Friday Question of the Day – Favorite Apps for DC and Favorite Apps in General?


Well we’ve talked favorite podcast, books, movies, foreign movies, tv shows and foreign tv shows so it’s time for favorite app. Also in the rant/revel a reader asked:

“Five apps that are a must have if you live and work in DC?”

And I thought that was a great question so wanted to give it a separate thread where more could see it. But I’m also curious about your favorite apps in general – bonus for the free ones! So maybe a three parter – favorite – DC specific app? Favorite app in general? Favorite free app?

Ed. Note: I’m mainly interested in IPhone/Android apps but since I know some will say it – you can tell me your favorite appetizers too 🙂

68 Comment

  • Farragut

    Favorite DC-specific app would be DC Metro Transit (for Android). It not only tracks trains, but Metrobuses, the Circulator, and surrounding county bus systems. And I like being able to favorite certain stations or bus stops for easy access.
    Favorite app in general is probably MLB’s “At Bat” app; it’s an easy way for me to keep up with baseball games during the season. Some features are paid-for, though, I believe.
    Favorite free app: Probably Goodreads or the Kindle app, great for reading or keeping up with books. I like the Goodreads app since I can scan in a new purchase’s barcode and have it automatically in my Goodreads account online.

    • +1 for DC Metro Transit’s Android App. I’ve been using it for years and rarely has it ever provided incorrect information. Plus, being able to favorite stations and bus stops is key.

  • My top 5 for DC out-and-about use (Android):
    DC Metro Transit (next train and bus times)
    Parkmobile (critical if you have a car)
    Spotcycle (for bikeshare station status)

  • Great free app from DC Public Library – featuring unique walking tours matched with historic photos and book excerpts:



    • Cool! Thanks!

    • Definitely agree with the DCPL app. At the basic level it’s great for if you want to stop by the library impromptu and don’t have your card with you. Is there an iPhone app similar to the android DC Metro Transit app? All of the transit apps I’ve tried have been thoroughly terrible.

  • Transit. It’s hands-down the most valuable app on my iphone. You get real-time arrivals for buses, metro, Uber, car2go and bike share availability all in the same place. And the best part is that it works in a bunch of cities around the world, not just DC. (Oh, and it’s FREE!)

    • Someone mentioned this yesterday – I downloaded it, and it is absolutely my favorite app now. If it had Parkmobile on it, it’d be perfect.
      Besides transit apps, and work-related apps, the ones I use most are Kindle, the Weather Channel, ESPN Radio, and Pandora. The Level Up app for Cava Grill. I’m sure Table8 will become a new favorite soon .
      Oh, and favorite appetizer is old school – the grilled calamari formerly from Kinkeads that can now be found at Ancora. It was one of the dishes that opened my eyes about food – it was calamari, it wasn’t fried, and it was delicious. For a guy raised to believe chow mein was the gold standard for Chinese food, it was a transformational experience. Eighteen years later, it’s still one of my favorite dishes of all time (and I don’t care if half of that is nostalgia).

    • you just blew my mind

    • I’m trying to figure out which App this is in the iTunes store. Can you name the developer?

    • Can someone describe the icon (iphone) for this one? Is it the blue bus (“Transit”) or the green sideways S-curve (“Transit App”)? From the number of converts it sounds great!

  • The only DC specific one I have is DC Rider. It’s good for finding out when the metro trains are supposed to arrive.

    I love Map My Ride for biking. It’s like having a bike gps on my phone. I don’t really use a lot of apps. I use Shazam and google more than any other apps I have.

    • After reading other replies, I downloaded DC Metro Transit this morning. Thanks for the suggestion! Looks like a very useful app.

    • I have used DC Rider for the last few years and really like it for my Metro needs.
      However, I downloaded the Transit app that people mentioned yesterday and I think it might be my new fave.
      My favorite app is Soundcloud. I discover so many great new musical artists through it. It’s the perfect blend of social sharing-meets-music. I also like that I can listen to long DJ and live sets, which will download up to 20 minutes of content in advance of the current stream point. For example, if I’m at minute 35 of a 120 minute set, Soundcloud will have already queued up to around minute 55 on my iPhone’s temporary memory. This allows me to continue listening while on the Metro in the spots where service is dead. Once service resumes, Soundcloud will continue downloading more content in the set.
      My most begrudingly used app is The Weather Channel app. It’s so bloated with advertising content but it still has the best display options of any weather app, letting me see detailed forecasts by the hour, really good radar imagery (both past and future), etc. I love the actual weather content, but hate the ads and video streams vomited all over it.

