Apps For The Public Transit User
Are you someone that depends upon public transit? If you find yourself on buses, subways, and other mediums of transportation you may want some apps to use while you are traveling. Besides the basics like Google Maps, which does a great job at giving directions from point A to point B using buses and trains, these apps will help those long travel times fly by and perhaps even make you wish you had a longer trip.
HopStop Transit Directions for iPhone
The first thing you'll want is an app to help you route your public transit trip. With support for dozens of U.S. cities, HopStop will help you find your way via bus, subway, taxi, or even on foot.
A book is a great way to pass the time. We recommend iBooks for its beautiful interface, competitive book pricing, and ease of use. If you are a Kindle or Nook user, there are apps for those ecosystems as well. Having an ebook handy is a must for the public transit user. If you take the subway, it is a good idea to load it up before you leave, as there is often no 3G connection underground.
After reading for a while you may just want to zone out. Little Uzu is a great way to do just that. If you happen to have your iPad, the original Uzu is even better. With Uzu you get to interact and control light particles. Little Uzu provides a very relaxing environment and makes zoning out something you can look forward to.
After zoning out with Uzu you may be in the mood for some podcasts. The podcaster app lets you sync your podcasts without iTunes. There is no 20MB limit for new downloads like the iTunes Music Store app has on your iPhone. It may be a good idea to sync before you leave, but if you do have a good 3G connection, downloading new shows won’t be a problem. A must-have app to help pass the time.
If you forgot to load up music on your iPhone, or just want to hear something different, then Pandora may be your best alternative. The Pandora app builds “radio stations” around an artist or song. The music can get repetitive, which is why having multiple stations is a good idea. You will need a good internet connection for this app to work, so subway users will be out of luck. A nice app to have, but loading up music on your iPhone before you leave may be a good idea as well.
After listening to some podcasts and music you may be in the mood to share some cool sights from your bus or subway trip, or see what other people are posting. Instagram is one of the best photo sharing apps out there. You can even queue up photos without an internet connection, which is a must for subway users. The photos can be enhanced through filters, or they can be filter free. Instagram can also push out your photos to Facebook and Twitter, which is handy at times. Instagram is another app that is a fun to have handy.
Twitter and public transit were made for one another. It is quick to get into and out of and does not require all of your attention. You can even refresh the Twitter stream before you descend underground for the subway. This way you have a ton of tweets ready to read while you travel without an internet connection. You can follow your friends as well as your favorite news sources. Twitter is a fun social network that for many people has replaced the need for the news.
While Twitter is great, some people may still want a dedicated news app. USA Today is a free app that can help you get caught up with the latest news. There is no subscription fee like many of the other apps are starting to impose. For those that simply want the news, this is just one of the many great apps available.
Instapaper and the subway were made for one another. Instapaper allows you to save online stories for later offline reading. The service links up with tons of apps including Twitter. We love that you are able to sync up your iPhone with tons of great content and that you don’t need an internet connection to read the stories. Instapaper is another app that is a must-have for the public transit user.
After you are done catching up on the news and reading Instapaper, you may find yourself in a cool location. Foursquare and other location sharing services/apps are fun to have for the public transit user. You may find yourself at some cool locations that you may not have visited otherwise. This app can help you share that with the world. Foursquare is a fun one because of the point system and earning badges for using the service.
Finally you may want to get home before the sunset. If you are not comfortable traveling at night for whatever reason this app will come in handy. Sun Circuit provides a countdown to sunset and, at night, to sunrise. It serves as a good way to know exactly how much time is left before the sun goes away or comes back.