App City: New York at Your Fingertips

App City: New York at Your Fingertips

July 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Out late and in need of a bathroom? There’s an app for that! Can’t seem to figure what kind of tree you’re looking at? There’s an app! Need restaurant reservations? Yes, app!

NYC & Company compiled a list of the best mobile device applications for life in the “Big App-le.” We’ve highlighted some of the best app offerings:

Getting Around

    A number of apps will help you to navigate the city's public transportation system. Flickr/MTAPhotos

iTrans NYC Subway
Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
In a rush? This app finds the fastest route between any two New York City subway stations with detailed maps and walking directions, and even works off-line (or underground), taking into account current schedules and service changes.

Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
This app contains the official NYC subway map and every neighborhood map and bus maps for each borough as well as maps of the Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and PATH trains.

UpNext 3D Cities
Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (Android coming soon)
This fun app gives users a real-time 3-D map of the City, as well as tappable buildings, detailed venue and site information, reviews and personalization options.

Critics’ Picks

NYTimes The Scoop NYC
Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
This app from The New York Times provides users with the paper’s staff picks on places to go and things to do in the city. Browse a variety of restaurant, café, event and shopping listings, as well as compilations of “New York experiences” and day trips around the five boroughs.

VanDam NYC StreetSmart

Use with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
This app provides users with a guide to the top 120 New York sights, complete with clear and detailed maps that let you zoom in quickly and search off-line.

Eating Out

With apps to help you search for restaurants, find ratings and reserve a table, the only thing you have to do offline is show up to eat. Flickr/VancityAllie

Chinatown Chow Down
Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
If Manhattan’s Chinatown promises culinary adventure, this app hopes to act as a compass. Chinatown Chow Down provides hand-picked information on 115 places to eat including dozens of hidden gems, hole-in-the walls and street carts, some offering meals for as little as $3.

New York BlackBook

Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Get the lowdown on New York’s hottest shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and nightlife with this app, which gives users information on noteworthy venues nearest them at any given time. BlackBook also provides exclusive discounts, deals and VIP access at certain spots.

Use with: AndroidBlackBerryiPhone, iPad and iPod touchNokiaPalm webOS and Windows Phone
The perfect app for the foodie on the go, OpenTable allows users to search for restaurants, see menus and reviews and make reservations. Users can also earn Dining Rewards Points redeemable for “Dining Cheques” good at any restaurant on OpenTable.

Use with: AndroidBlackBerry and iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
With this app, you can search for and browse nearby restaurants and read ratings and reviews from newspapers, bloggers and other diners. Still can’t decide where to eat? Depending on the type of mobile device you own, just shake your phone or press the app’s “spin” button and the Urbanspoon slot machine will choose for you.

Expanding Your Horizons

The American Museum of Natural History offers an app that provides directions and customized information for your visit. Flickr/Lil 'El

CultureNOW: Guidebook for the Museum Without Walls
Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Some of New York’s best art isn’t found in the Met or MoMA — or within the walls of any museum, for that matter. This app showcases the vast number of public works of art to be found throughout the city streets. Users can find information on artists and individual pieces, browse photos, take neighborhood tours and listen to podcasts featuring artists, architects, historians and curators.

Explorer: The American Museum of Natural History
Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
This app serves as a personal tour guide through the halls of this world-renowned museum, providing users with customized information and step-by-step directions to exhibitions.

Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
With this app, you can browse current and future Broadway productions, as well as see show info, curtain times and ticket prices. Users can also find hotels and restaurants in the Theatre District.


Someday SitOrSquat, an app that locates public restrooms, just might save your life. Flickr/CarbonNYC

Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
This helpful app allows book lovers to search for titles and see the branches of the New York Public Library closest to them that stock the works.

Use with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Leafsnap is perfect for the amateur botanist. The first in a series of electronic field guides from Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian, this app uses recognition software to identify tree species based on photos of their leaves.

Use with: BlackBerry and iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
When nature calls, you’ll be glad you have this app. SitOrSquat will pinpoint your exact location at the press of a button—or you can enter an address, intersection or zip code—and the app will find the nearest public restrooms.