  • Sosh is awesome. Best “what should we do” app I’ve seen.

  • I like the Gryzzyl app that turns your tablet into a skateboard.

  • Favorite app – Reddit is fun

    Favorite appetizer – Palak Chaat

  • OPM for Federal delays & closures! Favorite game app is Trivia Crack but favorite informative app is also At Bat. Yes, baseball stats and updates are informative in my book 🙂

  • If you don’t have google translate, get it. It’s AMAZING!!! It not only translates text (books, newspapers, road signs etc etc), but also has a conversation function that translates spoken language, and it works offline so you don’t need wifi to use it. The technology behind the app is impressive.

    • “[I]t works offline so you don’t need wifi to use it.” — Whoa! This I will have to check out for my iPod Touch.

    • That’s really awesome. I will definitely use it this next month while traveling! 😀
      Good to see our military technology make it to the consumer realm, lol

  • favorite dc app: DC Metro Transit (even tho they are normally wrong about bus arrival times – at least with the 70 bus coming from Silver Spring)
    favorite app in general: GroupMe (Android – cus trying to group text with people using an iphone is impossible without something like GroupMe)

  • Five essential apps: Uber to get around, Instagram for the social media fix, DuoLingo for the brain, Robinhood for those extra dollars, and myfitnesspal for the bod.

    • x2 for duolingo, and I’ll x1,000 for everyone else who said DC Metro Transit. Sometimes in the mornings it does me wrong (from H St NE), but is generally VERY accurate.

  • 1) Level Up for Sweetgreen, Taylor Gourmet and Cava Grill. Pay with your phone, get free food.
    2) Trivia Crack
    3) OPM (hurray snow!)
    4) Rotoworld for Fantasy Sports
    5) Mozzarella sticks

    • Level Up is pretty great. There are a number of places that take it around my office: Chop’t, Protein Bar, Jeddies, Taylor Gourmet, Sweetgreen, DC Pizza, and District Taco. I don’t even need to bring my wallet with me to work.

  • Waze has saved me a lot of frustration when driving around DC/highways on the weekend.
    Wordizt (scrabble/word find + tetris) and Moxie (another word game) apps for when I’m on the metro and I have no coverage.
    I used to like BusTrackDC, but it doesn’t incorporate regional buses or the Circulator, so I might be switching to this DC Metro Transit app that Farragut referenced!

  • Aglets

    i love these threads- I always find something new!
    Favorite aps:
    I really like the Yelp ap- especially if i’m in a city i don’t know super well- like in chicago it gives you real time mass transit arrivals and directions.
    i like postmates if i’m feeling lazy or sick and want someone to bring me food.
    I had been using Next Bus but Transit sounds great
    For games, I like Two Dots

    • I loved Two Dots, though I got absolutely stuck on level 83. I’ve actually gotten so frustrated I’ve stopped playing – thanks for the reminder to try it again. (Any tips?)

      • I think some levels on Two Dots are simply unbeatable unless you buy the power-ups. It’s super frustrating.

        • No levels are unbeatable without power ups (I’ve beaten them all without using any), but it is luck-of-the-dots, most of which are randomly generated. So, on the hard levels, sometimes you just need to get lucky.

        • Aglets

          don’t buy the power ups. You’ll earn ‘supply crates’ often enough. if you don’t know what i’m talking about, update your ap!

          • I played this many months ago and found it to be infuriating. It sounds like they may have addressed my concerns after the fact. Now I’m hooked on Threes 🙂

      • Wow, I’m on Level 83 as well, so is my sister. I’ve been on it for a good 3 months.

