Known alternately as The Big Apple, The Empire City, and Gotham, New York is a wonderful town. Home to such iconic buildings as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Flatiron Building; such magnificent museums as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and American Museum of Natural History; and myriad cultural attractions like Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Philharmonic, not to mention a restaurant scene that eclipses San Francisco and Paris's, New York has long been regarded as The Center of the Universe.
Whether you're moving to Manhattan or one of New York City's other four boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island) or are just planning a visit to The City That Never Sleeps, you'll want to make the most of your time there and explore everything that Fun City has to offer. You need a New York City guide. These 19 New York City apps will help users navigate the city's traditionally competitive rental market, extensive public transportation system, bustling restaurant scene, and an overwhelming number of things to do.
Where to stay
Need a last-minute hotel deal in New York's Greenwich Village, West Village, East Village, or Battery Park (with a view of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island), for example, or one 100 days from now? Then search no further than Hotel Tonight for iPhone and Android. The Hotel Tonight mobile app offers the best deals for your upcoming New York area bookings, whether you're looking for basic, hip, or luxurious accommodations. When hotels can't fill their rooms, they drop their prices and pass these discounted rates along to Hotel Tonight, which then passes the savings onto you. Get the bonus location-based Geo Rate discount (marked in green) for added savings. 24/7 customer support can handle any questions or issues.
New York's rental market is notoriously competitive. Thankfully the NYC Apartments for Rent app makes it easy to search myriad flat listings in all five boroughs. Find a place you like? Check out robust listings complete with photos, amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, maps, and descriptions. You can also set alerts when new apartments matching your search criteria -- by your preferred subway station -- hit the market, so you can get a leg up on the competition. You can also search open houses and make appointments with leasing agents or owners directly from the app. Find low-fee to no-broker-fee apartments in the free app and save your money for decorating.
How to get around
Why brave driving in bad traffic and hunting for parking in Manhattan when you can just take an Uber? Uber is a ridesharing app that enables you to quickly hire Uber drivers in your area, 24 hours a day, to take you to destinations near and far. It's like a taxi cab you don't have to hail!
Or you can support local yellow taxi drivers by using the new Waave app, which promises customers the same level of convenience and service they've come to expect from Uber and Lyft minus the extra traffic congestion and carbon emissions that ride-sharing services bring. The upfront surge-free pricing is another, perhaps more persuasive, incentive to turn to this app.
Or you can take public transit. Open up the Transit app for iPhone and Android, and it displays a running list of public transportation options near you. You can also pick your destination like Times Square, for example, and see your travel options, including bus, train, and ride-sharing services.
Or go on a biking adventure in Midtown Manhattan-adjacent Hell's Kitchen, for example, with Citi Bike. Locate the nearest station location in the iPhone app or Android app to find the nearest bicycle. There are over 12,000 bikes at 750 stations around the city to choose from. Then reserve and unlock your bicycle with the app. When you're done, simply search for the nearest dock and the app will help you to your destination for drop-off.
Where to eat and drink
Yelp can help people find the best restaurants and coffee shops in New York using the GPS on your phone. You can also filter a search for the best places to eat by location, price, type of cuisine (like corned beef), star rating, number of positive reviews, and more. If you'd rather avoid the hustle and bustle and eat in, the Yelp Eat24 (iOS, Android) delivery service can deliver items from your favorite restaurants to you.
New Yorkers know that open tables are hard to find in New York's hottest restaurants, such as Per Se and Momofuku Ko, so don't expect to be seated anytime soon without a reservation. That's where the OpenTable app comes in. Once you've settled on a restaurant, just pull it up, find out when the next reservation is, and lock your table down. If there's nothing available in the near future, you can also search in the app for a list of restaurants in NYC that can accommodate you during your desired day and time.
Where to go
Discover the hottest places to eat and drink and the best events in New York City with the Time Out app. Book anything appealing from theater and event tickets to concerts and festivals to tables at the hottest restaurants -- straight from the app.
Cool Cousin (iOS)
If you want to go beyond the mainstream options, then check out Cool Cousin to get the down-low on the coolest events from hip locals and even native New Yorkers. Pick your destinations and get opening hours, addresses, websites, and directions. Then book an Uber there through the app.
How to get tickets to the hottest shows
No trip to New York is complete without a Broadway show. But tickets can be pricey and hard to acquire. Fortunately, TodayTix partners directly with box offices to help you secure last-minute tickets to the biggest Broadway and Off-Broadway theatrical presentations at deep discounts.
Where to shop
ShopDrop Sample Sales (iOS)
You don't have to drop megabucks on clothes to look like you did with the ShopDrop Sample Sales app. The app helps you discover the best sample sales in New York City -- where retailers are trying to unload near-perfect excess merchandise -- that may or may not have been used in advanced showings, fashion shows, or presentations -- so you can get luxury items for a lot less.
FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter to keep up with the latest app news.
What to listen to
From noisy jackhammering to honking horns and car alarms, New York has plenty of noise to spare. Shut it out with noise canceling headphones and the New York Philharmonic app, which offers free on-demand streaming of its weekly radio broadcasts. You can even purchase tickets to upcoming New York Philharmonic concerts within the app.
Where to take a breather
Central Park Entire (iOS)
New York can be so fast-paced and frenetic. That's why a hike around Central Park is always welcome. But Central Park, at 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide, can be easy to get lost in. Think of Central Park Entire as your trail of breadcrumbs through the entire park. The app will show you every picturesque point of interest, as well as the nearest food stand and public restroom, so you can confidently take your own self-guided walking tours. Tap 300+ park sites in the app to learn more about them or any tree on the app's map for instant identification. If you end up lost, tap Find Me to instantly find your position and direction, so you have a good exit strategy.
Where to complain
You're really not a New Yorker till you've lived here long enough to start complaining about the city. Once the bloom is off the rose, use the NYC311 app to report abandoned cars, graffiti, blocked sidewalks, the need for tree maintenance, dirty sidewalks, noise complaints, and much more.
- When traveling to Los Angeles, use these apps to guide you (Download.com)
- The 5 best weather apps with the most accurate forecast for your location (Download.com)
- The 7 best transit apps for the Bay Area (Download.com)
- Airbnb pulled out every trick to stop NYC from curbing rentals (CNET)
- A news app for car-bound commuters (ZDNet)
- Ditching Uber? 8 alternatives for professionals (TechRepublic)