Best iPhone Apps for Boston and NYC
April 27, 2010 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of any good iphone apps specific to either Boston or NYC? I live in Boston and will be visiting NYC frequently over the next few months. I'm looking for anything that is well designed and you've found useful (e.g. good public transit apps, travellers guides, stuff to keep me entertained on the train/bus while enroute in between the two or anything else that you think might be handy or fun.)
posted by Contadina to Technology (13 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Exit Strategy NYC and Cabsense New York are both good NYC apps for getting around.
posted by lsemel at 8:48 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

iTrans NYC.
posted by thejoshu at 8:50 PM on April 27, 2010

I use Yelp, menupages, and CityTransit pretty often.
posted by helios410 at 8:57 PM on April 27, 2010

Perhaps not useful but really entertaining looking: Walking Cinema: Murder on Beacon Hill. It takes you on a walking tour based on an old murder mystery.
posted by loulou718 at 9:17 PM on April 27, 2010

Exit Strategy NYC is great -- it has the local area maps to help you get oriented as you leave the station, but lacks schedules. iTrans NYC is great -- it has subway schedules, but lacks maps. I use both all the time.

It is hard to overstate how useful the local area maps are. The stations can span many streets and even avenues, so it is important to know where to enter and how to plan your route through the statiosn. The normal google maps don't show the different entrances, nor do they show the train routes to help you plan your trip. This last omission is very odd since the desktop google maps and Android versions have the option to turn on the public transit layer.
posted by autopilot at 3:31 AM on April 28, 2010

I love AroundMe and HopStop (Bonus: contains directions for both New York and Boston in one app).

Also, Free Booze for happy hour locations in NYC.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:10 AM on April 28, 2010

24 Hour Kick Map is my favorite subway app. Each service has its own line on the map, kind of like the Vignelli map, but it retains a lot of the geographical accuracy of the MTA map. Holding your finger on a station pops up a google street map of the surrounding area, and the app can use GPS to locate the nearest stations.

Other than that, the Not For Tourists NYC app is useful for finding restaurants and attractions around Manhattan and Brooklyn.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:19 AM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

MassTransit gives MBTA subway, bus, commuter rail and boat schedules, offline. Includes first and last service information, which has helped me get home late at night. Well worth it.

There are some track-the-GPS-on-the-bus applications but there are only a small number of buses covered at this point. These are (at least) Catch the Bus (99c) and T Tracker (free).

A review on one of those apps' pages led me to a web application that might also be worthwhile: Open MBTA. I haven't tried it.

The Google Maps public transport directions have worked well for me on my 3GS.
posted by galaksit at 7:25 AM on April 28, 2010

2nd Yelp and Menupages. The Yelp application's killer feature is that it allows you to filter a search against price, distance from current location, and what's open right now. The Menupages allows you to look at a restaurant's current menu and links directly to the phone number so you can order something for delivery.

The UrbanDaddy application, while not comprehensive, is slick, easy to use, and fun if you're looking for nightlife suggestions. (The mixed reviews in the app store focus mainly on its lack of certain cities i.e. "you get one star because you don't have Portland" and/or poor coverage in certain neighborhoods but I've only used it for NYC and it's been good.)
posted by kathryn at 7:57 AM on April 28, 2010

UpNext is awesome — it shows what businesses are in each building in NYC.
posted by nicwolff at 8:44 AM on April 28, 2010

Nthing Exit Strategy. It's a little tricky to use unless you're already familiar with the MTA and how it works, but I have gotten my money's worth out of that app a hundred times over. The neighborhood and bus maps, in particular, have saved me countless headaches, and it makes transfers between subway lines much less painful.

I've also had a lot of luck with and gotten tons of use out of the Time Out New York app. It's a little buggy, but it has tons of frequently-updated and easily searchable listings that are generally quite accurate, and it's led me to some great places I wouldn't otherwise have known about. It's particularly useful when I'm in a part of the city I'm not familiar with and need to find something to eat (or imbibe, depending on the occasion.)

I haven't used it as much as the apps above since I no longer live in Boston, but I also had quite a bit of luck with the "Not For Tourists" app. It has great restaurant and bar listings and a very clever, engaging interface.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:11 AM on April 28, 2010

Trees Near You is neat. It uses GPS to place you on a map that highlights nearby trees.

And googling for a link, I found this handy NYC app gallery.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:15 AM on April 28, 2010

openmbta for Boston is incredibly useful and I have yet to find anything similarly handy for New York. (I'm about to move from the former to the latter.) My favorite feature is that you can pick any bus route and it'll display a map with a pin at each stop, and if you click a pin you'll see the times of the next three scheduled buses (estimated, but pretty accurate) that will arrive there. Very easy to use and well-designed.
posted by Muffpub at 10:05 PM on May 2, 2010

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