Since moving to London I've learned a few home truths; squirrels may seem cute and fluffy, but they're actually well-trained food-stealing thugs who won't hesitate to mug you for a Tracker Bar; the cost of a round of drinks for you and your mates in Shoreditch would fund an entire night out and the taxi home in most other towns and; the guy on the overcrowded tube train with two empty seats either side of him is sat by himself for a reason.
That said, if it hadn't been for the apps featured in today's article, I would probably have learnt far more 'London life lessons' the hard way and had a lot less fun.
I never realised how much I actually relied on my phone to help me muddle through my new life in London until, in true London style, it was stolen. Suddenly, I found myself adrift in a world of mystifying underground transport, place names which I only recognised from the Monopoly board and a frustrating inability to do work on the go.
With this in mind, here are my top 5 London apps:
There's no getting away from it; London is expensive. Free to download and use, Vouchercloud has the biggest selection of mobile discount vouchers - anything from restaurants, pubs & bars, entertainment and days out to deals on hotels and properties. I can't even guess how much money this little app has saved me, but it's substantial.
This is 'the black cab app' - use it to digitally hail a taxi wherever you are, and to track its location and time until it arrives. The app helpfully provides you with a photo of your driver and their name, which is a great safety feature. Handily, you can also use it to pay by card, so no need for cash or a rising taxi meter.
Famed for being 'a uniquely collaborative app designed to help Londoners discover and share interesting places and new and exciting things to do', this app allows you to browse a map or list of 'secret' places, together with more detailed information and pictures uploaded by users. Great for if you're looking for that special night out off the beaten track.
This app. Wow, this app. It has saved me from tube-induced bewilderment countless time, and made navigating the warren of the underground a blissfully easy experience. With features such as find a station, plan a route, realtime tube service updates and even oyster card balance, this little piece of tech has made my stay in London thus far so much easier.
At number one is CityMapper; the ultimate public transport app for London. It includes live bus information (including how long until the next one at your stop), live tube information, details about cycle and walking routes and average costs for taxi journeys. It'll even let you know how much it'd cost to fly.
Possibly my favourite thing about this app, however, is the 'Get Me Home' feature, however. Once you've set up your 'home' information, no matter where you are in the city this app will find you the fastest route back; indispensably useful when you're still out at 3am and have no idea where you actually are.
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