App Review : Gopili find cheap tickets for planes, trains, automobiles and coaches.

Sometimes something arrives for review at the most fortuitous time. At the start of almost every year I seem to end up having to do a fair amount of travelling. So the arrival in my reviewer’s box of Gopili, an app that promises to Find Cheap Tickets for UK and European Journeys could not have come at a better time. What better way to test a travelling, route planning and discount finding app than to test it in the real world.

Find Cheap Tickets for UK and European Journeys is the strap line on the website. Gopili caters for all the usual planes and trains but it also includes coaches and car sharing, something you don’t find in most other apps of this ilk.

1459251793 thumb App Review : Gopili find cheap tickets for planes, trains, automobiles and coaches.1459251803 thumb App Review : Gopili find cheap tickets for planes, trains, automobiles and coaches.

All travel journeys are started by choosing the departure date and time. Perhaps I am missing something but I couldn’t see any way to add a return leg to the journey. I reached out to the developers and this is what they came back with:

As our services aim to find the best option for the journey among all modes of transport, it is quite often that the cheapest option for a return journey will involve using different modes of transport. For example, using the bus from Bristol to London, and using the train to come back to Bristol. By displaying the cost of the return journeys by train and the return journeys by bus, it might prevent users to identify the cheapest option: bus on the first trip and train on the way back that is why on the desktop version of the website, the 2 searches are separated (1st search: departure, 2nd search: return).

Testing was problematic. My nearest train station wasn’t available at the time of review but speaking to the developers it is on the list to be added. Gopili would default to coach planning at times or not show any search results at all.

Again talking to the developers, who genuinely seemed to appreciate the feedback, they have been upfront to say that Gopili is more aimed at the major cities and towns for now but there are regular updates happening, working on getting the best results for your journey rather than covering everywhere.

GoPili Plains, Trains, Automobiles & Coaches.

So heading from my nearest city of Swansea to Bath for a job interview the results were as I expected for Trains. National Express coaches were on the list along with the local budget bus provider, Megabus. This is where Gopili can help you to make your journey cheaper. As long as you put a bit of thought into your travelling plans.

Megabus couldn’t take me all the way to my chosen destination, but given how cheap the service is it actually worked out cheaper for me to travel to Bristol by Megabus, and then to continue the journey from Bristol to Bath on the train.

Granted to some this may seem likea lot of hassle. For the budget conscious though, this is an incredibly handy addition. Having all the times, prices and durations on an easy to read screen certainly helps to make those decisions.

Flights.

Gopili scrapes the major airline services and found me a couple of flights, which I already knew about, going from Cardiff to Munich. There were no options for train, coach or car travel but this is hardly surprising given my location. If you have used a flight scraping service before it’s worth using Gopili to see other options.

A cursory check of London to Munich showed train services I’d never heard of before with a huge 50% saving versus flying on selected date. Granted it’s a 12 hour train journey instead of a 2 hour flight but at least you can have option. For some travellers the price can be more important than time – if a 12 hour journey on the train means you can afford to make a trip you might not otherwise manage then maybe that is a small price to pay .

Car sharing.
This seemed to be a feature which popped up quite rarely but nonetheless gave me the option to travel with someone in a car in my fictitious journey of Bristol to London.

Pricing varies from £15 onwards depending on the person, time of day and the journey. Again seeing the pricing and times helps to work out effort vs time, vs hassle. BlaBla car turned out to be much cheaper than going on the train but only marginally more expensive than the bus but was over 2 hours quicker.
If you’re lucky enough to plan a journey where you have the option of planes trains and automobiles you can adjust the filter at the bottom of the screen to tailor to your preferred travelling method.

It does take a few seconds to collate the results for your journey but it is responsive enough not to border on being frustrating. Best of all even though it is scraping many sites you are not going to be bombarded with endless pop-up windows and adverts.

Journeys and bookings are done by taking you to the Gopili webpage via in app Safari browsing. This of course means you’re not handing over any personal or payment information to Gopili

A Few Problems
On a few occasions trying to book through the app, which forwards you to the bookings section of your chosen transport method would hang. Even if on Wifi or 3G using my iPhone 5s netted the same result. To me that’s not a big issue as once I have travel plans in mind I can easily jump on the desktop. The developers have responded, very quickly I might add, to say they are aware of this issue. At times it can take up to 30 seconds to get a response from the providers server and they are working on a fix for this.

Overall on GoPili Finding Cheap Tickets For Journeys

If you’re looking for an all in one travel planner which is quick, efficient, and scraping all of the sites you would probably do yourself manually then Gopili should be a first app to check. So long as you are in a supported area or at the very least, near to one.

Gopili – Cheap tickets for train, coach, flight and ride share is available from the App Store.

