I like applications which are designed for Indian audience. There were many apps which I have reviewed so far for iOS and Android. None of these apps come close to the simple usefulness of Tuk Tuk. MindHelix Technologies, a startup based in Kochi, has come up with an app for India’s urban traveler. Auto Rickshaw, the three wheeled compact and ubiquitous urban transport vehicle, is called as Tuk Tuk in many parts of India. That’s where the app gets its name from.
Tuk Tuk does two things – Calculates the distance based on GPS and calculates the fare. Calculating fare is simple math and calculating the distance is based on GPS satellite. The phone has to have GPS functionality, of course.
The system, developed by the United States Department of Defence, is freely accessible by anyone with a GPS receiver. (IBN Live)
Tuk Tuk is available for Android, Symbian and Blackberry. No iPhone which is unfortunate but it signifies a very important trend which will soon engulf the Indian app market place (more about this later). The app is available as a as a direct apk file download or it is available in the Android marketplace. I have downloaded it from the market place. A simple search for “Tuk Tuk” gives only one app which is from MindHelix. The app is tested on Android 2.1.
The app has the most simplest of interfaces for a mobile app. You just hit the play button once you are in a Tuk Tuk and the app calculates the distance and the fare for you. The minimum fare is Rs. 17 for a minimum distance of 2 km. This is what we have in Bangalore. The charge for each additional kilometer is Rs. 9.
I have verified the distance calculated by Tuk Tuk with an independent distance calculator of my car. They match. Tuk Tuk might give a discounted distance if a lot of U-turns are involved.
All the parameters (Rate per km, Minimum fare, minimum distance) can be configured to suit your city standards. I don’t think there will be automatic updates push if there is a change in the overall fare meters. You just have to reset it to the new rates.
A simple and useful, and I must say, a must have app for urban dwellers. If you are frequent tuk tuk traveler, then you can leave home without change but not without this app. A must have app.