Category Archives: hk

Kwun Tong Line extended in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong MTR added two new stations today with the opening of the Kwun Tong Line extension. The line now continues past the previous terminus at Yau Ma Tei to Ho Man Tin and Whampoa, providing access to Whampoa Garden.

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In the future, Ho Man Tin will be an interchange with the East-West corridor, a merger of the West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line which will open by 2019.

The new stations are now available on our online Hong Kong MTR map and Android app, and an update for our iPhone app will be available shortly.

Hong Kong Island Line extended to Kennedy Town

Under construction since 2009, the Hong Kong MTR West Island Line extension opened on December 28, 2014. The new 3km extension adds three new stations in Western District to the Island Line. From the previous terminal station at Sheung Wan, the new stations, from east to west are:


We’ve updated our online Hong Kong MTR app and Android app with the new stations, an update for our iOS app is currently being reviewed by Apple and will be available shortly. We’ll also provide a second update as soon as Sai Ying Pun station opens!

Introducing Material Design for our Android metro maps

We’ve just updated all of our ExploreMetro Android apps with a style update inspired by the new Google Material Design patterns.

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You’ll see more consistent use of colour throughout the apps: for example Shanghai uses a blue theme with a blue icon, blue toolbar and blue highlights, while Singapore is purple and Beijing is red.

It’s also even easier to plan a route, just tap the big circular Plan Route button (in orange in the screenshot below) to start planning a route.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to roll out some other updates, with station and first/last train time updates for Shanghai, and updated journey prices for Singapore. Find any issues with the latest updates? Get in touch

Asia’s best metro maps: now free forever on iPhone

 

Every app. Free Forever. I’m excited to announce that starting today, all our iPhone metro maps apps are free to download. Whether you need a metro map for Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, or Taipei – both iPhone and Android apps can be downloaded free of charge. This is not a temporary promotion, all our apps are free, forever.

It’s been five years since I launched the first version of Explore Shanghai for iPhone, and a lot has changed in the app market. Most apps are now free to download, and people’s appetite for paid apps is declining. I’m still confident that the ExploreMetro apps are Asia’s best metro maps, and with your help they can be the most popular too!

If you download an app for the first time, you can use nearly all the features of the app for free, including search, route-planning and street maps. Certain features such as first/last train times, audio pronunciations of stations and offline street maps are now premium features. You can upgrade any app to VIP mode to get all premium features, and remove banner ads.

If you’ve ever downloaded a paid version of the app you are entitled to continue using all the premium features for free, forever. If you have any problems restoring your purchase, please contact us!

Tell your friends… tell the world… Asia’s best metro maps are now FREE!

Zoom in with our latest Android metro map updates!

The most popular request on our feedback forum has consistently been to add zooming to our metro map apps for Android. Today, we’re making that happen with version 2.0 of our maps for Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong.

There are three easy ways to zoom:

  • Use the zoom buttons to zoom in or out
  • Double tap to quickly zoom in by one zoom level
  • Make a pinch gesture to zoom in or out

 

We’ll continue to make improvements to the map based on your feedback.

And we have a bonus feature for everyone running Android 3.0 or higher! When you tap on a station and choose a street map, you can now choose between a Google Map, and a offline street map, provided by OpenStreetMaps. So now, even if you’re offline, you can still quickly check the area around a station.

If you like the new features, we’d really appreciate your reviews in Google Play!

 

Go ad-free with ExploreMetro VIP on Android

Since we launched our apps for Android on Google Play they’ve been available free, in order to reach as many people as possible! To help support the costs of development, we included an ad banner at the bottom of the screen.

Lots of people sent us feedback to let us know they wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars to remove the ads. So we’ve launched Explore Metro VIP for Android! It’s really simple to use:

1. Update any existing ExploreMetro map map apps you have already downloaded from Google Play to the latest version, that’s version 1.1

2. Visit http://exploremetro.com/vip or go to Help > Remove ads to download our VIP app.
3. Now you’re a VIP!

One purchase means you can enjoy all seven of our metro maps ad-free (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore) for one low price!

How do I become a VIP?

Download the app from Google Play at exploremetro.com/vip

Once I’ve installed the VIP app, what do I do?

