Lifestyle

The Essential Apps for Living in Austin

There are millions of things to do, places to go, shows to see, and things to eat and drink in Austin, and whether you want to enjoy them from home, the bar, or your car, well, there’s probably an app for that. Here we’ve compiled 16 must-download apps (besides the ever-obvious Lyft and Uber) that make it even easier to enjoy the coolest aspects of living in ATX. Because, yes, there are other apps besides Tinder... like apps that help you decide where to take the date you met on Tinder, primarily.

Getting around

Austin Traffic - Cameras, Maps, and Incidents
$2.99
iPhone

What It does: Down-to-the-minute accurate traffic info
While you don’t need an app to tell you there’s traffic in Austin (because, uh, when is there not?), this locally owned and operated app equipped with camera feeds of the road, accident reports, and more gives you more insight into exactly how long you’ll be hanging out on congested main roads like I-35... and, by proxy, how many episodes of Serial you can plan on finishing in that time.

CapMetro
Free
iPhone, Android, Windows phone

What It does: Tickets and real-time transportation information
While public transportation has its perks (pretty prime people-watching, for one), it can be unreliable, and frequently when you do finally board your bus, you find yourself scrambling to come up with correct change. This app eliminates a portion of the hassle -- and makes you look like less of a newb -- by allowing you to access schedules, maps, and real-time arrival information, and lets you buy and store electronic tickets right on your phone. Congrats... you’re officially one of the people.

car2go
Free
iPhone, Android, Windows phone

What It does: Locations of nearby car2go vehicles for when you need to drive yourself
While we don’t recommend driving in Austin, um, ever (see: traffic), sometimes you’ve got to get away, and if you don’t have a vehicle -- or are going out and know you only need a one-way ride -- car2go is pretty convenient, and the app makes finding one of the clown car-like automobiles super simple. It also makes it easier than ever to escape a one-night-stand. After all, why walk of shame when you can drive?

ParkMe
Free
iPhone, Android, Windows phone

What It Does: Parking spots you can pre-book
There is perhaps nothing more painful than parallel parking, and looping around city blocks looking for a spot could actually qualify as a circle of hell in and of itself. Enter ParkMe, which makes this less of a rage-inducing experience by helping you find the cheapest, closest available parking spot and can even reserve a spot in a garage in advance. The meter maid has just met their match.

Spokefly
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Bikes on demand
Are you one of those active and environmentally conscious Austinites who prefers to bike instead of drive? Well being an overachiever has never been easier thanks to Spokefly, a bike-sharing service that allows you to rent high-quality bicycles from a network of owners. Simply select a nearby bike, pedal your way to your destination, and then dock it and lock it at any public bike rack. And as a bonus, you can also rent out your own bike to make some money. Going green and making green... we can get behind that.

Planning a great evening

Alamo Drafthouse Ticketing App
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Movie tickets made easy
When it comes to cinemas, Alamo has set the bar high -- primarily because it has a bar -- and we’re spoiled to the point that a movie-watching experience is no longer complete unless we get a three-course meal. Because the people at Alamo know you’ve got more important things to worry about, like which booze-infused milkshake you’re going to order, this app simply makes the planning process easier by allowing you to snag tickets to flicks (plus events like sing-alongs and quote-alongs) from your phone.

DoStuff
Free
iPhone

What It Does: Event and show listings curated by super-cool Austinites
The founders started Do512 with the mission to help people party better, and their app makes it even easier to choose which trivia event or show you want to fill your ATX evening.

Keep Austin Dog Friendly
Free
iPhone

What It Does: Places where pooches are welcome
We know you want to bring man’s best friend with you whenever possible, so this app tells you which establishments -- bars, for example -- are dog-friendly, and where you should leave Fido at home. Hint: the strip club might be frowned upon.

Thrillist
Free
iPhone

What It Does: Handpicked spots to eat, drink, and party -- all based on your location
The Thrillist app offers recs for bars, restaurants, and clubs around the world. Looking for cocktail bars within a few blocks of your current location? You can filter for exactly that, making it particularly ideal for those times when you’re traveling.

Hanging at home

BrewDrop
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Booze on your doorstep in an hour or less
This alcohol delivery service’s mission is simple: to eliminate the beer run. Just open the app, pick your poison, and one of its partnering liquor stores will package it up and have it at your home in 30-60 minutes. Because actually putting on pants and leaving the house to get your paws on a Pearl Snap? Psh, don’t be ridiculous.

Favor
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: (Almost) anything you want, delivered
Whether you need groceries, fast food, or last-minute supplies to Netflix and chill, Favor has you covered -- in under an hour, no less -- with its homepage promise: get anything delivered. We encourage you to test the boundaries of anything.

Push For Pizza
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Piping-hot pizza with the push of a few buttons
Hungry? Sad? Contemplating your own mortality? If you’ve got a problem, pizza is probably the solution, and this app makes the pie-acquisition process as painless as possible. Simply open the app, pick your toppings, and you’ll be eating your feelings in no time. The catch? You don’t have the option to pick the actual pizzeria. Thankfully, even bad pizza is still... well, pizza. And we can work with that.

SXSWfm
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Live and archived SXSW shows
Crowds, noise, the outdoors, expensive drinks... sounds unappealing, doesn’t it? Never fear: if you’re a member of Team Don’t Leave the House, you can still enjoy the music element of SXSW via this radio app, which allows you to stream live shows during the festival and listen to archived performances from throughout the years.

Couchsurfing > crowdsurfing.

Festing the best

Bandsintown
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Upcoming show notifications with a social element
Since there’s no worse feeling than FOMO, Bandsintown notifies you when your favorite bands book a show or festival in Austin, helping you to plan and buy a ticket in advance. It also gives you the chance to RSVP, share your plans on Facebook and Twitter, and see what shows your friends who also use the app plan to attend, guaranteeing you won’t just be seeing your favorite band, but probably a few familiar faces as well.

Everfest
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Info on every. Festival. Ever.
ACL, FFF, SXSW: we know you’re familiar with Austin’s most famed festivals, all of which have their own apps that deserve a download, at least for the fest’s weekend. But Everfest delivers all the info on the smaller, more niche fests that are going on all the time. Jugglefest, for example. Wouldn’t wanna, uh, drop the ball on that one.

Free At
Free
iPhone, Android

What It Does: Free stuff at your fingertips
$0 is kind of our favorite price, and Free At, much like its name implies, gives you the lowdown on stuff to do in Austin that doesn’t require overdrafting or prying open your piggy bank. (We’re assuming you’re as fiscally responsible as we are and definitely have a piggy bank.) Whether it’s a no-cover concert or an event serving up free food or drinks, this app’s got you covered and is even more clutch during events like SXSW, where there are endless opportunities to eat, drink, and dance for the low, low price of, um, nothing.

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Sam Sumpter is a writer in Austin whose most downloaded (then deleted... then re-downloaded) app is Tinder... and she’s not even that ashamed of it. Follow her at @its_Sam_babaaay for Spotify recs and occasional passive-aggressive 140-character rants resulting from right swipes gone wrong.