Archive for the ‘ZugInfo’ Category

far is now

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Redesign is long and painful process. You start of with a working program and end up with a big mess that needs hours of debugging. And have I already mentioned my low graphic design skills? And my heavy daytime job workload? Ok, I quit complaining and better show a few screenshots from the latest beta of ZugInfo, which will get the a new major version number (2.0!) to reflect the work that went into it:

shiny buttons -  all handmade

shiny buttons - all handmade

So, with the minor delay of about 1.5 months, I will ship this new version in about a week or so (it needs some more beta testing on the device). Thanks again to everyone who sent in comments and suggestions!

near & far

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Me an Eminem.

Me and the boys.

It’s been a while. I have been busy with my daytime job the last few weeks and there was not much time left for ZugInfo and friends. In the mean time, Apple decided to feature my App on the ITunes Store frontpage with a nice picture. Thanks for that! And thanks to everyone who wrote such nice things about ZugInfo.

In the next two weeks I will spend considerable time on trains, the perfect place to work on ZI. Currently, I am aiming for two updates in the near future, one of them is already finished and and runs beta testing on my IPhone: ZugInfo 1.5.1. It will deliver:

  • Delay information (again).
    This was implemented in 1.5, but shortly after the release the Deutsche Bahn changed their webpage (again) and I had to adopt the html parser accordingly.
  • User interface improvements
    e.g. date information for the saved connections.

This should be submitted to App Store next week. For the more distant future (and a release in about 3-4 weeks) I am working on ZugInfo 1.6, which should/could/would include

  • Updated user interface, to allow for an optional “Zwischenhalt”
  • Arrivals/Departures for a stop
  • Save queries/Favorites

I hear you 😉


Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Here a little rundown on the features, which should make it in ZugInfo 1.5:

  • Add note to saved connections
    (a feature I already included in the stability update 1.4.1 of ZugInfo Donation)
  • Price information for 1st class
  • Train delay times and (probably) arrival/departure tables

For the more distant future I plan to include a favorite system to store your queries and a feature to get all stops for a train line.

One of the main goals of ZugInfo is to provide fast access to the informations you need, so I have to wrap my mind around all the new features to integrate them nicely without cluttering the interface.


Sunday, December 28th, 2008


I found some time to work on ZugInfo 1.4 over Christmas. Long promised features finally got implemented:

  • Save connections (for convenient offline viewing)
  • Mail connection

There are also some GUI tweaks (some inspired by FahrInfo Berlin). Should not be too long to submit.

Thanks again to everyone who bought ZugInfo Donation. Your support is appreciated! Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

[UPDATE] I submitted ZugInfo 1.4 two days ago (12/31), so it should arrive in the App Store beginning of next week. In addition, ZugInfo 1.4 is again compatible with IPhone OS 2.1 (the last version was only compatible with 2.2, due to a wrong setting in XCode).

[UPDATE2] There we go: 48h and the app is “ready for sale” in the store. Enjoy.


Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Error codes are extremely helpful for the developer. They let you easily pin down a bug or problem. In the hand of the user they can sometimes turn on you ;).

Error code 201 in ZugInfo means, we did get back a reply from the server, but I could not find any connections in it. And the most likely reason for that is: there are none. Good example: try to get a long distant connection (ICE/IC) on a bus or tram line.

But that there is a simple fix for this: don’t ask for such a connection. Just set your traintype to all. Done.

And in the next version I will try to come up with something more accessible, e.g. “No connection found”.

bounce back

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Today (1 day early) Deutsche Bahn changed their mobile webinterface and consequently ZugInfo stopped working. The good news: the changes were minor and I managed to came up with a working version in less then 4h.

I will test the updated version further today and submit it tonight to the App Store. Since this will be a quick fix without my usual 1 week beta testing there might be some bugs left. But given the situation (application not working) I would say it is justified. So, I am looking forward to your bug reports (just attach as comments to any thread or use the mail address from the Impressum page).

On the long run I probably should try to make contact with Deutsche Bahn and see if they can provide a more stable interface. If anyone can help me out with infos or connections, please let me know.

[UPDATE:] The new version has been submitted to the App Store. Expect it beginning of next week.

PS: The last two weeks I have been working on a nearby station feature. I will ship the ZugInfo update with a beta version.


Saturday, December 6th, 2008
on spot

on the spot

I am slowly working my way through the IPhone feature catalog. Today on the menu: location based services.

I had my first test go with RegenRadar 1.3. When you read through the manual it sound like a piece of cake: four lines of code. You can get a location like this, true, but what if the user decides to not let you get the location? What is the optimum accuracy? And why is the location manager location not up to date?

See for yourself in RegenRadar 1.3.1. Available soon in an App Store near you.

But location based services do not stop there. Once it’s there, everyone can use it. And querying time tables can be so much more fun when the program knows where you are (as brilliantly demonstrated by Fahrinfo Berlin/Trip Planner and Fahrplan).

my debug console utility - nerd galore

Local public transit is not really the core of ZugInfo (Deutsche Bahn connections is), but according to some of the comments in the App Store people seem to use it exactly for this task.

So I decided to add the “nearby stations” feature. But of course, if you are not interest in this service, you can de-activate in the preferences and will never hear from it again.


Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Better late then never. And it’s only been one day late, so I can forgive.

“ZugInfo Donation” – 1,59 EUR or equivalent in the App Store. As Steve would say: “Starting today”.

To my knowledge1 this is the first donation ware in the App Store. I call it an interesting social experiment.

1as always: correct me in the comments, if I am wrong.

hold up

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

wegen unvorhergesehenen UmstĂ€nden benötigen wir mehr Zeit zur ÜberprĂŒfung Ihrer Anwendung ZugInfo Donation. Wir entschuldigen uns fĂŒr die Verzögerung und werden Sie ĂŒber den Status auf dem Laufenden halten.

That did not go according to the plan. The plan was to ship the new version of ZugInfo (1.2) together with a donation ware version (1,59 EUR, same functionality). While the update went smoothly through the review in two days, there seems to be an unforeseen problem (love the term) with my donation ware.

In order not to confuse too many people (the update version informs about the donation ware) I decided to pull ZugInfo 1.2 for now. It is scheduled to reappear in the AppStore on Saturday. Bear with me.

silent hill

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Posts have been sparse in the last few days and this will continue for about another week. I am working nightshifts since three weeks and my sleep level has fallen below the healthy limit. Looking at myself in the mirror I consider getting a shotgun. I should stop watching zombie movies, they do not go well together with the sleep deprivation (or in fact, they do, but not in a healthy way).

Just to keep you posted:

  • RegenRadar will re-appear in the App Store next week. The copyright issues have been resolved.
  • ZugInfo 1.2 is in the beta testing phase on my IPhone.
    It features a location history list to speed up your workflow even more. Expect it in about 2 weeks