DB Navigator: Major change planned for the official Deutsche Bahn app
The widespread DB Navigator app is part of everyday life for many rail passengers. But customers will soon have to adapt to a change – a second app may even be necessary.
If you are traveling by train and want to manage trips on your cell phone, you can hardly avoid using the DB Navigator app as a travel companion. Because it offers timetable information, space for a digital ticket and also provides information in the event of irregularities. The app is correspondingly popular, which can also be seen with the 49-euro ticket.
So far so practical, but there is still room for improvement with the travel app and Deutsche Bahn is investing a lot of time and money in further development. And it doesn’t take place in a quiet little room. There is a second train app, Next DB Navigator, which is intended to provide a foretaste of new functions.
We reveal what the new train app can do and where there is still room for improvement.
Next DB Navigator: The innovations at a glance
The Next DB Navigator is available both as an Android app and for the iPhone and brings a new user interface with light and dark mode. However, the range of functions is not yet on the DB Navigator. What’s up:
- Looking for connections: You can search for train stations or addresses, use your current position and, if you wish, show nearby stops. Options such as intermediate stops, transfer times or bicycle transport can also be taken into account.
- Book rides: You can book single journeys or return journeys by train within Germany; Some selected international connections are also possible, for example to Austria, the Czech Republic or Switzerland. Seat reservation is possible, the app also provides information about best prices and lists regional offers. You can also buy the digital Bahncard in the app.
- Travel Info: You can see utilization information for the selected train in advance in the app. Via notifications (digital travel companion) you will be informed in real time about delays, changes, exits and footpaths. Connection forecasts should be accurate to the minute. In the app you can also see where the car with the inspected seat stops on the platform.
- After the journey: You can see tickets and invoices separately in the app. If there are delays, you can also use the app to apply for compensation.
- Customer account: You can create a user account in the app and secure it with 2FA. Digital Bahncards can be stored, PayPal, Giropay, direct debit or credit card work as payment methods.
- Additional offers: Next DB Navigator bundles offers for commuters and frequent drivers, bicycle transport, national tariffs, association offers and also knows flexible prices.
Functions are missing, parallel use recommended
With a user account at bahn.de you can also use the new app. It is currently recommended to use the old and new DB Navigator in parallel, because not all functions are available in both apps.
For example, anyone who has purchased tickets in the classic DB Navigator cannot transfer them to the Next DB Navigator. The same applies the other way around. Mutual takeover is not possible due to separate background systems. The future train app also does not offer wallet support, nor can the 49-euro ticket be purchased.
Deutsche Bahn advises business customers not to use Next DB Navigator, they should stick with the classic DB Navigator.
Feel free to try Next DB Navigator, but it’s better to leave the usual DB Navigator on your phone too.
Lawsuit against Deutsche Bahn
The Next DB Navigator app is part of the digital strategy adopted by Deutsche Bahn in 2018 and is based on the newly developed “Vendo” platform. According to Bahn, this should replace the previous outdated system architecture and be five times more powerful in the future. Communication should also be more reliable and faster in the event of short-term changes.
The new Navigator should take over from 2024 at the earliest. Until then, the previous DB Navigator can be used as usual. Recently, however, he was heavily criticized. IT security researcher Mike Kuketz found that the app collects a not inconsiderable amount of sensitive data and transmits it to third parties without consent.
A lawsuit is now pending against Deutsche Bahn. An investigation by Next DB Navigator showed that tracking is also very extensive here. After all, there are ways to restrict the data transmission behavior with the help of NetGuard.