The Big App-le

Plan Your Trip

by staff

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Whether you're looking for a bite to eat or the nearest (and cleanest) public restroom, smartphone applications can help you explore New York City with ease. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite NYC-centric apps so that, wherever you are, you can have the City at your fingertips.

Don't forget to visit's very own mobile site for great info on attractions, dining, shopping, events, deals and more, and see below for a list of helpful apps for navigating the City.


Museums and Art

Making your way through the streets of New York has never been easier thanks to these navigational apps, which provide detailed street and subway maps, transit information, the best corners for hailing a taxi and more.

CabSense NYC
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
CabSense NYC analyzes data from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and other sources to help users find the best nearby street corners to hail a taxi based on the day of the week, the time and their location. The app even comes with a built-in "cab hailer"—simply shake your phone and it will whistle and display a flashing message.

Embark NYC Subway
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Find out where your train is and when it will arrive with Embark NYC Subway (there's also an Embark Metro-North). This app, which works without a cell phone signal, works as a trip planner that sends schedule updates based on service changes and advisories.

Exit Strategy
Use with: Android, BlackBerry and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Don’t waste time mentally calculating which subway car door will bring you closer to the exit at your destination—this app does it for you. In addition, Exit Strategy provides detailed maps of the entire subway system, as well as bus maps for all five boroughs and an off-line street map of Manhattan (which works underground). Note: while the iPhone/iPod touch version 2.5 includes the entire subway system, the Blackberry and Android versions include every stop in Manhattan but only some in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Get There By Bike
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch 
With the expansion of bike paths and lanes throughout NYC, the Get There By Bike app is a useful tool to help cyclists, leisurely riders and daily bike commuters navigate the road. Powered by Google’s Bike There service, the app provides directions for users that account for traffic, hills and local off-street bike paths. Bike boulevards, lanes and routes are also included. Record your own routes and mark dangerous intersections, safe bike parking options and bike-friendly businesses on the shared map, too.

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
With more than 3 million users, HopStop remains one of the most popular public transportation apps on the market. This mobile cartography tool allows users to map directions via subway, bus, automobile or foot, and offers real-time updates about delays and any ongoing interruptions while you're on your way. Users can also customize subway and bus routes.

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

MTA Subway Time
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Track your train with this app, which provides live, up-to-date schedules. Users can find nearby stations and receive alerts about any service delays to select lines.

Use with: Android, BlackBerry and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Find yourself longing for the nearest wireless hotspot, craft beer bar or pharmacy with late-night delivery? MyCityWay combines urban reference apps and app platforms with important City info and tips from its own user community to bring you a super-loaded City navigating tool.

New York City Compass
Use with: iPhone, iPad
This minimal app provides users with one simple but vital piece of information for efficient urban orienteering: whether they're going uptown, downtown or crosstown (east or west).

Use with: Android
Suburban commuters can now breathe easier; not only does this app contain the official NYC subway map and every neighborhood map and bus maps for each borough, it also comes with maps of the Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and PATH trains.

NY Waterway
Use with: Android and iPhone
NY Waterway's East River Ferry offers frequent and fast service connecting Manhattan with locations in Brooklyn and Queens as well as Governors Island. With the NY Waterway app, users can consult route maps and schedules, get service advisories and look up bus options near ferry terminals. Best of all, the app allows users to buy paperless tickets and simply present their phone as proof of purchase.

Use with: Android  and iPhone, iPad, iTouch
Uber has taken the car-service world by storm with its system of quick pickups by licensed, independent drivers. Get a fare quote, connect with your driver and let the automated system do the rest.

Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Have you ever found yourself standing on the subway platform on a Sunday night, tapping your foot frantically only to find out there was work planned on your line? Well, the Weekender app—the only official MTA app—is your guide to getting around NYC when construction alters your weekend subway service. The app displays all service changes so riders can navigate around diversions.

Whether you're a lifelong local or a first-time visitor, there's always plenty to discover in NYC. These apps provide key information on the City's top tourist attractions as well as on lesser-known destinations that might not have been on your radar.

Central Park
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
The official mobile guide to perhaps New York City's most popular green space, this app from the Central Park Conservancy provides users with a wealth of information about the many attractions and activities in Central Park. View a fully interactive map, read up on the park's history, get the latest news on concerts and much more.

Use with: BlackBerry and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Find out where everything is in your current neighborhood and elsewhere in New York City with this app, which gives users information on restaurants, bars and shopping in NYC. Citysearch also includes local business listings, reviews and ratings and maps.

