I thought I'd share this information, since i haven't seen much on using one's cellphone as a handy guide when traveling around NYC.
There are a few things the first- (or 25th-) time traveler should know before leaving home; you'll need a SIM card that you can use in the US. It will also help if you bring your charging cable with you, since you can use that to sync to a computer if you didn't download certain apps before you left home.
Both the iTunes App Store and Amazon have some great apps for NYC public transportation. I'm rather fond of:
Amtrak (for those of you coming into town or leaving it by train- you can make reservations and boo trips through it, as well as see what connections you'll need to make if you want to travel outside the city)
Embark NJ (If you are taking New Jersey Transit to Penn Station New York (which is NOT the same as Penn Station Newark) from Newark International, you'll love this app. You can also figure out how to get back.)
For getting around on the subway or bus, you might want to view this link. Most of these apps include trip planners - gothamist.com/2013/09/24/mta_announces_app_q…
See this link for pretty much every kind of transportation possible, from taxicabs and bicycles to the Long Island Rail Road- thirteen.org/metrofocus/…
Where am I?
Everyone needs a decent map of New York City. Instead of bunching up with your best buds in the middle of a sidewalk while trying to figure out where the Empire State Building is, why not use these apps?
Google Maps - There's a good chance you already have it. If you are an Apple-head like me, you can get it for free. The NYC map gives you walking and public transportation directions as well as ones for driving. It can even speak to you and tell you which turns to make.
Siri - Apple phone owners with 4 and 5 level phones already have Siri. If you have the GPS enabled, just ask Siri where the nearest park is, or the Empire State Building. She'll be glad to help you.
Not For Tourists- This is my boyfriend's favorite NYC app, because if he's meeting me somewhere in Manhattan (he lives in semi-rural Pennsylvania) and he wants to find a bagel shop along the way, this app will tell him where one is. Do you need your broken shoe repaired? Spilled something on your favorite dress and you need to find a dry cleaner? Want to find a coffee shop in Soho? This app will help.
Yelp - whether it's a hair salon, a dive bar or a boutique, find out from real people whether it's worth your while.
OpenTable- You can make reservations for restaurants, figure out which ones are in your budget, and see which ones are close to your hotel. Plus there are reviews from the Zagat Guide.
Zagat- Curated and realistic reviews of restaurants, stores, and so on.
Things to do
Istaverse - Look up the Gothamist section to see what's going on around New York City. Absolutely essential for the young and the young at heart.
Central Park Conservancy - You are in the park and need a bathroom/a playground before the kids make you crazy/directions to Strawberry fie;ds/the names of all those studs, bridges and gates scattered about. What to do? Download this app. Every water fountain, statue, playground, bathroom and landmark is mapped out.
American Museum of Natural History - Some people love the dinosaurs. others love the giant whale. Me, I love knowing where the bathrooms are in this giant maze of a place. And this app will tell you where everything is, including what in-house restaurants are open.
Here's a link to more information about museum apps - nytimes.com/2010/…
And another link (I think this one is better) - complex.com/tech/…nyc-museum-guide
If you really, really need a hotel room tonight, here's how you can get one. -http://www.hoteltonight.com
Get me OuttaHere
Finally, airport apps. so you can find you luggage, get to your terminal on time, and whatnot.