Using apps to enjoy the NYC summer


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Between the record-setting summer heat, noisy traffic jams, and sweaty sidewalk crowds, spending time outside in NYC can be a challenge. We’ve got some recommendations for apps that make it easier and even fun.

Transportation and Navigation

  • Hopstop (free) – Type in your desired destination and it will give you step-by-step directions for reaching your destination by way of train, bus and walking.
  • 24-hour Kick Map – Supplies 2 maps of NYC subway system (one for day and one for night) that work underground. It also alerts you when there are service changes.
  • Get There By Bike (free) – Allows you to record your route as you bike and later share it with friends. Also, contains city maps that show marked bike lanes.
  • The Next Train (free) – This app will locate the subway nearest you and counts down the time until the next train arrives at the station.
  • Exit Strategy – Contains street maps that show where the entrances of each subway station are and tells you which train car door to exit in order to be the first out of the subway and thus reach the height of efficiency.
  • NYC Bike Share – Shows your current location on a map and where the closest bike share docks and bike racks are. (For when the bikes actually appear — which, we hope, is soon.)
  • PlugShare (free) – Locates electric car charging stations and uses real-time technology to determine stations’ availability.
  • 596 Acres (free) – Maps vacant lots in Brooklyn so communities can organize around local space needs.
  • ZabCab (free) – This one is brand new, and allows you use your smartphone to hail a taxi. More taxi apps are soon to be released.

 Eating and Shopping

  • New York Green (Apple Store) – Provides a guide to NYC’s greenmarkets and community supported agriculture options.
  • Yelp (free) – enables you to search for places to eat and other businesses by price and location. Also supplies tons of reviews written by New Yorkers.
  • NYTimes The Scoop NYC (free) – Written by the staff of the New York Times. Provides ideas for things to do and places to eat around the city and supplements each idea with a New York Times article about it.
  • OpenTable (free) – Allows you to find restaurants near you, check their table availability with real-time technology and make reservations. You can also earn points that are redeemable for dining checks.
  • (free) – A real time food-truck map that enables you to see the location of all of the major gourmet NYC food trucks and view each truck’s tweets.
  • NYC Tip (free) – A tip calculator that helps you to easily determine how much to tip at a restaurant. Provides fast options for calculating a 15%, 18% and 20% tip.
  • WiFi Finder – Locates the WiFi hotspots closest to you using GPS technology.

Arts & Culture

  • CultureNow – Guidebook for the Museum Without Walls –  Contains maps, tour routes, and public art and historical site analysis. It also provides more than 400 podcasts enabling you to take a walking tour of NYC on your own.
  • Leafsnap (free) – The first in a series of electronic field guides that uses visual recognition technology to help identify plant species.
  • Domus Guide to New York – Created by Domus magazine, this app contains maps, photos and information about NYC’s most interesting architecture.
  • NYC Arts (free) – Will help you locate performances, walks, lectures and many other cultural activities going on around the city.
  • Museum of the Phantom City (free) – An interactive map that is tagged with sites of intended art and architectural projects that never came into fruition. When you near a site, the app will give information and provide images of what could have been there.

There are many more apps out there and we’ll continue to keep you posted!