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.
Check out the video above to see some of the apps in action.
Getting from A to B
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.
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.
National Rail Enquiries
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Does not Commute
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.
Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks
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 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.