December 30, 2014
There’s a new species rising up in concrete jungles around the globe. They live in retrofitted shells of cities past. These creatures commune at small coffee shops and bars. They value development but also appreciate green living and farm-to-table eating. Public transportation is available to them by bus and train, but they often opt for biking and car sharing. The 21st Century city dweller is taking over the landscape. The World Bank estimates 81 percent of the United States population lives in urban areas, and the World Health Organization calculates city dwellers account for 54 percent of the world population. Urban living is becoming the new norm, and there are a number of tools available to supplement the experience. Here are a few apps essential for urban living that will help you find your way through the concrete jungle.
New York’s MTA, Washington DC’s Metro and Atlanta’s MARTA all provide public bus and local train service to their respective metropolitan areas, but what else do they have in common? They’re pretty hard to figure out as a newcomer, and even experienced riders can find themselves turned around as a result of service interruptions. Enter Hopstop. This public transportation first started out as a tool for NYC subway goers to find their way around the Big Apple, but its high utility and easy-to-use interface now includes transportation systems for just about every major metropolitan area in the U.S. and large cities around globe (e.g. London). Similar to GPS navigation tools, Hopstop provides detailed list instructions on how to get to your destination via bus or train as well as street views to familiarize users with their surroundings.
Adapting to a new city or neighborhood is a process and discovering new things in familiar surroundings can be tedious. Matchbook helps users get acclimated in new neighborhoods or discover new things by bookmarking businesses as they explore the city. Users can later reference their bookmarked list and further scout local outfits with Matchbook’s generated list of recommendations.
Long lines and waits are the name of the game in the city. There’s almost no such thing as “picking up a quick meal.” Carryout ordering tends to require great preparation and strategy. Square Order speeds the process a bit more by enabling ordering and payment capabilities for restaurants in and around their neighborhood. Order and pay for your meal right from your Smartphone or have it delivered in some cases.
Parking in the city can be treacherous. Red signs, green signs, and posted times all mean one thing to weary parkers: a ticket. Parkmobile enables users to remotely purchase street parking time and extend sessions if needed. The app sends alerts when time runs low or parking is not allowed in a given area due to restrictions.
At first glance, the utility this app’s name infers may not make much sense. How do you pool bicycles? Car pooling is fairly practical considering cars are generally built to seat a driver and passenger at minimum as a opposed to the one-seated bicycle. This app, however, facilitates group cycling for biking commuters. Users can set meeting locations and join other cyclists who share common destinations on their way to and from work.
Urban farming has become increasingly popular as consumers increasingly value organic foods and become more environmentally-conscious. Urban Farm Guides provides tips and resources to city dwellers looking to flex their green thumb, growing fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Daniel Ors writes for Fueled.com, an award winning mobile app design and development house based in New York, Chicago and London. At Fueled, we don't just build apps; with teams of designers, developers and strategists, we create visually stunning products that redefine the technical boundaries of today's mobile development standards. We've built award-winning iPhone, iPad and Android apps used by millions of people for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to up and coming startups including Barney's, Coca Cola, UrbanDaddy, JackThreads and MTV. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of usability, stability and design in every project that we touch.