Downtown NYC
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
This is the official app of the Downtown Culture Pass, which offers discounts to Lower Manhattan cultural attractions. The app also features downtown event listings, restaurant recommendations and more. Visit Wall Street, Century 21, the South Street Seaport and other popular destinations.

Explore 9/11

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
The official mobile app of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan offers information and insight regarding the tragedy. Users can view a timeline of the day’s events or take a walking tour of the area around the World Trade Center, accompanied by audiovisual narration and first-hand reports by first responders, rescue workers, volunteers and others. The app also includes an augmented reality mode, which overlays images taken by survivors and witnesses on your phone’s camera view.

myNav: Central Park
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Considering its size—over 800 acres—Central Park can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Worry not with this app, which provides users with an accurate and interactive map of the park’s pathways, destinations, amenities and the surrounding neighborhoods' streets and subway locations, as well as real-time directions to destinations.

New York City Essential Guide
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch 
There’s a lot to see and do in NYC: the New York City Essential Guide app is here to help you narrow down your sightseeing options. Browse through hundreds of neighborhood attractions, landmarks, shops, shows and hidden gems throughout the City. There are 12 self-guided walking tours and tips for an affordable trip—from free things to do to money-saving advice and estimated taxi fares.

NYC Parks and Trails
Use with: Android
With approximately 29,000 acres of land across the five boroughs, there's a lot to see and do in NYC parks. This app allows nature buffs to browse through offerings at more than 850 facilities, including parks, playgrounds, fields and other public spaces. The app also features geo-targeted information about trails and parks near your current location.

NYC SampleSales 
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch 
Do you know what time the Theory sample sale starts? Is it uptown or downtown? The NYC SampleSales app answers all those questions, plus informs you of dozens of sample sales throughout the City that you might be unaware of. 

NYPL Mobile 
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Losing yourself in the New York Public Library’s catalog can be fun. The NYPL Mobile app makes it even more of a pleasure to browse the library’s titles—along with discovering works, placing holds, renewing items and creating lists. The app also features up-to-date information on branch hours and locations.

NYTimes The Scoop NYC
Use with: iPhone, iPad, 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.

Taking the Kids NYC
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Taking the Kids NYC turns an exploration of Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge and more into a family-friendly game. The app features interactive walking tours that are filled with fun activities (think scavenger hunts). Follow the route and answer questions posed by the app; tours are timed so the quicker you respond, the more points you earn. You may even win a prize at the end.

Time Out New York
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Time Out's app provides up-to-date event listings as well as reviews of art exhibitions, concerts, bars and restaurants. Listings can be further broken down into the Critics' Picks and Free & Cheap categories. Users can also save their favorite venues and locations and send listings to their friends.

Top of the Rock
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
The Top of the Rock app makes taking photos from one of NYC’s most recognizable vantages a snap. Get postcard-esque pictures of the view, using special effects to mimic shots from years past. Options date back to 1933 (a time machine that does work!), and the app allows users to share and upload their images via social media outlets. It also serves as a high-tech pair of binoculars, digitally labeling notable landmarks in the distance like Central Park, Yankee Stadium, The Met and the George Washington Bridge. The app also includes a guide to nearby stores and restaurants.

UrbanWonderer Audio Tours
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Uncover new finds on themed City routes with UrbanWonderer Audio Tours. This free iPhone app offers GPS-driven, self-guided sightseeing tours for first-time visitors and business travelers, as well as native New Yorkers.

VanDam NYC ShopSmart

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
This app features a helpful shopping guide that provides information on hundreds of the City's best stores, in addition to an interactive map and top attractions.

VanDam NYC StreetSmart
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
With so many attractions to visit in New York City, planning a trip can sometimes feel daunting. 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 offline.     

With some 24,000 eating establishments and a plenitude of bars located within the five boroughs, New York City has a dining destination suitable for every budget and taste. Use these apps to browse some of the City's finest restaurants, find reviews by critics and locals and more.

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Look up menus and restaurants by cuisine type, neighborhood and price range. The app also allows users to download delivery menus from takeout eateries. 

Use with: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, iPod touchPalm 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 rewards points redeemable for "Dining Cheques" good at any restaurant on OpenTable.

