due to the small screen, but I developed an app without any external monitors so it can be done. I have done some photo editing and 2D drawings without any problems. I run a virtual machine using Hyper-V for one of my projects, and have not noticed a real problem.

The OS is snappy an the apps that I use are very good: Mail, People, Facebook, Internet Explorer, Skype, Nokia Music, Adera (game), Fresh Paint and Autodesk Sketchbook. There have been some tremendous improvements since Windows 8.1.

The USB port in the charger is used to charge my phone and the stylus is used for my assignments and note taking in both OneNote and Word. I have done some nice drawings and the stylus is pretty accurate. The USB port is used mainly to connect my external HDD, but is used for other things, even for emergency charging of my phone when I don’t have my charger around.

The sound quality is good, sometimes a bit soft, but that doesn’t really affect me as I use it mostly after hours and late into the night. Movies are awesome, colours are good and there is no lag in the images that I can see.

I find the battery life is fairly substantial, setting my brightness to about 75% usually extends it for several hours – I have never actually measured, but it is more than 5 hours. Often, in my bed at night I can read my comics, setting the brightness right dow and it’ll last for hours even from below 50%.

One more thing, SkyDrive. This is integrated into the OS, but that is just cool. The most totally awesome feature is the photo file management: I have got over 8GB on SkyDrive, but it only takes up 170MB on disk. This is the greatest and coolest of all those cloud guys. Especially as the tablet has limited storage of 128GB. I have just clocked at 50% on my HDD, so the space is not being swamped, even with Office, Visual Studio and its SDKs. Although, I do have an external drive for my music, movies and other large games such as Battlefield.

I look forward to trying and maybe buying the Surface Pro 2…

GoMetro for Windows Phone 8

I was just recently given the opportunity to work on a Windows Phone 8 app for the GoMetro system. Currently they have the mobile website and are working on a new-and-improved version, but not yet a Windows Phone 8 native app. As I have a shiny new Nokia Lumia 820, its no good going to the web browser each time I need to take a train.

They have a REST API that I will be using, but I hope to use some caching and personalization on the user’s device. The next version of the GoMetro engine will have more features like these, but until then, it will have to remain local only. Of course, once the next version is out, I should just be able to import them into the online database.

I have been working on some concept designs for this app, which I show below. I am using ProtoShare instead of manually drawing each screen. This is a cool tool for quick screen creation, although it is not free. I will give it a try and see what happens.

This application so far has 3 main areas of importance:

  1. Announcements
    This is the area where we will be able to display any notifications about the lines, Metrorail and the app.
  2. Favourites / Shortcuts
    This is probably the most important feature for me as I often don’t commute to work on a specific train, but rather the one around 8:30, sometimes before and sometime after. So instead of going through the whole workflow to get the next time, I can quickly see the scheduled arrival. As the current API does not support storing this on the cloud, I will keep it in a small SQLite DB on the actual device, to be synced at a later date.
  3. Train Timetables
    This is the usual workflow for getting the times of the next train. The next image follows on from after the user selects a province that he/she is interested in.

Main Screen 

The next main chunk of application is the actual finding of the train timetable. This is going to be the same as the website in structure.

We get to this level after the user selects a province from the main screen. He/she then selects a line and then proceeds to select the departure and arrival stations. I would like to be able to specify the day and time of the trip as well, but I need to do some more research on the availability of this first. When the user is ready, all is needed is to tap the arrow button. The final screen is a list of the departure times with a few options:

  • Switch the direction of travel
  • Go to the earlier times
  • Go to the next set of times
  • Add this route to favourites

Timetable Workflow

This is just the preliminary designs and probably will change. If you have any comments, then just leave a comments below. Or you can vote.