What are the most useful iPhone apps for Boston?
August 20, 2012 11:55 AM   Subscribe

What are the most useful iPhone apps for Boston?

This is basically an update of this question, minus the NYC stuff.
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.)
I'd particularly like a recommendation for one of the many public transport apps, but if there's other interesting stuff, let me know.
posted by zamboni to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
ScoutMob gives you 50% off of local restaurants that participate. It's not Boston-specific, but Boston is one of the (few) cities where restaurants participate, and I've had some really good dinners out at places I wouldn't have known about with it.
posted by xingcat at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2012


It's not even an app, it's a website (and it's not just for Boston), but I find it more useful than the apps meant to accomplish the same things. You can either bookmark the page for a particular route and stop, or you can use it to figure out what buses are near you, and when they will arrive.

All the buses in Boston have live time gps tracking, and this page, and the bajillion apps you can load up (which are listed at the mbta's app page, which has other useful transit apps as well) take advantage of this fact.

So basically it means I haven't missed my bus in over a year, and I don't go out in the rain and wait for one that got diverted and isn't going to show up anyway.
posted by instead of three wishes at 12:10 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yup. Nextbus.
posted by Cygnet at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are a few different folks doing stuff with the mbta data feed. My favorite is http://www.trackthet.com/
posted by rmd1023 at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I use Nextime for the bus and it works fine (also has 'walk/run' time estimates and alerts when a bus is approaching), but honestly, nextbus.com in Safari is generally just as functional.

More and more local businesses are accepting LevelUp payments (makes sense, since it's a local company) and they usually have a first-time customer credit attached, so if you're looking to try a new place and want to save a couple bucks in doing so I've found it pretty handy. The discounts are typically in the $2-3 range.
posted by Kosh at 12:16 PM on August 20, 2012

I prefer a bookmark to the NextBus website to any of the several transit apps I've tried.

If you're using Hubway, Spotcycle can help save you from heading for a station that's already all full (if you check it regularly, which I didn't last time that happened to me).

Depending on where you are, Citizens Connect (Boston), Somerville 311, Cambridge MyPD, or BrookOnline may be useful for reporting potholes and graffiti, complaining about city services, or meeting your local police officers (Cambridge only).
posted by nonane at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2012

I really like the Catch the Bus app for bus tracking.

MassTransit also has some good uses--has schedules and keeps track of service advisories.

Maplets can be handy--sort of a portfolio for different maps (i.e., MFA gallery map, T map, etc.), but I can't remember what Boston-specific stuff they've got.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:58 PM on August 20, 2012

I pretty happily use Pocket MBTA as my NextBus app but I haven't tried anything else and as others have said you can use the NextBus website itself. I like the favorites and the "nearby" options that the app provides, especially if you don't know what you are looking for.
Note: the name makes it sound like it is an all encompassing MBTA app but it only does buses.
posted by bobobox at 5:10 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this would interest you but the Harvard Mobile app has a lot of nice features, including a historical multimedia walking tour of the campus, the daily Crimson headlines, a daily calendar of all the events on campus (most free and many quite interesting), etc.
posted by Miko at 7:22 PM on August 20, 2012

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