My regular readers will know that a few weeks ago, I released an app called “Reading Traffic Info” to the Windows Phone 8 store (http://bit.ly/readingtrafficapp). In a nutshell, the app helps those who live in or around, or commute in or through Reading Borough, by connecting them to a near real-time feed of all of the borough’s traffic cameras.
I want to thank everyone who has downloaded the app so far, I’m surprised to have hit 466 downloads in just a few weeks for such a niche app. Proof that there must be demand for apps providing access to this information!
What’s new in version 1.2?
Firstly, I’ve added a ton of new cameras. Here’s the full list:
|A329 (M) TVP|
|A33 Bennet Road|
|A33 Little Sea|
|A33 Relief Road|
|A33 Rose Kiln Lane|
|A4 Langley Hill|
|Henley Road (Lower)|
|M4 Jn 11|
|M4 Jn 11 Westbound|
In addition, the app will now automatically check with my server every day to see if new cameras are available and include them in the camera list without the need to update the entire application. This works for corrections/alterations to existing camera metadata, too (for example, to correct latitude/longitude pairs or orientation/naming data).
Version 1.2 also has an updated user interface which sports a bit more colour, and the spacing on the camera listing has been increased further still to make selecting them a little easier:
I also added icons to denote favourite cameras, as well as a new button to report camera inaccuracies directly within the app (it’ll open up your email client with a pre-populated body detailing the camera you’re looking at, with a space for you to tell me what the problem is).
Remote Camera connection quality tolerance
Version 1.2 includes additional tolerances for the quality and reliability of the camera feeds operated by the council. If a camera is offline, or the council’s camera server went offline (as it did about a week ago), the app will now indicate that there has been a problem connecting to the camera. Additionally, I fixed a bug where the app would continually try to refresh an image from a camera every 5 seconds, regardless of whether it had successfully connected or not. To help mitigate image loading delays on slower mobile network connections, the refresh time has increased from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. While the latest image is loading, if a previous one was available it will remain on-screen.
I also fixed a problem with the camera images ‘flickering’ between refreshes.
Finally, additional tolerances were added into the app to detect the state of your phone’s internet connection and warn you when it is unavailable.
Continued thanks to everyone
Again, thanks to all those who have supported me by downloading and using the app, submitting feedback or helping me with the design itself.
There are lots of features on the horizon and I’m very much planning to continue developing the app in my spare time. Already on the cards is support for providing up-to-date car park status within the app (so you can decide which car park to head to in order to avoid the jams!) and also road works status.
If you’d like to make suggestions, see what’s planned or vote on new features, head over to my UserVoice community at http://rikp.uservoice.com.