What it does: Streamline the Santander Bike experience
While Boris Bikes are a pretty great (and cheap) way to get around, finding a docking station and figuring out the damned terminal can be less than awesome. Then, once you’ve claimed your trusty steed, how to get from point A to point B can also be a tricky operation. Luckily, the official app will help you find the bikes, let you pay, give turn-by-turn directions, and help you find a docking station with empty spots just calling your name.
What it does: Get in the tube carriage that will let you out right at your exit
Anyone who takes the same route every day starts to figure out exactly what carriage to get into to land you right in front of the destination exit, but imagine that Victory! moment every journey. Plan your route, check statuses for delays, save time, and feel super smug.
What it does: Untangle the web of the underground
There are times when knowing every tiny detail of a journey is important. And no matter how well you think you know it, the moment when you’re 20 minutes late to a job interview and the tube is delayed is when you realize you are at least a little oblivious. Tube Map helps you find platforms, departure times, walking distances, and status information, and the best part is it’s mostly available offline, making it ideal for when you’ve forgotten a stop is closed and need a plan B asap. Nailing the interview is totally on you, though.
London Bus Live Countdown
What it does: Know exactly when your bus is arriving
There are few things worse than standing at a bus stop waiting for what feels like hours with no end in sight. Or, even worse, the bus shows up, but is terminating in two stops. With this pocket countdown, you can see which busses are coming when. Yes, this means busses can be awesome again.
What it does: One app to rule them all and get you where you’re going.
This one brings together all the utility of the apps we’ve already mentioned, and unites it into one insanely useful hub. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking, taking public transit, Uber, or cycling, complete with step-by-step directions: all the options are covered by City Mapper. The app even can tell you how many calories you’ve burned, which doors to use on the tube, when your bus will arrive, and where the Boris Bike stations are and how many spaces/bikes are available.
iPhone, Android, Windows phone
What it does: Have you met your personal driver?
If you haven’t heard of Uber by now, we assume you either have an actual person driver or haven’t left your home very often for four years. Either way, welcome! Being out in public is great. And being able to hire and pay for a private car, with (mostly) up to the minute updates of arrival times has changed the way many of us go out. The only catch? Most of the drivers are from outside of London and completely rely on SatNav to get around. Que: backseat driver rage.
What it does: London cab at your beck and call
Similar to Uber, only instead of private cars you’ll get a classic London Black Cab complete with a driver who has thankfully passed The Knowledge and knows his way around town better than even you do, as great as you are at backseat driving. With options to pay through the app or with cash, it’s a bit more flexible than Uber.