Best transportation apps
When it comes to getting from Point A to Point B, your iPhone can be your best friend. There are a multitude of apps to help you get where you're going, regardless of if it's by train, plane, or automobile. From scoring some wheels to knowing when your little sister's flight will take off, we've got you covered.
In many cities it's not practical to own a car, yet you still need to take that drive to visit your parents. Zipcar solves your rental issues, making car acquisition a cinch. The app takes your location and shows all available cars near you, their details, and price. Tap the big Reserve button and you're set. The killer feature of Zipcar is the app can be used to unlock the car when picking it. It also honks the horn, because you once again forgot if you parked in section 3C or 9A.
Glympse - Share GPS location with friends and family
You've been there. You're stuck in traffic and can't let anyone know you're running late. It's not safe to text while driving and let's face it: calling is SO last decade. Glympse solves all that. Just open the app and give it a list of people you want to see your location. Enter a destination and even a custom SMS, then get driving. Your shared location is only good for a set time and afterward, you're automatically private once more. Anyone on any OS and device can pull up your Glympse session to see where you are and even how fast you're moving. Even better is that this works on a computer too.
KAYAK Flights, Hotels & Cars
Kayak is a one stop shop for planning every aspect of a trip and getting around. This complete package gets you hotels, flights, and rental cars with a quick search and geolocation. Finding the appropriate part of your trip takes just a minute and you can even get alerted when prices drop! Kayak stays with you when you’re on the trip by giving you handy tools. A currency converter helps abroad while airport terminal guides and local sight guides give you all you need when visiting a new place. If maps of an airport terminal aren’t your thing, hit up the ad-supported free version since it includes everything else.
Remember the station wagon when it first rolled into your driveway years ago? That wood paneling and spoked hubcaps screamed style. Well, times change and you're ready to replace that boat of a gas guzzler. Enter AutoTrader. This app makes your car search simple. The app opens directly to a search, allowing you to narrow down the hunt to: new or used, year range, price, and location. Photo-tagged results and quick stats are sorted by distance, but can be changed to price. Tapping a car gives full details and lets you call the seller or fire off an email. A dealership locator and a VIN barcode scanner round out this invaluable car-shopping app.
Foursquare - Find Places to Eat, Drink, and Visit
Crowdsource your destination by using the fantastic Explore feature built into the gold standard of social location apps. Foursquare takes your current location and presents you with a genius list of restaurants, shopping, nightlife, top picks, and more. Each place is accompanied by a tip left there, but even more valuable is that Foursquare shows if any of your friends have been there. With Foursquare you'll never get caught saying “There's nothing to do in this town!” again.
If you're gonna catch a cab, why not do it with some style? Über is a groundbreaking cab service that transports you in a luxurious black Town Car or SUV. Über takes your location and shows you how far away a car is. By tapping the “Request Pickup” button the service locates a nearby car, confirms the driver, and provides an ETA. You can see your Über approaching in real-time through the app. Best of all, the fare and tip is billed straight to your account, so keep your wallet put away.
Waze Social GPS, Maps & Traffic
They say the best things in life are free, and Waze is a textbook example. On the surface it’s another GPS app, but starting navigation begins the fun. Waze takes real-time traffic reporting from the DoT and other Waze users to route you in the shortest time. As you drive you can report accidents, police activity, traffic cameras, hazards, and more to help other Waze users. Waze constantly checks alternate routes, automatically rerouting to shave minutes off the trip. By crowdsourcing data, Waze users have a leg-up over other GPS apps. Triggering voice commands are done by waving a hand over the front-facing camera. The app can also use your car’s bluetooth connection. Social features are front and center. Message other Waze users when stopped and the app can automatically fire off updates to Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to keep the social game in motion.
Roadify Transit - Subway and Bus App; Train, Bike, Ferry and car2Go
Mass transit is never easy if you're in a new city. Blue line, the Loop, changing at Jamaica: what does it all mean? Roadify takes the guesswork out of your trip. Using your location the app customizes itself to one of 10 cities. Train, subway, bus, and ferry schedules are only a tap away. Roadify alerts you to delays and gives you times for each stop along the route. You can also report issues to help other riders.
Keeping your car running is vital to your everyday errands, so AutoZone’s app is a must-download for your iPhone. Once you have inputted the year, make, and model of your car, you’re all set to find compatible parts that are sure to fit. Each part can be added to a shopping list, so you’re able to have a quick rundown of each item you need when you get to the store. Speaking of stores, the app can use your location to find a close AutoZone while providing hours of operation along with the phone number and address. The AutoZone app is a great companion for any driver in case you need a part on a moment’s notice.
GateGuru, Airport Info & Flight Status
The airport isn’t the most fun place to be. Long lines at security, delayed flights, and unfamiliar cities can be a drag. Gate Guru will make you a terminal expert no matter where you are! Its flight tracker is elegantly laid out and looks like a luggage tag to give you vital information at a glance. You can track multiple flights by swiping left and right. Need a bite to eat near Gate 7 at SFO? Just go to the airport section and you’ll have a list of places to eat, shop, and services available close by. Foursquare-style ratings and tips help you navigate to the best spots while you wait. For the frequent fliers, Gate Guru has a game point system you can play by checking in and using the app. Before you get to 30,000 feet, be sure that Gate Guru is on your iPhone.