There’s An App For That: 13 Apps Every New Yorker Needs
If you live in New York City, you know that life is chaotic. There’s the crazy long line at Trader Joes, the unbearably crowded [and late] subway, that restaurant that you’re dying to try but can’t get a reservation at, the SoulCycle class that’s full… and don’t forget those times when it’s literally impossible to get a cab. But guess what? There’s an app for that! And we’ve rounded up 13 of ’em that’ll solve all of those problems and more. From snagging a last-minute beauty appointment to having your groceries and booze delivered, we’re making your #CityLife easier than ever.
1. Resy, FREE: Something really frustrating about the food scene in NYC is the exclusivity at hot restaurants. To ensure your spot, you’ve got to make a reservation in advance — sometimes months in advance — and most times, you’re offered the 5:30pm or 10:30pm slots. Whether you forget to make a res for an occasion or are just feeling spontaneous, the Resy app is absolutely necessary. Created by Gary Vaynerchuk and Ben Leventhal [founder of Eater], Resy offers offers prime time res spots and last minute opportunities to dine at the trendiest NYC restos… for a small fee. It’s a free app, but the securing a spot will cost you anywhere from $10 to $25 per person. But trust us, it’s worth the extra bucks for a special occasion. Participants include Balthazar, Minetta Tavern, Charlie Bird, Estela, Rosemary’s and Toro.
2. Postmates, FREE: Sometimes Seamless just doesn’t cut it when it comes to ordering delivery. Let’s just say your favorite neighborhood cafe doesn’t deliver. And it’s raining. But you need that grilled chicken salad with the dressing on the side from your fave cafe, like, now. Postmates will pick it up and deliver it to you in under an hour for a small fee [normally $5, depending on the destination]. Did we mention they’ll deliver groceries, office supplies and coffee, too? They’re basically lifesavers.
3. Instacart, FREE: Speaking of deliveries, this one-hour grocery app is pretty awesome. If you’re the type of person that cooks a lot, you’ll fall in love with Instacart because it does your grocery shopping for you from your local shops. Just enter in your zip code, choose the store(s), select your ingredients and build a master shopping list. Someone over at Instacart, who was literally trained to pick perfect produce, will go out and purchase everything on the list and deliver it to your door. The app is less than a year old in New York, so you won’t necessary find your specialty fish or cheese market on there [yet]… but it’s definitely worth doing to beat the long lines at Whole Foods or Trader Joes — especially for a small delivery fee of $3.99. Not convinced yet? Your first delivery is FREE!
4. Exit Strategy, $3.99: Not only does this savvy app give you subway, bus and street maps, but it also gives you an ideal exit strategy for the subway. There’s nothing worse than getting on and off the subway on the wrong platform and navigating through the streets underground. This app’ll save you lots of precious minutes on your commute to work [and the way home] by letting you know exactly which subway car to ride and which side the doors will open on! And the best part? It doesn’t require any data or cell service so you can use it anytime, anywhere.
5. Beautified, FREE: Beautified is the easiest way to book last-minute beauty appointments from a well-curated list of the best salons and spas in the city. All you do is search the list for day-of appointments, book it, wait up to 10 minutes for a confirmation and voila! You also pay for the service through Beautified [including the tip], so there’s no need to check out after your pampering. The services include waxing, haircuts, massages, blowouts, facials, mani pedis, makeup applications and fitness classes.
6. New York’s Best Coffee, FREE: New York City is home to tons of awesome coffee shops — and we’re not talking about Starbucks or Dunkin. This app lets you find over 100 specialty shops in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Each listing will provide you with detailed info about the beans, how the brew is made, photos and reviews. Plus, you can search the editor’s picks to ensure you’re choosing the best of the best.
7. Tweat.it, FREE: Whenever you’re craving a meal on wheels, use Tweat.it to find a food truck in your ‘hood. The app keeps track of the best food trucks in the city along with their twitter feeds and automatically updates their location on a map. This way, you can track your fave trucks feeds [in real time] and if they’ve tweeted out a discount or special offer. Sweet!
8. HopStop, FREE: A subway map is crucial when it comes to traveling around the city. Cabs and cars can get expensive, not to mention the bumper to bumper traffic at rush hour. Ugh, fine. You’ll take the subway… but the line is down. Enter HopStop, the app that tells you the best way to get from point A to point B at any given time, comparing subway, bus, cab, walking and biking routes, times and prices. This handy app will save you money, time and energy by helping you make the right choice when it comes to local transit.
9. Sit or Squat, FREE: Have you ever been in a public place, seeking a bathroom? We’ve all been there. This app finds the closest public restroom to your location, but the best part? You can rate [and read other reviews] bathrooms so you know whether it’s safe to sit or if you’re better off squatting.
10. Uber, FREE: Want to take a black town car to dinner and pay less than a taxi? Of course you do. And that’s what Uber is for. Sign up, enter your credit card info and request a ride based on your location. A car will arrive within minutes, your driver will call you when he’s at your doorstep and the app takes care of the rest. No more scrambling to pay at the end of the cab ride, no more freaking out about fares, no more trying to flag down a yellow cab at rush hour in the rain! Uber has also teamed up with a number of other companies to make your life oh-so-much easer. Oh, and use the code “AppStore” to get $10 off first ride!
12. Sosh, FREE: Whether you’re a resident or a visitor of the Big Apple, the Sosh app is key to making the most out of the city. It’s a personal concierge, allowing you to search for cool things to do, eat and see in your neighborhood. When you sign up, it’ll ask which neighborhoods you like to hang out in and what your interests are. Based on your preferences, it’ll suggest events and activities including comedy shows, date spot ideas, cooking classes, fitness classes — even things to do on a budget! You can also connect with your friends on the app [through Facebook] and bookmark your favorites.
13. Drizly, FREE: Having a liquor store on your iPhone is basically a dream come true. Drizly conveniently lets you shop for beer, wine and liquor from your cell — and they’ll deliver it to your apartment door within in hour… for free. Umm, yes please.