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March 3, 2014

Life meets Lumia #1 – beat your commute

Your Nokia Lumia can handle mundane tasks with aplomb, but given half a chance, it’ll also make everyday life a bit more bearable.

The Life meets Lumia series was born to highlight how mobile technology can solve life’s problems, one quandary at a time.

First up for a techno-beating is the dreaded commute. For many, this is the epitome of stress, so finding ways to triumph over this twice-daily event is music to our ears.

Do you need to travel by car? Can you cycle, catch the bus or hop on an underground metro system? Between the Conversations team, we do all of the above, so we’ve spread our commute-thrashing tips to accommodate all.

There’s a UK focus on the public transport section, but many major cities have their own app variation showcasing similar technology.

Public Transport


By underground

Exits Expert London Lite

Boarding a tube train usually means one thing; when you alight, you’ll be as far away from the station exit as humanly possible. Exits Expert London Lite helps to lower stress levels by telling you exactly which carriage (and door) to board, delivering you right in front of the exit at your desired station. Crowds and hoards, begone! Precious time and a sense of calm, hello!

By bus


Frequent bus travellers must feel like they spend more time waiting for buses than being ferried by them. However, OneBusAway will tell you exactly what time your bus will arrive at your stop, allowing you extra coffee time, or shelter if it’s chucking it down. Watching your bus appear on the horizon just like your Lumia predicts makes you feel like a powerful wizard.

By bike


London Cycle Hire

Many cities now have a cycle hire scheme and London’s own ‘Boris bikes’ can sometimes be the quickest mode of transport around the capital – if you’ve got the fitness to match. The London Cycle Hire app tells you which locations have bikes freely available and which have free bays to drop them off. Handy on-screen mapping directs you to your nearest bike station

By car

HERE Drive – My Commute

It’s easy to associate HERE Drive with satellite navigation, but it’s worth using the app even when you know the route. The latest HERE Drive update introduced a feature called My Commute –keeping you updated on traffic information. If congestion starts to ruin your commute, causing the medical condition knows as ‘enraged face’, there’s usually the option to pick a traffic-free route, bringing a sense of tranquillity back to the driver’s seat.


HERE Drive isn’t the only app to offer valuable traffic information either, with community-based app Waze proving another great commuting companion. With more than 60-million people using Waze, contributing real-time traffic data as they go, the app warns of impending traffic doom, providing alternative routes to help get you to your destination on time.



Amazon Kindle

Beating your commute isn’t just about shaving journey minutes; it’s also about making things pleasant. The Amazon Kindle app is perfect for public transport, letting you read eBooks on your Nokia Lumia as you go. With access to the Kindle Store, you can also buy new content, so even in the worst of hold ups, you’ll have something to do.

Nokia MixRadio

Nokia MixRadio is a fantastic way to spice up your daily journey, delivering music that you wouldn’t necessarily listen to otherwise. It’s a great platform to discover new bands and the curated playlists have something to suit most musical tastes.



Big-screen smartphones, such as the Lumia 1520, are ideal for film and TV watching. Providing you have a decent internet connection, a Netflix account and the service is live in your locale, you can stream thousands of movies and shows straight to your handset. Alternatively, load up your Lumia with content the night before, use the integrated movie player and watch as time magically passes.

These are the apps that allow us to get around our city. But how do you beat your own commute? Tell us in the comments below.