From bus times to pothole complaints: 14 top apps to improve your commute

Thousands of us commute to work or school every day. Here are some amazing apps to help those minutes and hours pass more quickly.

Brits spend a lot of time commuting - the average Londoner spend 107 hours a year getting to work, the equivalent to 4.5 days. A commute can seem like the most wasted time of day. But with the help of your phone – and a few apps – you can put that time to good use.

Here are some apps to help you get fit, learn and be entertained – and even get you to your destination more efficiently – all without eating into your leisure time.

[Read more: The best free apps]

Check out the video above to see some of the apps in action.

Getting from A to B

Google Maps

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS

Google Maps is one of the simplest and most intuitive commuting apps around. It gives you multiple travel options including by foot, public transport and driving. It offers multiple routes, warns you about traffic and contains turn-by-turn directions – just like a sat nav. You can even jump into Street View to see what your location looks like, and save maps to use offline when you don’t have a web connection. Google recently started testing landmark-based navigation too, so soon it should read out directions like "Turn right at The King's Head pub" instead of giving you the road name. Which should make it easier to find your way.

Google Maps

Tube Exits

Price: £0.99

Operating system: iOS

Wondering which Tube carriage to get on to avoid the crowds getting out of the station? This app tells you, saving precious minutes during the rush-hour crush.

Tube Exits

National Rail Enquiries

Price: Free

Operating system: AndroidiOS

Live departure times, disruption alerts – for the regular train user, this app has it all. You can even see where your train is along its route.

Citymapper

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS

The most comprehensive commuting app in town for walking, cycling, taking the bus, train or tram, Citymapper has live updating estimated arrival times, and the ability to share your destination and arrival time. It even tells you which part of the train to get on, so you can get out of the station faster at the other end.  Only some cities are supported, but more are being added all the time.

Citymapper

mendmy Pothole

Price: Free

Operating system: Android

Are you a cyclist or motorist upset by the state of the roads on your commute? Report them with this app. Simple but effective!

mendmy pothole

Commute Greener

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS

This app lets you look after the planet. It will suggest how you can improve your commute by making it greener – and in return, you earn real-world rewards.

Keeping fit

Strava

Price: Free

Operating system: Android,  iOS

If you cycle to work, what better way to get motivated than to see how well your friends are doing? Strava lets you compare your progress with pals, locals and professionals. Plus you can share Instagram photos you take during your commute. In-app purchases include training videos, detailed heart rate analysis and the ability to set weekly goals.

Endomondo

Price: Free

Operating system: AndroidiOS

Don't sit and veg out on the way to and from work. Get out and exercise instead! Endomondo lets you track running, walking, cycling and more than 40 other sports using GPS, so you can see your route afterwards. It also shows duration, speed, distance, calories burned and more, plus it gives you audio feedback as you go. Feel the burn.

Endomondo

Walk It

Price: £2.29

Operating system: iOS

This app has mapped more than 70 towns and cities around the UK, and lets you generate A to B directions as well as circular routes if you just fancy a stroll. Each route includes turn-by-turn directions, estimated time, distance, calorie burn and a carbon saving. Ditch the car and hit the pavement.

[Read more: Six of the best car gadgets]

Entertaining yourself

YouTube

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS

The Earth's biggest cache of videos is a great way to burn through your commute. Search for a cat video, see another you like, and before you know it you've watched 12 in a row and have arrived at work. Just be careful you don't miss your stop…

YouTube

Spotify

Price: Free

Operating system: AndroidiOS

Listen to thousands of tracks for free – and take them offline – with arguably the best music app around. It can suggest playlists based on what you're doing, so a late afternoon commuting one will help you wind down after a stressful day. It also has a new running mode, so if you run to work it will serve up songs with a speed matching your pace.  

Spotify

Does not Commute

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS

Why not play an app about commuting while you’re actually commuting?! That’s exactly what Does not Commute offers. Drive the residents of a 1970s town to work, learning their secrets on the way, while negotiating the streets – and other vehicles – before the timer runs out. Tricky and frustrating at times, Does not Commute is a novel spin on the driving game. It’s free to play, although you’ll need to pay to play a saved game.

Does Not Commute

Working on-the-go

Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS

Get ahead of work before you reach the office with a list-making app like Wunderlist. You can use it for day-to-day things like shopping or birthdays, and setting reminders, but it’s also a useful work tool. Share lists with colleagues, assign tasks and each person can add comments.  It syncs in real time across phones, tablets and the web, so you can continue when you get into the office.

Evernote

Price: Free

Operating system: Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Evernote is a digital workspace for all your files - from quick notes to Word documents, web articles, to photographs. Didn’t quite have time to finish that report before you left the office? Don’t panic – Evernote syncs across multiple devices, so you can fire up the app and continue working on your phone on the way home, so you can finish off and and enjoy your evening.  You can even share documents with colleagues and discuss within the app in real time.

[Read more: The best apps of last year revealed]

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