Smartphones have virtually become ubiquitous among New Yorkers these days, and there seems to be an app for pretty much everything. With so many options out there, here are 10 essential apps that will make life easier in New York City, from how to exit the most efficiently, getting virtually anything delivered, finding coffee +Wifi together, making hard to get restaurant reservations and more.
1. NYC Wifi + Coffee
Coffee statistics show that among coffee drinkers, the average coffee consumption in the U.S. is 3.1 cups per day. New York is the most caffeinated city in the Nation, with household spending more than 3 times the national average. With more than 800 options to grab a cup of joe, the NYC Wifi + Coffee app lets you find the best places to enjoy the two things New Yorkers literally cannot live without- Wifi and Coffee.
2. Exit Strategy
In fact an app for enter AND exit strategy, Exit Strategy is a guide to the most convenient entrance or exit for every subway station, plus the best spot to stand on the platform in order to minimize the distance you walk from the train to get back to ground level. The best part? The app works without internet so you’ll be able to get around the subway system last minute without losing a single minute pushing through the crowds ever again.
Resy is a platform for restaurant-goers to pay for access to a spot to some of the most hard-to-get tables in New York. According to founders Ben Leventhal (Eater NY CEO) and Gary Vaynerchuk (Vayner Media founder and Uber investor), Resy is flipping the model of reservation service by offering “hot tables on tight timelines” and allowing restaurants to generate increments of revenue from them. It might sound a bit ridiculous to pay an extra $50 for a 8pm table on a Friday night, but if we are talking about the ultra-exclusive Sushi Nakazawa, sounds like there are more than a handful of New Yorkers willing to take up the offer.
4. Sit or Squat
Sponsored by Charmin, this app has a database of over 100,000 public bathrooms in New York City, letting you find the nearest spot when you’re out an about and need to answer nature’s call. Users can even rate the bathrooms’ quality “sit” or “squat.” This app, however, doesn’t address the questionable bathrooms in the subway system, which you can read about here.
5. Avoid Humans
While being the city that never sleeps, there actually are places in New York City that aren’t constantly crowded and loud. Enter Avoid Humans, a web app that takes check-in data from Instagram and FourSquare to assess the the crowd levels of places around you. The locations, categorized as nightlife, food, coffee and refuge, allows you to find the place with the least humans. There might be a chance these places also have lower ratings on their data source, so it’s up to users to decide how badly they need some peace and quiet.
Foursquare has been one of the mainstays of urban discovery apps for the last few years (think of it as a more tailored, more beautiful Yelp), but we’re still loving the user-generated lists and mapping tools they have. Updates to the app have made it even more user friendly and push notifications come from people you follow (like us, hopefully!), to let you know of cool stuff around you. Our 30+ lists including things like our Abandoned New York City list and NYC Hidden Bars and Restaurants list have been viewed nearly 50,000 times by viewers. And with our new partnership with Foursquare, you’ll be seeing more and more content appear regularly.
Find a place with happy hour wherever you are
Simply plug in your location and find a place to have your happy hour drink anytime of the day, with discounted beverages at selected venues if you check in on the Happy app.
Choose from a selection of alcohol at Minibar
If drinking with friends (or alone) in the privacy of your home is preferred, MiniBar is the Seamless for alcohol. The app is rated first on Thrillist among its other competitors Drizly and Thirstie. At the convenience of the phone, it allows you to order everything from beer to liquor at the convenience of your phone, all delivered to your doorstep in less than an hour.
Delivery.com is your essential delivery platform for nearly everything – food, alcohol, groceries and laundry. They don’t charge anything for delivery, but the individual merchant does. Overall, the delivery charge will be lower than what you’ll find on Seamless and other delivery platforms, and there’s a loyalty points system.
10. Car Ride Apps
We’ll collectively put all of the car ride apps here (Uber, Lyft, Via, Gett) because the only smart way is to use them all and compare rates (as prices are always shifting to be more competitive). Makes sure you turn push notifications on because that’s how discounts are often communicated, which can be for limited times. And for the real deal busters, most of the platforms have a low-end option – UberPool and Lyft Line for ride shares, Gett has its Deal (right now $9 anywhere in Manhattan below 110th Street). Use the above links for ride credits.
10. Build Your Own Subway with Mini Metro
Think you can build a better subway? Here’s your chance
Seems like these days, there’s a lot to gripe about regarding transportation in New York City, with the potential L train shutdown the most controversial. With the Mini Metro game, you can build your own subway system with levels in 12 different cities. While it’s currently available on computer for now, smartphone versions are being launched this year so you can play this game while being stuck in the subway. Read more about the game here.
For a fun app, check out Brooklyn 1776 where you can battle out the American Revolution in New York City