These are my top 10 most useful iPhone and iPad apps for use in NYC. And most are even free.
1. CityTransit ($3), iPad and iPhone
Maps of the NYC subway, buses, LIRR, and Metro North. Which you can use offline, like in the subway and need to figure out where to get off the train. It also locates you on a map if you have cell reception, and can show you the nearest subway stops to where you’re standing.
2. NYC BikeMap (free), iPhone only
This app consists of a big image of all of New York City, with the bike maps superimposed. You can use your fingers to zoom in anywhere. Simple yet useful. I only wish I had a bike!
3. NYC 311 (free), iPhone only
Allows you to submit NYC complaints via the app instead of calling 311 on a phone. There’s also a FAQ page.
4. MovieFone (free), iPhone only
Uses your location, or a zip code, to tell you which theaters and movies are playing nearby.
5. Night Light NYC (free), iPhone only
Shows an illustration of the Empire State Building, what color it is/was/will be on a specific date, and what the color is in honor of. I’ve asked myself “What gives with the ESB color tonight?” a million times so this will solve the mystery.
6. HopStop (free), iPhone only
Just like the website, the HopStop app gives you directions from one location to another via public transit or on foot. Just put in the addresses and the app does the rest. You can even tell the app “I only want walking directions” or “I only want to take the bus” and it will adjust its info.
7. Exit Strategy NYC ($5), iPhone only
This app actually tells you where the exits are for each subway stop. So it tells you where to stand on the platform, to get off right at the exit. Neighborhood maps also give you the street level entrances and exits for the subway stations.
8. MoMA (free), iPhone only
Gives visitor info for the Museum of Modern Art, including exhibitions, film schedules, tours, and events. There are also audio snippets about works of art, so bring your headphones when you go to the museum with this app.
9. AMNH Explorer (free), iPhone only
This app for the Museum of Natural History lists exhibits and shows you where to find the store, the cafe, restrooms, and tours. Plus there’s a map of the museum, and it can give you turn-by-turn directions.
10. MenuPages (free), iPhone only
If you’ve used the MenuPages website, then you know how great the restaurant reviews are. It lets you find restaurants by location, or by cuisine, and has reviews and info on dishes.