The Top 12 iPhone Apps by Philadelphians, For Philadelphians
Great news for all the iPhone-addicts out there: Philly’s ever-increasing number of techies has been up to more than just taking up all the seats at your favorite Wi-Fi café. They’ve been busy developing truly Philly-centric apps, from the genius (SEPTA travel, local concert information and traffic reports) to the just-for-fun (zombie braining and saving kittens).
Some of these Philly finds may take a little digging through the app store, and with tens of thousands of apps to choose from, who has time for all that? Well, we do! Get those downloading fingers ready for these 12 awesome iPhone apps by Philadelphians, for Philadelphians.
If you’ve struggled to find a Philly transit app that actually works, you’re not alone. After mounting frustration with national transit apps, frequent SEPTA rider Patrick Casady, you may know him as Caffeine Fish, created Trainboard, a transit app that screams ‘Philly.’
Not only are Trainboard schedules accurate, which is a miracle in itself if you’re used to some other transit applications, but the app also helps you find the closest station using your phone’s GPS and will even tell you how late your ride home will be. Just think: you’ll never have to wait on the platform at peak hours for a late train again. Grab a coffee first, and head underground as the train is pulling into the station.
Tonight you can give your friend that 20 bucks you owe him, grab a bite at your favorite eatery and take in a show at the TLA, all without your wallet. How? Use Venmo, the brainchild of Penn grads Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail.
This amazing app allows you to create a financial network of people and places you frequently transact with: friends, family, shops and restaurants, and you can settle up with all of them straight from your phone. You should be warned: Venmo makes paying debts feel strangely social. You may even find yourself enjoying it.
So, you thought Kelly Drive was your safest morning route only to discover that it’s backed up for miles with no exit in sight. Short of getting out of your car and joining the joggers, what can you do to make that afternoon meeting?
You can plan ahead with Philadelphia Traffic Cameras, that’s what. Philly driver Douglas Calobrisi has found the cure for road-rage with this app that allows you to look through the eyes of 153 PennDOT traffic cameras and plan your commute sans gridlock. With so many camera-angles streaming directly to your phone, you’ll never be stuck in another temper-teasing traffic jam again.
Leave it to a Philadelphia techie to develop a mobile mailing solution even the folks at Google didn’t give us. Developed by frequent Gmail user David Martorana, the usemailroom app makes accessing your Gmail and Google apps on the go easier than ever.
This app allows you to avoid logging in and out of your Google accounts, provides user-friendly access to your inbox and gives you access to the features Google left out of Mobile Gmail. Possible side effects: strange feelings of organization and better planning. Watch out!
Have you ever cooked a meal or ordered something at one of Philly’s iconic eateries that was almost too pretty to eat? You probably still ate it, but if you had the ShareUrMeal app on your iPhone, your beautiful plate would be forever immortalized in photographic glory and help to feed hungry mouths here in Philadelphia.
This app was cooked up by Philly-native Andrew Mroczkowski, in collaboration with ShareUrMeal founders Devon Perry and Randy Schmidt, and it pretty much does what it says. It allows you to take pictures of your meals and share them with your friends, and for every photo shared, one of ShareUrMeal’s sponsors donates one dollar to hunger relief causes through the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Yes, pictures of soft pretzels count.
If you notice a fellow SEPTA rider furiously clicking his touch-screen with a mixture of determination and horror on his face, chances are he’s playing Brainarang. Only a Philly native could dream up a game as sick and twisted as this zombie-killing hit, and only fellow Philadelphians could love it so much.
Philly-boys Parker Whitney and Jake O’Brien work out of good old Independents Hall to maintain this cult gaming sensation, which invites you to kill off zombie enemies with an arsenal of boomerangs. This game is seriously addictive. Download at your own risk.
On any given day, there could be dozens of concerts in this great musical city of ours. Check out the Philadelphia Concert Hub app to make sure you never miss a beat. Developed by fellow Philly music-lover Anthony Cosentini, this app allows you to easily search for upcoming Philly concerts, and it covers everything from tiny church shows to Johnny Brenda’s jam sessions to rock-fests at the Susquehanna Bank Center.
With just a click or two, you can easily search by venue, date or artist, and if you see a concert of interest you can map the venue, listen to artist samples and even buy tickets right from your phone. This app does most of the work, but choosing which shows to attend is all on you.
When you’re out and about around Philly do you start going through Xbox withdrawal, wondering what your gaming buddies are up to? Don’t worry. Rehab won’t be necessary, but you may want to download the 1337pwn app for your iPhone to bring the gaming angst down a notch or two.
Developed by Jack Smith and the Philly-based Mobile Tag Company, 1337pwn is an ingeniously designed Xbox Live gamer community that fits right into the palm of your hand. With just a few clicks, you can track the progress of your entire gaming network including recent games and scores. You can even message your friends through an Xbox.com shortcut and share your gaming achievements on Twitter. Philly gamers rejoice!
If slaying zombies is a little too high-impact for your taste, gamer Joe Kauffman has you covered with Danger Cats!, a Philly-developed game that is a little more cute than calamitous.
Use your cat-like reflexes to remove obstacles and help these adorable kitties land safely on solid ground. This family-friendly game saves all of your progress, meaning you can exit the game and pick up right where you left off later. So, you can play and get hooked without exacerbating your already severe iPhone addiction.
Calling all geeks! If you’re not already a member of the Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group (PFPAUG), you probably want to be, and the fact that they have this awesome new iPhone app is just one more excuse to join the Flash fold.
Get up-to-the-minute PFPAUG blog postings and news right on your iPhone, and make sure you never miss an event. All events are posted, you will be notified if an RSVP is required and you can even RSVP straight from your phone. The geeked-out possibilities are endless. So, download on, you prince of the pocket-protector.
In lieu of a weather app that is truly Philly-centric, try a local news app like 6abc. You can scope out the same up-to-the-minute radar Cecily Tynan uses for your nightly Accuweather, and your phone will alert you during all severe weather warnings.
You also get access to time-stamped news updates, sports scores and local movie times so you’re never out of the loop. You can even access today’s winning lottery numbers with a single click. So, try it out. You might get lucky.
Read the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News during your morning commute without having to lug a newspaper around all day. Local news is breaking every minute, and you’ll never be out of the know with all the Philly.com updates you crave streaming directly to your phone.
You can save your favorite stories and videos, or share them with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. This app will keep you posted on your favorite Philly sports teams, too, and if you bleed the red, orange and green you know how important that is.