“What’s your favorite app?” I asked. “I don’t really use apps.” Jaspar replied. And like that I realized that neither do I. For all my excitement about apps – I’ve downloaded 40 of them – I really just use my iPhone to make calls, text and email. The one notable exception being Google Maps. The fact that I can leave my house without printing directions from MapQuest is a real advance over my previous phone. But beyond that apps have added little value to my life.
That changed last week in Seattle. A few weeks back I wrote about an idea my mom gave me when I was explaining Twitter to her – TaxiTweets. Why not use real time social media and the geo-location power of smart phones to develop a system to order cabs in a click. The next morning I read about an app that purported to do just that. TaxiMagic claimed to allow one click booking via iPhone and Blackberry application, and a text message based taxi ordering system for other mobile devices.
But how often is an app really as good as it sounds?
Thus my expectations were low when I whipped out the app to order a taxi at the corner of Pine and 1st. After placing the initial order the app gives you a status, “Driver not yet dispatched. Reload for updates.” I nervously clicked the reload button a couple of times and the status did not change. Then – magically – a cab appeared and the driver rolled down his window, “Bryce?”
I had found my new favorite app!
In using the app the rest of the week I found that when the status does update the application will tell you the taxi number, the drivers name and give you a map of the cab’s location. This map doesn’t seem to update so don’t despair if your cab seems stuck a few miles away.
In my experience the app was totally trustworthy. A driver appeared within 10 minutes every time I placed an order. The next step will be to load my credit card info on the TaxiMagic website so that I no longer have to rely on cash to pay for cabs. This is a truly amazing app that I recommend for anyone that travels extensively or just orders cabs on a regular basis.