With so much to see and do in London, it can be difficult working out a schedule for the day. It turns out you might not have to anymore, thanks to Timista - a brand new web application that plans your time in the capital.
London's a big place, so a little helping hand to tell you what's worth visiting is appreciated. With the 2012 Olympics almost upon us, now is the ideal time to make the most of Timista and its functions. The site provides a suggested schedule of activities, including: theatres, bars, pubs, cinemas and music venues. That's a strong selection of categories and one that doesn't even include the more specific sub-categories on offer.
At Timista's core is its unique search system, which the makers boast uses the same algorithms that are programmed into the Mars Pathfinder. Users are prompted to answer three questions: when do you have time? Where will you be? How many of you will there be? Once you've sorted that out, a series of scores are generated, along with a 'starting at' price tag. Timista's scores adjust according to distance, time and user reviews, all in real time.
Timista is extremely easy to navigate thanks to its simplistic UI
If you aren't happy with the schedule that's given, you can fine-tune it to suit your needs. You can change the style of restaurant the application searches for or the type of events listed, for example. If you're feeling adventurous, you can add more activities into the mix too. If Timista suggests an idea you like the sound of, you can padlock that activity and roll again, which means everything but the activity you've saved will be swapped with another option.
This very handy HTML web application is still in beta, but functions on desktop PCs, smartphones and tablets. It's worth noting that Timista doesn't require an initial download, either, as it runs like a regular website.
The desktop version of Timista is remarkably nippy and much quicker than what you've probably been doing up to this point, which is searching through an endless supply of web pages until you couldn't care less where you go or what you do.
In our speed test the application performed well on a variety of devices, although the desktop version was certainly the quickest and noticeably more responsive. Generating search results on an iPhone over a 3G network took slightly longer, but the Timista team has done well to adapt the website to fit a smaller screen.
The mobile version of the site also offers slightly different options, such as a 'find me' perk. Tap this and it'll save you the trouble of typing in a postcode or address, using mapping services to work out your current location. Currently, this feature is only truly reliable on a strong WiFi or 3G signal.
The results page can be adjusted if the schedules don't appeal to you
We tested Timista on a number of tablets including the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 running on Android. The application was temperamental on the Galaxy Tab, often displaying a 'Sorry, we can't find any good plans' error message. This was frustrating to say the least, particularly as the application forgot our search terms after refreshing the page. Running the same search query on other devices worked, so this is likely to be an issue solely affecting the Samsung tablet.
For now, Timista is useful only if you're in London, but the website hints that the application may branch out in the future. "Once we get it right, we might look further afield, but for now London is our home," says the FAQ page.
As the project is still in beta, the creators are encouraging users to leave feedback on the website. Timista is a clever little application and is certainly worth checking out if you fancy getting rid of those headaches that come with planning out a busy day.