How to Find your Way around Beantown

So, whether you want to "pahk ya cah in Havahd yahd" or find a restaurant that serves good "lobsta," your iPhone or iPod touch and these must-have apps will help you find your way around Boston town (and other US cities).

Magellan Roadmate

$49.99, iPhone/iPod touch:

RoadmateFinding your way around Beantown means braving I-93 and Storrow Drive. These roads are quite busy most of the time, so the Magellan Roadmate app won't necessarily get you where you're going quickly. But it will help you route your way around heavy traffic.

I tested this app previously and expected satellite interference from the taller buildings. I was pleasantly surprised; even when sandwiched between the 60 story John Hancock Tower and the 52 story Prudential building, interference was at a minimum. Roadmate is offered in three versions: USA, North America, and Canada & Alaska.

UpNext 3D Cities

Free, iPhone/touch & iPad:

UpNextUpNext gives you a breathtaking 3D view of where you are at the moment, including the surrounding buildings. Tap on one of the buildings and it will tell you what shops, businesses, or establishments are in the building. This is extremely helpful, especially if you just want to play tourist and find new things and places to go.

In addition to Boston, UpNext has 3D maps of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, and Washington DC (more cities coming soon).


Free, iPhone/iPod touch:

WhereThis app uses your iPhone's GPS capabilities to help you find "where" you can eat, drink, play, etc. You can use it to find restaurants, sporting events, movies, and more close to your current location. The app also lets you read and post reviews of establishments and events.

The app lets you specify your favorite type of Eat, Drink, and Play. Once you do that, touch the Best Bets icon and a listing of establishments and events that conform to your favorites will be displayed. It also has a local information area with coupons, ATM locations, gas station locations, news, traffic, and more. Where offers information about establishments and events throughout the US.

Urban Spoon

Free, iPhone/iPod touch:; 

UrbanSpoonIf you're looking for a place to eat, feeling a bit adventurous, and want to try something new, check out Urban Spoon. Open the app, shake your iPhone, and Urban Spoon will present you with a list of nearby restaurants.

You can filter by neighborhood, cuisine, and price; browse the available restaurants; compare picks with your friends; and more. The app uses the iPhone's GPS capability to find nearby establishments. Shake the iPhone and it selects a random food genre and pulls up a random restaurant for you to try. You can also manually dial the slot machine-like interface to choose your own. Urban Spoon covers the US, Canada, and large metropolitan areas of the UK and Australia.

WCVB-TV (honorable mention)

Free, iPhone/iPod touch:

WcvbTVThis app is specific to Beantown. When you're visiting Boston, you'll want to stay on top of the weather, traffic conditions, and local news. All of this is available in the number one Boston app: WCVB-TV.

The big city is not so intimidating with the right tools. Your iPhone, with the right navigation and information apps, is all you need to make your trip easy, fun, and delicious.

Whether you're a native "Bahston drivah" or a visitor, these apps 
will help you find your way around Boston and other US cities
May-June 2011
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