The 22 Essential LA Apps
If you have a smartphone in LA, you have apps (unless it's a Blackberry, in which case... we really have no idea what you have). Thing is, you probably don't have the right apps -- the ones that actually make living life in LA totally easier. Well, now you will: here are the 22 essential ones every Angeleno needs on their not-Blackberry.
What it does: Updates traffic in real time (but, like, for real) with data pulled from other users phones, and gives you the best route
Seriously, how did we get around the city without Waze? Did we actually sit in traffic on Olympic, wondering whether Pico was better? Did we actually have to flip a coin between taking the Canyon or the 405? That's just crazy. It's CRAZY. Only downside: suicide lefts. Can't it just find the nearest light so you're not trying to cross seven lanes on Lincoln?
What it does: Predictive schedules for subways and buses
If you don't have a car, firstly, God bless and good luck. Secondly, you're going to be using Metro's official app, which updates bus and subway schedules in real time and allows you to map out trips around the city/stun your friends when you actually get somewhere on time.
What it does: Maps out available/open parking throughout the city
Looking for an open spot is frus-tra-ting, but ParkMe takes a bunch of the guesswork out, working with the city (and Xerox, for some reason) to map out street parking and lot parking as it becomes available.
What it does: Deciphers horrible street signs
Once you've found your spot, the next thing is to know whether you're gonna get ANOTHER GODDAMNED TICKET if you park there; Park Safe LA will actually help you decipher the multitude of signs and curbs that seem to disagree with each other.
What it does: On-demand valet. Seriously.
Okay, this is a ridiculous-but-useful concept: give it the heads up before you leave, and Luxe will have a valet waiting for you when you get wherever you're going. Pay 'em, and they'll park your car in one of their partner lots; then you hit 'em up when you're leaving, and they'll bring it back to you. And for a price, they'll also fill it up -- or bring it to the cleaners. Holy molez.
What it does: Drivers, to your door
Sure, you already have both of these, but it would be disingenuous to have a list of must-have LA apps without including Uber and Lyft. Say what you will about the legality of these ride-share services, but they've completely changed the game for going out in LA, especially because their ongoing price war has made it cheaper in some cases to take a car than drive and park. And that whole no-DUI thing? Priceless.
What it does: Food delivery from restaurants
Another one you're almost guaranteed to already have, GrubHub has a database of thousands of restaurants that do delivery, and the app has an easy-to-use interface to make it, uh, seamless (which happens to be the name of its partner app). Downside? Sometimes the delivery time takes longer than calling the restaurant directly.
What it does: Food delivery from curated restaurants
Unlike GrubHub, quality is the key with Caviar, so it's partnered with restaurants it's deemed worthy (think: Pine & Crane, Sotto) to get from the kitchen to your door.
What it does: Food delivery from restaurants that don't deliver
Is it a glorified messenger service? Yes. Will it have someone wait in line for you at Dino's/Sugarfish? Yes. Is it essential?? No. Just kidding, YES!
What it does: Food delivery of pre-made meals from reputable chefs
Just launched in LA after great success in SF, Munchery gets chefs from spots like Providence and Hatfield's to make food that travels well, with menus that change daily. Sorta like having a private chef, minus, you know, all that cash wooshing away.
What it does: Gets tables at great restaurants and makes the process easier
Okay, so it's not as hard to get a good table in LA as it is in some other cities, but let's say you're looking for a last-minute spot at Bestia? Boom: it's got some spots, uh, reserved, for a fee, plus your credit card info is already in the app, so the whole bill-paying thing can be done via mobile.
What it does: Liquor delivery on demand
It's basically impossible to discern the difference between these three services, since they all do the exact same thing: deliver booze to you so you don't need to go out and get it. Also: on-demand bartenders. So, yeah, no need to drive to the store anymore. Like, ever.
What it does: Curated restaurant recommendations
Yeah, like we weren't going to use this space for some shameless self-promotion? C'mon now.
What it does: Helps you navigate the city
LA's official public works app has a comprehensive list of public facilities (libraries FTW!), but better than that, it allows you to pay bills and submit service requests on the go.
What it does: Provides curated to-do lists and more
It's no surprise that LA's best public radio station also has one of LA's best apps: in addition to on-demand programming, its ongoing listing of events in the city is always top notch.
What it does: Helps you get laid. Hopefully.
I mean, does anyone use another dating app anymore? Tinder has taken over the market. Deal with it.
What it does: Gets you into shows, last-minute
Quietly launched a few months ago, Jukely Unlimited -- essentially Netflix for concerts -- has proven its worth to its customers by offering up last-minute tickets to shows put on by everyone from veteran roots-rockers to up-and-coming hip-hoppers, an unlimited amount of which are included in the monthly fee. Basically, if you love music but are too lazy to buy concert tickets on the reg, this is for you.
What it does: Maps out the beaches in Malibu you are allowed on -- even if they're marked as "Private"
This app caused a stir when it launched for the same reason you want to download it right now: it basically deprivatized the beaches by rich people's houses in Malibu by showing the hidden/secret entrances to them; the beaches themselves are public, no matter how private the homeowners may want to keep them, which means once you're down there, you're not trespassing, despite what Leo says. Yes, he literally got involved.
What it does: Takes out the middleman of UPS/FedEx/US Postal Service
Unsurprisingly given the name, Shyp is, uh, on-demand shipping: they come to you within 20 minutess to load anything you need shipped into a box and will send it wherever, eliminating -- finally -- the last remaining get-off-the-couch frontier: the post office.
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