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Favorite 4: Apps for Getting Around Manhattan

Posted by Rob Rich on March 12th, 2013

Anyone who’s ever been to Manhattan, let alone actually lives there, can tell you that getting around is something of a pain at times. Actually that’s not true. Getting around Manhattan is a nightmare most of the time. Between subway re-routes that aren’t even mentioned in their respective stations to obtuse maps, simply getting from Point A to Point B can require a stop over at Points X, Y, and Z. It gets even worse when you’re in a hurry.

With the ineptitude of the MTA in mind, I’ve compiled a list of apps that should help anyone, resident and tourist alike, find their way around with a bit less hassle.

iTrans NYC Subway
The App Store description claims that this is the “ultimate NYC transit app,” and they aren’t wrong. It’s not perfect because the MTA is rarely “on schedule,” but it’s about as close are you’re going to get. Predicted train arrival times, schedules, maps, location based navigation to nearby subway entrances, step-by-step directions for a planned trip, bus info, and real time train delay info when connected to WiFi will all make getting around beneath the city streets as painless as possible. Provided you don’t get elbowed in the face by one of those dancing panhandlers.

HopStop Transit Directions for iPhone
Now this is the app for serious trip planners. It covers virtually all possible transit routes ranging from cabs to buses to trains and beyond. It can call up schedules, maps (even viewable offline), ETAs, lists several possible routes, and even allows uses to set their preferences to avoid or stick to specific modes of transportation. Heck, it can even save recent searches to be called up later.

What makes this one so notable is that it’s essentially dozens of useful NYC-centric apps in one place. It can call up video from live traffic cams to plan ahead for a road trip. It can call up a bunch of info for various galleries, shopping hotspots, and more. It can search for parking and WiFi. Museums and various tourist attractions are on the list, too. It’s kind of the one-stop shop for any and all information you may need to plan a trip into the city; whether it’s for a few days or a couple of hours.

Central Park
A lot of people don’t realize it until they see it for themselves, but Central Park is big. So big, in fact, that it warrants its own app. This “insider’s guide” covers events (concerts, etc), notable locations to check out (did you know it has its own zoo?), and even helps you find a bathroom. It can guide you wherever you’d like to go using its GPS functions or even let you wander at your own pace while tossing up alerts every time you near a spot you want to check out.

App Update: TomTom Adds New Maps, Internet Location Discovery, and Foursquare Integration

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on August 21st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

In addition to offering the latest TomTom maps, the update will make it easier for people to navigate to locations they find on the Internet or through their friend’s foursquare posts.

“Drivers now have new ways to find places with their TomTom app,” says Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director Consumer at TomTom. “This should be particularly helpful when people are off on holidays and day trips. They can find great places to visit and get there fast with foursquare or a quick copy-paste. And that leaves more time to relax and have fun.”

The latest version of the TomTom Navigation app for iPhone and iPad is available as a free download to customers with an earlier version of the app.

Note that the linked app here is to the Tom Tom US & Mexico app; other regions are separate apps, and can be found on the App Store as well.

NAVIGON Announces Next Generation Navigation Apps

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 6th, 2011
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR DESTINATION :: Read Review »

NAVIGON AG, one of the big navigation companies out there, announced this past THursday not just an update, but a full re-definition of their smartphone navigation software, available for the iPhone and other smartphone platforms, including Android (now) and Windows Phone 7 (later this year).

“Over the last two years, we’ve continuously added new features to our navigation apps, transforming them into the most feature-rich smartphone GPS apps available,” said Gerhard Mayr, NAVIGON vice-president of worldwide mobile phones and new markets. “For our new generation of apps, we went back to the drawing board to see how we could elevate smartphone navigation to the next level. Feedback from our users suggests that a better way to manage and update maps and a more intuitive user interface are top priorities.”

Sounds good, right? What does it boil down to? Here's what we're seeing:

New map management and update abilities are in the update, allowing users to download regional maps on the fly. This could allow users to have, say, only the maps of the states they travel in most, rather than an entire United States or pre-defined region sitting on their iPhone taking up space better spent on new ringtones. The maps themselves will be updated from NAVTEQ on a quarterly basis, ensuring the freshest maps available to users for a one-time fee, good for the lifetime of the software. The user interface has also been updated to more easily match the iOS environment in which it is running (or the platform on which it is running, if not iOS). In addition, NAVIGON includes a speed camera warning feature and a cockpit function that displays real-time driving data, allowing those enthusiasts to monitor their driving behaviors right from the app.

NAVIGON AG was founded in 1991, and operates out of Hamburg, Germany. They were recently acquired by Garmin, and current offer smartphone apps for on-board navigation utility. The new update will be available free to current NAVIGON app users sometime this fall.