Transport for London (TfL) has updated its existing travel app to let people put live travel disruptions for tube lines onto their smartphone’s home screen.

The widgets, which can be added to the home screen of any iPhone or Android device, allow the user to either set a line that they wish to have live travel information about or see the service status on all Tube and TfL’s rail services.

To use the new feature, once you have the app on your phone, click and hold the app icon, and a widget menu will appear. Select the widget you want, and then it lets you select a prefered line to show disruptions on and add that to your phone screen.

Once installed, you can see live information for that line, and if you tap on the widget, it’ll expand to show all lines.

It may be a restriction of your correspondent’s phone, but the widget cannot be resized, which makes it hard to put onto the front page of most smartphones, but it can go onto a secondary screen. It’s an interesting idea, although maybe a future upgrade will include personalised journeys so people can see at a glance if their personal work commute — across parts of multiple lines — is affected.

The free TfL Go app has been downloaded more than a million times since it launched in 2020, was developed in-house by TfL and provides real-time information for buses, trams, Tube and TfL rail services, as well as offering walking and cycling options across London.

Ben Gammon, Head of Digital at TfL, said: “This latest update to our TfL Go app will further help customers know if there are any delays on Tube or TfL’s rail services across London and therefore whether to amend or retime their journey. By providing up-to-date information on journeys, as well as detailed accessibility information, we can help make it easier for customers to move around the city as more people return to public transport.”

The addition of widgets is the latest update to the app.

Last June, TfL added real-time information on how busy London Underground stations were at any particular point of the day, using aggregated and depersonalised data from TfL’s WiFi network. Historically, TfL has used ticketing data to understand travel patterns on the network, with quiet times data in TfL Go based largely on data from TfL’s Oyster and contactless ticketing system which records entry and exits at stations. This update allowed TfL to factor in how busy platforms and interchange points are to overall crowding within a station, which is displayed both when users click on a specific station, or shown when planning a journey.

TfL released the TfL Go app on iOS in August 2020 and on Android in December 2020.

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6 comments
  1. Rob Healy says:

    I set the widget on my iPhone 13 a couple of days ago. It’s gone from my phone and I can’t choose it from the widget list now.

  2. Thats me! says:

    Would prefer if they had a widget for checking when the next bus is at a set stop – I feel as if checking bus times is the most common use of the app

  3. Darran says:

    Pleased to see the iOS widget looks a lot more on brand than the screenshot from android – and takes up the space of about 4 icons so 1/6th of the available screen space.

  4. MilesT says:

    Citimapper app has had a basic line alerting/notification feature for years now.

    I have an older phone with limited app space so have to choose between London transport apps. As I also have a citimapper card the choice is premade.

  5. Chris Rogers says:

    I’d be happier if TfL sorted their notification of planned engineering works, like the last two weekends’ shuttle service between Edgware/Euston and Charing Cross/High Barnet, which isn’t mentioned anywhere (all publicity implies through trains between the closed branch sections), though I would be interested to see if the app gets better notice of signal failure fixes than drivers do (or care to tell people) to save long-winded detours.

  6. James says:

    The “Tube Map” app has a line status widget half the size of the TFL widget.

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