        • There is a website that shows you how to beat every level on Two Dots. I used it on several to beat some of the tough rounds (including Level 83) twodotstips dot com

      • Aglets

        oh i just went back and looked at it- that one is fiendish! I wish i had some tips!
        i think i just tried to get to a place where i was consistently making squares- or focused on one side of the board and swept it to the other side but i can’t remember.

        this is a board where the supply crates come in handy!

    • Since a lot of the other categories are well covered, I’ll throw out some health and fitness app recommendations:
      – FitStar personal trainer. Really good workouts that adapt to your fitness level. Great for fitting in workouts at home on cold days. If you like Nike Training Club, you might prefer this. There is also a yoga app but I haven’t tried that because I like…
      – Yoga Studio. It has yoga sessions at different levels, for different lengths of time, and you can mix and match to make your own custom sessions.
      – Lark. The iPhone 6 app measures your movement and sleep and gives you “coaching” on how to be more active and cheers you on to get in a bit more exercise and sleep. I really love this one, even though it sounds really simple.

  • I second the OPM app!
    Also, Tinder. Honestly. It’s at least given me some good laughs.

  • BusTrackDC seems to be pretty accurate for bus arrival times. Agree with others on LevelUp for Cava & Sweetgreen and similarly Starbucks to pay for coffee. Classpass & MindBody Connect to book classes on the go.

  • I posted this yesterday, but my favorite DC-specific app is Citymapper. It does trains, buses, circulator, uber, etc., and it also does bike directions for if you’re using your personal bike or if you’re using bikeshare. You can also program in as many locations as you want (work, home, friends’ houses, etc.).

    Favorite apps in general:

    Yahoo weather (love the location specific photos and interface)
    Fandango and Flixster to look up movie times and buy tickets in advance

  • +1000 on Transit (just “Transit”, not DC Metro). No matter where you are, you can tell it where you want to go and it will show you what train or bus will take you there, when the next one is coming and draw you a map of how to get to the station. Its only downside is that it’s stymied by weekend track work.

  • DC/local apps:
    I’d add Spotcycle for Capital Bikeshare, although I suppose its not technically a DC App. My favorite of the bike share apps.
    Bandsintown for tracking local concerts– also not technically DC, but DC based on how I use it
    Random, but TapIt for places to fill up a water bottle.

    Nike Running: clean, simple running app.

  • My favorite DC app transit-wise was probably Next Bus but it has been terrible in the last month or so. So I’m downloading Transit – thanks for the suggestions.

    I also use Hangouts a lot because it connects to Gchat so I can easily keep in touch with people without having to think about where I am or they are. And doesn’t use text messages (I think it does use data though).

    For wasting time apps, I browse pinterest frequently, mostly for new recipe ideas. More of a general endorsement of pinterest but I really like the photo-based social sharing model.

    Lastly for games, I recommend Ticket to Ride. While it does cost $2-3 it is soo addictive and fun. You can play online, against the computer, locally (multiple players connected to one wifi) or by passing the phone amongst players. It’s a complete time-suck.

  • for sure. but also, npr, weather underground, uber, dc 311, open table, sky guide, and sweet green

  • One that hasn’t been mentioned, for the Android, is “noLED Settings”. It gives you an icon that pops up on the screen for a notification rather than the LED light and for text messages, you can set it so the sender’s photo comes up.

    I also like Waze, ParkMobile, Yahoo Sports for their notifications (none of the other sports apps seem to provide real-time notifications that work), Evernote, HopStop (for figuring out public transportation in other cities).

  • For Games:
    1) Two Dots
    2) Flow Free
    3) Trivia Crack

    For Sports:

    For Entertainment:
    1) SmartGlass
    2) TV Go
    3) TV Remote

    For Life:
    1) Venmo (Seriously the best app I’ve ever used)
    2) Bus stop DC

  • For finding and listing apartments – RadPad. I’ve seen their signs around and downloaded the app. It’s great – they verify landlords and you can search, browse and chat with the listers directly through the app. I also started using their rent payment feature which allows me to charge my rent on a credit card and they still mail my landlord a check. Makes finding an apartment or listinng one or finding a roomate way easier and less shady than CL and not as annoying as having some agent schlep you around.

  • I’m late to this party, but Zombie Run! If you like to run outside it is an interactive story for you to run to. You collect items, avoid zombies, try to get back to your home base!

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