Best mobile apps for city living: must-have downloads
Moving to a new city, or even a new part of a city you know well, can be disorienting. Luckily, there are tools available to help make your life easier with just a swipe of the screen. These must-have apps for city living exist to make your life easier!
Getting Around the City with your Smartphone
First thing’s first: in new surroundings, knowing where you are and where you need to be is something every new city dweller has to learn! Forget buying a map. Satellite-powered map programs are available for free through your phone, so you don’t have to fill your bag with pages of geography.
Google Maps is a must-have app for getting your bearings in a new city. It gives directions for walking, driving, transit, or even biking to or from addresses and specific locations. Tip: while using it, be sure to download offline maps of locations you are traveling to, or visit regularly. This will ensure that even when you do not have access to wifi, or your data is running out, that you can still see important landmarks and street names.
For more specific directions, there are also all-encompassing apps like Transit. This app will tap into several functions on your phone to guide you to your destination. Transit programs each leg of your journey in real time, with suggestions for when and how to get to each destination before the next step.
Before you leave, do not neglect knowing what’s going on out there! Many phones come with a weather app with up to the minute updates on whether it’s raining, snowing, or 110 degrees. Be sure to check this and keep it up to date.
Urban Traveling Apps: Cars, Trains, and Buses
Now that you know where you are, and how to get there in theory, you will need to learn the ins and outs of the transportation options available. It takes time to learn the new routes and destinations available through public transit. Riding the rails (or roads, if buses are the best way to get where you’re going) is also a great way to learn the neighborhoods of your new home city.
Whether you are visiting a city, or moving there, getting to know public transit is essential. Larger cities have apps for their transit systems. Definitely must-have apps for city living, these can provide the locations of stops, local maps, fare costs, and travel tips. Most importantly, many of these offer up to the minute locations on trains and buses, and offer the purchase of passes and individual tickets on the go.
Once you get to know the transit system, you may find it does not cover all of your transportation needs. Not every area will be accessible by train or bus, and unless you own a car, access to independent transportation will be important. A rideshare app like Lyft is essential for city living. Many people use Lyft as a primary form of transportation.
Even if you are uninterested in taking a Lyft as a commuting option, it is important to have for transit emergencies. Taxis are fun, but sometimes difficult to flag down. Also, depending on the time of day or night, it may be a while before one comes by. In cases where you need to get somewhere directly, rideshare apps are a must.
Best Apps for Your Long City Commute
One of the largest adjustments for people moving to a city is the commute on public transit. After the confusion and, ultimately, excitement of learning the ins and outs of a new city’s transportation system wears off, it is important to find something to do.
Commuting is an excellent time to catch up with your friends on Facebook, but it is also a great time to enjoy a moment of calm before or after work. While staring at your fellow passengers may provide some momentary enjoyment, there are also a variety of apps available to supplement your enjoyment of the ride.
For a passive morning or exhausted evening ride, reading apps like Kindle are a must-have. If you would rather not stare at a screen, Audible offers a large array of audio books to fill the time. The nice thing about apps you can listen to is that they can also be used while driving.
There are also lots of apps available to peruse the latest news. Your favorite news provider probably has an app that presents their coverage in an easy to read format, but don’t forget to check out news reader apps that have more inclusive coverage.
Some prefer a more engaging experience on transit. Admittedly, the hours you will spend each week going to and from work are a great time to learn a new skill or absorb information tailored to your favorite niche. For your listening pleasure, there are music apps, or podcast apps like Overcast. If you want to make your time squished like a sardine with your favorite citizens more useful, try a learning app like Duolingo to start the path onto learning a new language. There is also Tiny Cards by the same company to learn and memorize several areas of knowledge.
City People Apps for Staying in Touch
Don’t forget that your phone is a great way to connect to friends, and even make new ones! Calling people is a phone’s classic function, but social apps keep you in contact with your loved ones and allow you to share with interested parties. Be sure to download the apps of websites you use, like Twitter and Facebook to stay connected.
Facebook now offers event suggestions based on ones your friends are attending and your location. Be sure to utilize this to check what’s going on in your city. While you’re at it, make sure to follow local groups, institutions, and businesses for news and deals they may be having.
City living can be hectic and confusing, but with these basic apps, it can be easy to get your bearings and begin enjoying it.