Friday, November 20, 2009

Train Tracker - our first Android application

Even though application development has not been the main focus of the Enea Android Competence Center we decided to give it a try in order to widen our knowledge. For a couple of weeks we have been working on an application called Train Tracker. The application is mainly aimed to be used as an internal reference. The application shows real time train traffic information from Swedish train stations, some of the main features are:

  • Show all departing/arriving trains at a specific train station
  • Detect and warn for delayed trains.
  • Station search with auto complete text
  • Follow a train route (all arrival and departure times at all stations) for a specific train
  • Filter list of arrivals/departures (e.g. all departures from Lund towards Malmö)
  • Save a filter as a favourite. Favourites can be selected directly from the start page.
  • Set an alarm on train routes to get notified when the train is delayed.
  • Global search for stations and favourites integrated in Google Quick Search Box (Requires Android platform 1.6 or later and that Train Tracker is made searchable in Settings/Search/Searchable Items)

The information presented in the application is downloaded from Unfortunately Banverket was not willing to give us API access which is why our application is parsing HTML in order to get the information. This means that the application is likely to stop working if Banverket decides to change the layout of the webpage. Right now the application works quite well and if you want to try it out you can download TrainTracker.apk here, or use your favorite barcode scanner to get it:

Keep in mind that the application language is Swedish and it can only show information from Swedish trains and train stations. Here are some screenshots from Train Tracker:

Train Tracker start activity. Search for a station or select one of your saved favourites.

Train Tracker station activity. In this view you will find all arrivals/departures of a specific station.

Train Tracker filter activity. Here you can filter the list of arrivals/departures. Select “Spara Filter” to save the filter as a favourite. Select “Använd Filter” to apply the selected criteria.

Back at the station activity. This time filtered with the selected filter criteria and one of the departures has been expanded. Tapping the “Aktivera alarm” line will schedule an alarm for train 1067. Tapping The “Tåg 1067” line will take you to the train route activity for this train.

Train Tracker train route activity. At this view we display all train stops for a specific train. At the top of the screen a train delayed notification is received.

Global search in Google Quick Search Bar. Search hits from Train Tracker shows up together with ordinary search hits. Search hits gain higher priority in the search result list as they are selected.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Android report in Elektroniktidningen

Recently I wrote an expert report on Android for Swedish magazine Elektroniktidningen. This has now been published as a downloadable pdf, as part of their Embedded Expert initiative.
The reports are in Swedish.
Look here for details. Other very interesting reports can be found over here