Real Pizza of New York
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
New York City is a great pizza town; don't waste time filling up on mediocre slices. This app provides recommendations for NYC pizzerias that would get the stamp of approval from discerning local pie aficionados. Real Pizza of New York also includes the history of select pizzerias as well as all the information you need to go on self-guided pizza tours.
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Hunt down your favorite gourmet food truck with this easy app that offers a real-time food-truck map. It follows vendors’ tweets to mark their locations and share the day's specials, secret discounts and more.

Use with: Android, BlackBerry and iPhone, iPad, 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.

Use with: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Palm Pre and Windows Phone
This app allows users to search for nearby restaurants, bars, businesses and stores and also provides photos and—as you'd expect—plenty of opinionated user reviews of venues.

Museums and Art
The importance of NYC's role as a center for art and culture cannot be overstated; with hundreds of world-class museums, galleries, concert halls and theaters to choose from, there's something for everyone. These apps can help you navigate and explore some of the best cultural attractions New York City has to offer.

Use with: iPhone, iPad, 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.

CultureNOW: Guidebook for the Museum Without Walls
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Some of New York City’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, 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. Users can also share their discoveries with family and friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. The American Museum of Natural History also offers some exhibition- and collection-specific apps, which you can find at

Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
The next time you're planning a visit to the Museum of Modern Art, use this app to plan the best way to navigate the museum's permanent collection and current exhibitions. You can thumb through thousands of works, take multimedia tours or learn about featured artists. This app also allows users to take a photo via MoMA Snaps to send to family and friends.

New York Philharmonic
Use with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touchBlackberry and Palm Pre
With this app, you can listen to the New York Philharmonic's weekly radio broadcast, hosted by Alec Baldwin, and also access podcasts, videos and event information.

Best Parking
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
The app hunts down the cheapest and most convenient parking lots and garages near you.

Grade Pending 
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch 
Grade Pending is similar to the NYC Health Ratings app in that it provides graded restaurant results for users, but this app takes it a step further, showing eateries on a map with color-coded dots that reveal their rating—green for good, red for…not so good. You can also search by restaurant name, street or cuisine type and bookmark your favorite dining spots. There’s even detailed information for restaurants including walking directions, phone numbers and weekly inspection result updates for the app.

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Take on the role of your friends’ and family’s personal videographer with Jollyfy, an app that allows you to record and share footage of your time in New York City (or any city, for that matter). Jollyfy enables users to download templates of their choice or make up customized templates for their own travel videos, which they can share with family, friends and the Jollyfy community.

New York City on the Cheap
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
This app offers tips for exploring the City on a budget, with listings of free events and tours, museums with free admission, discount shopping, inexpensive dining and more, written by author and New York City native Evelyn Kanter. For more free events, read our weekly picks at

NYC 311
Use with: Android and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
This app gives you City government-related info, like alternate-side parking updates. There is a host of other official City apps, including NYC Events and NYC Stuff Exchange

NYC Health Ratings
Use with: Android 
The NYC Health Ratings app provides restaurant health inspection results for 24,000 restaurants throughout New York City. This app is also integrated with FourSquare, so you can easily check in and share restaurant ratings with friends. 

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
This simple app allows users to calculate the tip for meals or services and includes standard tipping percentages.

Red Rover
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
A social events tool, Red Rover allows parents to discover great activities for kids and to invite their friends to participate. The app allows users to share photos, make plans and tell fellow parents where you are (to make playdates on the fly). Note: it even includes a feature that highlights clean public restrooms.

Refill My MetroCard! 
Use with: Android and BlackBerry 
Do you have a hard time figuring out how much money to add to your MetroCard (and want to avoid the $1 card-replacement fee)? This app will help you come up with an exact amount to add, so you don’t have a leftover balance after the MTA’s 5% bonus. It also works with no Internet connection, so you can use it underground.

Use with: BlackBerry and iPhone, iPad, 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. Users can even see which bathrooms are currently open and which have changing tables, as well as browse ratings to find the cleanest facilities.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Tour
Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
While visiting this massive landmark, you can listen to a guided tour given by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Monsignor Robert Ritchie, the church rector. Originally built in 1858, the cathedral is one of the City's most spectacular architectural sights, boasting altars, stained-glass windows and a giant organ with more than 7,300 pipes. This app gives users in-depth information about this and more.

Use with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Conveniently consolidate your trip plans and store them in your pocket (or wherever you keep your phone). This app allows users to organize everything from hotel and restaurant reservations to flights, meetings and even museum trips. Additional features include maps, baggage claim info and alerts about flight changes.

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