So finally the wait is over. Indian railways catering and tourism cooperation has launched their own android app IRCTC Connect. The mobile app of IRCTC ticketing website was earlier available on Windows platform but the android app will reach more customers compared to windows phones.
IRCTC has earlier launched the new gen ticketing system through which 7000 tickets can be booked in a minute. The website has been improved with the new gen system and even the customers seems to be happier now.
You can download the app from Google Play Store. As of today, more than 12000 users has reviewed the app with 5600 users giving the 5 stars, 3600 users giving 4 stars and less than 800 users giving 1 star. The app was first released on Oct 10th but the latest update on Oct 16th says that the developers are able to reduce the size of the app to approx 6MB.
The entire user interface of the app is simple and easy to use. You could use the app just by SWIPE and SHUFFLE, SELECT and BOOK.
- One step login to existing users
- Search and Book train tickets
- View and Cancel tickets
- Retains recently added passenger details
- New Users, register from App directly
- Upcoming Journey Alerts
My Review of IRCTC Connect
The app is light enough to be used in any of the android phones. The overall size of the app is around 6MB. The user interface is excellent starting from the login screen, the developers has tried to provide the ultimate user experience. The user interface engineers deserves a kudos for the clean design.
From the login page, you can either login through your existing IRCTC website credentials or register a new account. The registration page asks you for details like name, email, phone number, date of birth, address, etc. To complete the registration process, you need to enter the OTP (One Time Password) sent to your mobile and password sent to your email address. After the verification is completed successfully, you can enter the home page.
Even though the registration might look cumbersome, we can’t help it either as IRCTC needs to have a long verification process to ensure the authenticity of the passenger booking the ticket.
The home page looks clean and neat with only the essential features. You can start booking from the home page. The design is very intuitive and easy to understand.You can search and book tickets from the home page. You can select from/to stations, view the route map, and the list of trains. Once you select the train, you can add passengers from the next screen. The passenger history is available so that you need not enter passenger details again. Along with the passenger details, you can also enter your preferences. Once you have decided on your itinerary, you can go ahead with the payment. You need to enter a CAPTCHA before proceeding. I don’t know why you need a CAPTCHA inside the app!
Almost all the payment gateways from the website are available in Connect app too. The one good feature is it won’t take you out of the app to make the payments. The payment gateway site will be opened inside the app so that you don’t need to leave the app at any point of time. You can see the confirmation and the booking details once the payment is successful.
The menu page includes the following:
- New Booking
- My Bookings
- My Profile
- Contact Us
- Rate Us
- Terms and Conditions
- About Us
You cannot edit your details in my profile page. It’s just a view only page. The user can cancel ticket from the my bookings page.
IRCTC Connect Android app is developed by BroadVision.
Overall the app is very useful with only the necessary features enabled. However the major disadvantage for the app is ads. I don’t know why a major government initiative is relying on ads too much. There are ads on every page and it might pop up unnecessarily which will actually dampen the user experience. I hope the app will get rid of the ads in their next update.
Another disadvantage is that you need to login to the app every time you visit the app. But this is understandable as the server speeds might depend on the number of active sessions. So once you are out of the app, it will automatically log out your session. I would give 4 out of 5 stars for new IRCTC Connect Android App.