By Derek Baldwin gulfnews.com
According to the Roads and Transport Authority, the Dubai Metro recorded 38.9 million passengers in 2010 with about 150,000 people taking the trips daily.
Add to the mix a high penetration rate of iPhones in the UAE and you have a natural environment for a nifty little phone app that is making life a little easier these days for commuters. Meet the iMetro.
Launched late last year, iMetro is an extremely simple nap app you can download for your iPhone from the iTunes store and within minutes, be catching up on your beauty sleep while riding carelessly down the Dubai Metro’s Red Line.
The secret to the ingenious little app is that its scrolling interface allows you to select the stop from which you are starting your journey and the end-of-the-line Metro stop in which you want to exit.
Sleep over it
Once the parameters have been set, users simply push the green “start” when your metro train leaves the designated station and you can then nod off to your heart’s content, comfortable in the knowledge that you won’t sleep past your departure station.
After years of taking public transport in Dubai, I now begrudgingly drive my own set of wheels. But to check the accuracy of the app, with my iPhone4 in hand, I took a quick trip from Mall of the Emirates to Burj Khalifa. While I sure did not catch up on a few winks, sure enough the song Black Water by Doobie Brothers — selected from my iTunes library — starting playing loudly in my headphones as we neared the end of the 12-minute, 23-second journey.
The loud music comes in waves as you get nearer to the destination; waking users from their wonderful little power naps.
For a regular commuter between these two destinations, iMetro has given the gift of two possible 10-minute catnaps each day, each way to a world that never seems to have enough sleep.
You may ask, what’s the point of an app like this for such short metro rides?
Well consider this — some Metro commutes are actually longer. The Metro trip, for example, from Rashidiya station to Ibn Battuta station is one hour and 44 seconds.
For a young retail store sales associate working at Ibn Battuta Mall travelling from their flat in Rashidiya on an early-morning shift, iMetro allows them to squeeze one more hour of sleep into their day.
The app sold for 99 cents in its early days of availability at the iTunes store. But its designers over at Geeks Incorporated have now opted to make the app free for those iPhone users who have an account.
- It’s free.
- Easy to download in seconds.
- Everyone needs more sleep.
- It works.
- May be problems with multi-tasking.
- Must keep volume up.
- Doesn’t work on silent.
- Difficult to select songs.