Bask in your awesomeness. You can then download and install any of our Android apps, and the ad banner will be gone! Please leave the VIP app installed so we know you’re a VIP!

I can’t download the VIP app from Google Play?

The VIP app is a paid app, and Google restricts which countries are allowed to download paid apps. For example, the United States and Singapore are OK, but China doesn’t currently allow paid apps.

I installed the app, but there are still ads?

Make sure you have version 1.1 installed of the metro map apps (Help>Version to check). If you uninstall the ExploreMetro VIP app, we won’t be able to detect that you are a VIP. You’ll need to download it again.

Coming soon: step-by-step routeplanning and sharing in our iPhone apps

We’ve been busy this summer preparing a new version of our awesome metro maps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Version 7 will be available soon – but here’s a sneak preview, as well as information on how to get the new version first by joining our beta-testing program.

Route-planning is a really useful part of our apps: in fact over 15,000 routes are planned every day using our iPhone apps! In the current version, the fastest route is shown directly on the map like this:

In version 7, we’re adding written step-by-step directions, like this:

Every step of the way, you have clear instructions of which line to take, and which direction. What’s more, you can easily share the route instructions, by email, SMS/iMessage, Twitter or copying to clipboard:

We even automatically shorten the route directions to fit more easily into an SMS message.

If you’d like to try out the new routeplanning features, sign up to our beta-testing program.

And there’s more! Once iOS6 is launched later this year we’ll be adding more great features, including:

  • Point-to-point directions integrated into the built-in Maps app
  • Sharing via Sina Weibo

 

A new page for every metro station – introducing a new look for Metropedia

For each of our online metro maps, we provide an accompanying “Metropedia” with a webpage for every metro station and metro line (for example People’s Square in Shanghai, Kowloon in Hong Kong). We’ve just designed all the Metropedia pages to match the style of our new beta metro maps. Highlights of the new pages include:

  • New stylish header with a snapshot photo of the location
  • Fast facts including the name of the station in multiple languages and audio pronounciation
  • Location map from Google Maps
  • Tips contributed by the users of our iPhone apps
  • Photos from the area around each station
  • Nearby places from Wikipedia and Skimbl
  • Works well on phones and tablets as well as desktop browsers

Check out the Metropedia homepages for for ShanghaiBeijingGuangzhouSingaporeHong Kong and Taipei, and do let us know if you have any suggestions on how to improve the Metropedia pages!

Sample page:

Sample page on iPhone:

 

Faster loading, faster route-planning on our beta metro maps

We’ve just launched some more incremental improvements to our beta metro maps for ShanghaiBeijingGuangzhouSingaporeHong Kong and Taipei

  • By popular demand, you can now drag between two stations to plan a route (this is how route-planning works in the classic version). You can also use the new method of clicking on the first station, choosing “Plan route” and clicking on the second station.
  • It’s also now quicker to plan a new route after planning your first route – no need to dismiss the route-planning bar
  • Finally, we’ve improved the caching of the map tiles, so the map should load much faster on repeat visits

 

We’ll continue to work on fixing bugs and making improvements in the beta version until they surpass the classic versions 🙂 If you spot any errors, or have any feedback on how to improve the beta versions, do let me know in the comments, or via our support page.

Updates for our beta metro maps

Since we launched the “beta” versions of our online metro maps a few weeks ago, we’ve received lots of great feedback from our loyal users. Some people love them, some people have found problems or issues and want to go back to the old versions.

Just to let you know, we are reading and responding to all the feedback, and continuing to make improvements to the beta version. Today we made several improvements to our beta maps for ShanghaiBeijingGuangzhouSingaporeHong Kong and Taipei, including:

  •  The default zoom level shows a larger area
  •  You can now zoom in/out smoothly, rather than only in steps of 2x
  •  When hovering over a station, you’ll see a “hand” cursor, making it clearer when you can click
  •  Fixed a bug where flags would disappear during route planning
  •  Faster loading of map tiles in China

To opt-in to the beta version, click the orange banner.

To opt-out and return to the classic version, click the ExploreMetro logo and choose “Don’t use beta”.

We’ll continue to work on fixing bugs and making improvements in the beta version until they surpass the classic versions 🙂 If you spot any errors, or have any feedback on how to improve the beta versions, do let me know in the comments, or via our support page.