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Location, location, location...

We all woke up to the good news of Apple's announcement on the availability of the new iPhone OS 3.0 yesterday morning, which means that Mobile Safari is now location-aware for users who have upgraded to the new OS. To take advantage of this new feature, we've made our mobile site location-aware as well.

From today onwards, iPhone and iPod Touch users running the new OS will be able to use their current location when searching for directions on gothere.sg/m.


When prompted, simply allow gothere.sg/m to use your current location, and the search will be based on the location provided by your iPhone.


Note that this feature will only activated if you have upgraded to the new OS. If you haven't upgraded, you won't be able to see the link to "get your current location".


Besides a location-aware gothere.sg/m, there are plenty of other goodies that the iPhone OS 3.0 brings. So check it out now!

What's your exit strategy?

To make our maps a little more informative, we've added MRT exit locations today. Browse the areas around MRT stations, and you'll find little icons representing their respective exits.



Do note that the icons only appear after you zoom in on the map. Take a look and tell us what you think of this new addition.

Our new and improved mobile website


If you haven't used gothere.sg on your mobile phone, this was how our mobile site looked like. It was clean, efficient and did its job well. Unfortunately, it only provided bus and train directions, and many of you have been requesting for something more fully featured. Today, we're unveiling a new and improved mobile website.


The new gothere.sg/m retains its clean look, while adding a dash of colour to make information more readable, and also to keep things interesting. You can also now get directions for all 4 modes of transport on gothere.sg - bus, train, taxi and driving. Here's what changed.

Bus and Train directions

Bus and train directions are the same as before, but with nicer formatting. We've also updated these directions to include the approximate bus waiting time.

Taxi directions
Taxi fare estimations are based on time and location, so you'll be able to take note of all the surcharges applicable. If you are using an iPhone, click (or tap) on the LTA taxi booking hotline to dial for a taxi immediately.

Driving directions
We have also included driving directions as on gothere.sg, all formatted nicely for your phone. Now, you can always check out the total ERP charges for your journey, all nicely calculated for your convenience.

Not-so-Static Maps
While we don't support drag-able/pan-able maps on the mobile browser yet, we've added the next best thing: the ability to zoom in and out of the map. We have also increased the size of the map so you can look out for more landmarks around you.

And there's more!

Good browser, Bad browser

Don't blame us for being biased, but modern smartphones like the iPhone and Android1 phones really have better browsers that are capable of cool things. Visiting gothere.sg on the iPhone will now bring you to a prettier mobile site.

Auto-suggest for the iPhone

This isn't a new feature but we have given it a facelift. Our auto-suggest feature brings up a list of suggested places based on your current query, so you can cut down on the number of keystrokes.

iPhone home screen icon

We also came up with a new icon that appears when you add gothere.sg to your home screen on the iPhone. We made a few variations, eventually settling for the right most one.

Go visit gothere.sg on your mobile phone now and tell us if you like what you see.


[1] If any of you want these features on an Android phone, please donate one for us to test with! We promise to take good care of her, and to work really fast to make gothere.sg look good on it. :)

What, you mean I need to wait?

Last month, we silently improved our public transport directions by taking into account the approximate waiting time for buses. This helped us to better estimate the total journey time, allowing us to provide better route choices to our users.

Because these changes were made under the hood, some of you may have been perplexed by the increased journey time for your usual routes. To address this confusion, we are introducing a small change in the way we are displaying our public transport directions.

Deconstructing your bus journey 


Even though the waiting time is currently fixed at 10 min for feeder services and 15 min for all other services, you can already get a sense of the amount of time spent waiting in your daily commute.

It was a quick survey, wasn't it?

Thank you all for participating in our survey, we learned a lot.

From the survey, we know that many of you find our service indispensable, and that you will be disappointed if gothere.sg is no longer around. We are really encouraged by the responses. We promise to keep innovating in order to provide you a better and even more useful service. We know that many of you have been recommending gothere.sg to your friends, and we hope you'll continue to do so.

Our main motivation in carrying out the survey is to understand what is most important to you. Having heard you, we've decided to be a little more open about what we're working on at the moment.

Directions
Finding directions is the one thing that gothere.sg is best known for, and we intend to keep improving in this area. In the weeks to come we will be re-evaluating the way we calculate our routes and how we are displaying our directions. There are also a number of heavily requested features that we'll be working on, including things like alternative routes and more user contribution.

Mobile
We have a lightweight mobile site (gothere.sg/m) at the moment that is designed specifically for mobile browsers. However, it only serves bus and train directions, and there have been many requests for our mobile site to be improved. Rest assured we are working hard to beef up our mobile site to match the features available on our main site. We are really close to a new release, so hang in there.

The iPhone
Yes, we know that our iPhone-loving users have been expecting a Gothere app for some time now. We're iPhone users as well, and trust us, we'd really like to bring gothere.sg to the iPhone. Recent announcements from Apple regarding the iPhone OS 3.0 have changed the rules of the game, and we had to adjust our plans as a result.

Expect to see lots of updates for the month of June, we've got a long list of stuff planned out. Once again, we really appreciate all your support! Alright, back to work.