App Review: Crop-Size

Crop-Size iPad Pro

The iOS App Store is a wonderful thing. So many apps to choose from for virtually every conceivable use. However, as there are now just so many applications in there discoverability can sometimes be a challenge. Case in point, Mark has often lamented about the inability to crop photos in iOS to specific dimensions. He was not alone in this search as I have heard other users complain about this apparent lack of the seemingly most basic ability.

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MixPal.Fm steps in where Turntable.fm has closed it’s doors

MixPal.Fm steps in where Turntable.fm has closed it’s doors. Listen to live streams of new and upcoming artists, shared and rated by MixPal.FM users. There’s features a plenty along with a wide variation of electronica, dance, house, hard house banging house (think Kevin & Perry) to choose from. Ever tuned into Di.FM? You’ll be happy here.

If your musical tastes are that of tuning into Di.Fm them you’ll be at home here in a nicely presented way with the ability to rate, share, review tracks and artists and skip forward AND backwards through track listings.

As seems to be the trend now you get a walk-through of the UI and features before being dumped into the app but it’s good to be aware of the features as the UI is text free, relying on icons to for getting to settings, some of which aren’t completely obvious to press.

MixPal.Fm steps in where Turntable.fm has closed it’s doors. Listen to live streams of new and upcoming artists, shared and rated by MixPal.FM users. There’s features a plenty along with a wide variation of electronica, dance, house, hard house banging house (think Kevin & Perry) to choose from. Ever tuned into Di.FM? You’ll be happy here.

MixPal Music Offerings

If your musical tastes are that of tuning into Di.Fm them you’ll be at home here in a nicely presented way with the ability to rate, share, review tracks and artists and skip forward AND backwards through track listings.

As seems to be the trend now you get a walk-through of the UI and features before being dumped into the app but it’s good to be aware of the features as the UI is text free, relying on icons to for getting to settings, some of which aren’t completely obvious to press.

Scrolling and navigation through the menus is silky smooth with no problems encountered during testing on iDevices from the iPhone 4s up to the 5s. Track loading time is pretty much instantaneous on both Wi-Fi and 3G connections and in most circumstances quicker than the MixPal.FM website.

As most people who read reviews here know that we like to do our testing anywhere and everywhere and when MixPal came in for review I was on the beach and so what better place to listen to chilled out melodies whilst strolling on Newgale beach.
It wasn’t smooth sailing at first. Bizarrely pressing play whilst only on 3G you won’t hear anything despite the “Radio EQ” away at the bottom of the screen. No amount of tapping or trying different stations would produce anything in to my headphones. Other music apps would work and in my haste I fired off a bug report to the developers

It’s not until you head into settings and enable a streaming bit rate you’ll be able to use 3G. Confusion which could be easily avoided with a simple notification.

Update The developers have gotten back to me saying this will be addressed in a soon to be released update.

The Social Element

Social interaction is taken care of with the usual Twitter, Facebook integration with the ability to thumbs up or down tracks, leaving a small review for as well. It’s not 100% clear on where the review shows up or what rating tracks actually does as it made no difference to anywhere in the app.

When you register for an account both Facebook and Twitter icons looked grayed out but oddly the Facebook icon works but not twitter. Another oddity is there’s no way to book mark a track that’s playing for later or to share with others.

MixPal.Fm steps in where Turntable.fm has closed it’s doors

Fan membership comes in at $1,99 month / $9.99 for 6 months. This nets you 96k sound quality, no ads and repeats some tracks. For the best experience including high quality audio, full play features, no adverts, no voice overs and the ability to kill your 3G data plan streaming up to 320 KBIT/s will set you back $4.99 a month or $24.99 for 6 months.

When you look at the more generic music based offerings such as Spotify ($9.99 per month) or Pandora ($3.99 per month) MixPal.Fm make for an interesting proposition as long as your preferred music tastes are catered for.

Update. MixPal.FM will give you 1 months PREMIUM features for FREE simply by registering the app.

Running MixPal.Fm for the first time takes you through the now standard how-to slash screens getting you familiar with the app. Once done you’ll end up at the station lists to get on with some listening.

All that being said if you’re a fan of the genres of music offered by MixPal and don’t mind stumping up the extra cash for decent quality this isn’t a bad app at all to consider.

Overall Thoughts on MixPal for iOS

It’s a cracking little up and if you’re into these genres of music you won’t be disappointed with the features on offer once you’ve stumped up for the more premium offerings. The social integration side does need more work on as it’s not clear what happens to your review or rating after you go to the effort of it all.

Being able to scroll backwards is a nice unique feature that to my recollection hasn’t been implemented in a decent fashion before and there is a LOT to choose from.

http://web.archive.org/web/20140827130852/https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mixpal.fm-music-radio-network/id704407028?mt=8&uo=4&at=10lt3D&ct=EA-Review