You like lists. You like your smartphone. You like where you live. So how about a list of the best apps and mobile-optimized sites that every Philadelphian should have (or have bookmarked) on his or her smartphone? OK, here it is. Well, at least according to some of my friends and some other well-known Philadelphians. (They’re listed below. Can you guess which one is my sister?)
Of course, there are lots of mobile apps that Philadelphians can use. But only a few select apps are really geared to Philadelphians or are essential for navigating and mastering the Philly experience. And these are the ones that my friends recommended. Some of these are national, but with good localized versions for the city (those are the links here). And I’m not including Yelp or Foursquare just on principle… so there. Most of these are compatible for both iPhone and Android devices. I’ve included just one link–you can Google the rest if you want. Oh, do I have to tell you? By the time you’ve finished reading this list it will already be out of date.
But here goes anyway, categorized by function.
Walking Around The City
Empty Air – an interactive “soundwalk” of Rittenhouse Square Park.
Around Me – displays things to do based on your GPS location.
GPS My City – mobile, GPS driven walking tours of the city.
Riding Around The City
Uber – of all the apps mentioned, this was mentioned the most. Order a car from anywhere, anytime on your phone and Uber will connect you to driver.
Ride Philly Phlash – developed by local students, this mobile site lets tourists (and locals) map their sightseeing bus stops.
SEPTA’s iTransit Buddy – schedules, maps, routes and all the info you need from SEPTA about its regional rail lines. It’s essential for any transit user.
SEPTA: AnyStop – decently accurate arrival information on SEPTA’s bus, trolley, subway and el routes.
Multi-Cam – taps into the multitude of traffic cams in and around the city to show you where the traffic problems are.
Trapster – even more importantly, this app ID’s police and other road traps to avoid (or, of course, you could just slow the hell down).
CBS Local Your Drive – up to the minute traffic conditions in the area.
Best Parking – coming into the city? Hate paying too much for parking? Find the best and cheapest lots with this useful tool
Eagles – get your Chip Kelley fill here.
Phillies – The Phillies don’t have a team app, but you can stay up to the minute on Ryan Howard’s latest injuries with MLB’s At Bat app.
94 WIP – listen to your favorite guys complain about their favorite teams.
Box Score – A free mobile app from local poet and Temple creative writing professor Kevin Varrone, the app is a set of “literary baseball cards” that trace the history of baseball in Philadelphia. It features historic photos, original artwork and recordings of nearly 80 writers and artists performing poems inspired by the sport.
Savored – find great local restaurants and get discounts via this mobile-optimized site.
Open Table – make reservations in advance. What, you don’t have this one?
Chef’s Feed – get recommendations for eating out from local chefs.
Philly Tap Finder — find out what’s on tap and where with this infinitely useful mobile site.
Untappd — keep track of what you and your friends have been drinking. Sometimes it’s hard to remember.
Realtor – lists properties for sale all over the area, mostly ones you and I probably can’t afford.
Zillow – popular app displays for-sale and for-rent properties.
Living In The City
Philly 311 – essential and excellent app for anyone living or working downtown to help you sort through the city’s bureaucracy. Among the most popular are requests to fix street light outages, rubbish collection, illegal dumping and removal of abandoned automobiles.
Philly.com – news and information app from our favorite daily papers.
Down The Shore
Magic Seaweed – a great surf report site for those who enjoy water sports.
Shore Cams – get a good view of our beaches (and traffic conditions)
Wild Trax – a mobile app that “turns Wildwood boardwalk rides into a social game,” clearly designed for people with too much time on their hands.
I forgot some, didn’t I? Yeah, I thought so. You can tell me in the comments section. And, hey, don’t blame me entirely. The people below share some of the responsibility! But let’s thank them anyway for their contributions to this list:
George Bardissi – Owner, Bardissi Enterprises
Dr. Vicki Bralow – Family Doctor, Penn Medicine
John Featherman – Real estate agent, former Mayoral candidate
Ira Feldman CPA – Member, Bush, Tecosky, Goodman, Feldman LLC
Victor Fiorillo – Philadelphia Magazine
Omari Fleming – Reporter for Fox 29
Josh Kopelman – Partner, First Round Capital
Brett Mandel, Citizen Of Philadelphia (and former candidate for City Controller)
Michael Shea – CEO Mobility Effect
Jeff Sumner – President, TechGuides Inc.
Chris Stafford – Owner, Stafford Consulting
Eve Tannery – Anchor 69 News at Sunrise, WFMZ-TV
… and the Geniuses at Technical.ly/philly/