Because we cannot live without being connected to Wi-Fi, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo previously announced plans to have the city's subway system feature Wi-Fi and cell reception in the coming years.
While some stations already have Wi-Fi, for commuters, this means they only have two minutes to refresh their Facebook page before they lose the signal. However, many may not know which stations have service, so they may miss out on being able to email their boss they are running late because of train traffic.
Now, there is a new app that just launched for iOS that allows users to track Internet and cell reception for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint while traveling.
Daniel Goddemeyer first came up with the idea for the app, called Subspotting, after noticing "pockets of connectivity" during his time on the New York City subway.
Goddemeyer, who runs the NYC-based research and design practice Object Form Field Culture, gathered cell and W-Fi service data over the course of two weeks along all 21 lines, 469 stations and a total of 660 miles of track using a custom iPhone app. He then teamed up with the German-based programmer Dominikus Baur to translate the data in order for Subspotting to provide a lineup map of where service is available.
Subspotting provides line-by-line information about Internet service when on the NYC subway, making it easier for commuters to know when and where they will be able to send that text or check their email.
According to the app, the 7 train is the most connected line, mostly because it runs above ground. The 1 train was found to have the most spotty signals, but it's even worse for R train riders, who get close to no reception when on the line. Those who take the Q train probably already know when to check their phone, when the train crosses the Manhattan Bridge.
After the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced its plans to work with Transit Wireless to bring Wi-Fi to 278 underground stations in 2013, Internet service has been rolling out at certain stops ever since. It's expected that the entire subway system will feature Wi-Fi by the end of this year. While there will soon be no need for an app like Subspotting then, for now, it's a great way to be able to get the most out of the small window of connectivity commuters have when traveling.
Subspotting is available to download for iOS for $.99.
Source: The Verge