'Cycling satnav' app was featured on BBC News 24 on Saturday and Sunday, leading to downloading surge.

BBC plugs bike industry app

BBC News 24 featured the Bike Hub app at the weekend, with repeats this morning and on Thursday coming. The plug was on ‘Click’, which is billed as "the BBC’s flagship technology programme."

Presenter Kate Russell said the Bike Hub iPhone app "should be every UK cyclist’s best biking buddy."

She featured the journey planning aspect of the app but did not highlight the bike shop finding part. The Bike Hub app has data on 2500 UK bike shops, as supplied by the Association of Cycle Traders.

The Bike Hub app is free because its development was paid by the Bike Hub levy.

The free app is iPhone-only at the moment but there will be an Android version in December and possibly a Symbian version – for Nokia smartphones – in the first quarter of 2011.

On Saturday night the Bike Hub app was updated with satnav functionality, including voice directions. The vibrate alerts feature is a world exclusive for a satnav and means a user can be guided on wiggly routes without resorting to looking at the 3D scrolling map.

Early reviewers on iTunes are full of praise for the update. 

Steven Land said the update was "genius". David Woodhead said: "This update to the brilliant original is superb."

Following the coverage on the BBC, there was a massive increase in the downloads. Over the weekend, and still today, the app is second in the iTunes ‘hit parade’ for free navigation apps. The iTunes app store has 300,000 apps.

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