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Wednesday 2 July 2014

Killer Apps for New London Arrivals

What did we ever do before smartphones? They certainly are a useful thing to have when stepping off the plane and into London for the first time. Here are some of our favourite apps to help you with your relocation.

Getting Around

This transportation app started in London, pulling information from Transport for London (TfL), Underground, Overground, Dockland Light Railway, Tramlink, and National Rail agencies. Its an app that is invaluable to a new London resident and perfect for everything from getting to work, finding a museum, and navigating the night bus for the first time.

A London travel app that is getting ready to hit the New York scene, this app can help you find a licensed taxi driver if you need to haul your luggage or get home after the tube has closed down for the night. It is available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

Whether traveling solo or with a group, download this app to have a free virtual tour guide. Set your alert frequency, and as you explore London the Field Trip app will alert you when you are nearby to something cool, hidden, unique, or touristy. Barclays Bikes App London is a fairly bike friendly city - so see it in a whole new way by renting on of these 'Boris Bikes' and taking it out for a spin. The app will help you find the nearest Barclays Bike station.


If you're looking for live entertainment, Songkick is the perfect app. It tracks your favorite bands using your music library and creates a personalized concert calendar. If you're looking for something new, browse all events in London!

This app has a map of the 40 pub crawls available in London, including an outline of each crawl which tells you the distance to walk, the best time of day to do it, and starting and ending tube stations.There is also a “find the nearest pub” button.

Street Art London App
Street art is big in London - one name in particular in the UK is world famous: Banksy. Download this app to find the coolest street art near you.

When you're searching for something to do, pull up the Viator app to look for tours and activities, deals and discounts, and top attractions. Filter by type of activity, whether or not there is a pickup from your location, and whether or not there were any sales.

Get everything from Time Out London directly on your phone. With this app you can get the best information on gigs, events, bars, restaurants, club nights, film releases, and other activities available in the city.

Find the best businesses and deals with Yelp right on your phone. Perfect for a new London resident, this app will soon have you in the know about the best nightlife, food, shopping, and coffee shops.

Whether you’re bored, hungry, or need an ATM, AroundMe will help you find the closest establishment nearby. This includes giving you movie times at the nearest cinema! With AroundMe you won’t need to worry about not being familiar with the area you’re in. Wriggle Time sensitive deals on awesome London restaurants, pubs & events. A great way to not only save a little money, but also find a new favorite spot! Hype Find exciting & quirky things to do in London, wherever you are in the city. Focusing mostly on the interests that are unique to London: street art, food fairs, and more.


With free texts, calls, and desktop video chatting, Viber is the perfect app to stay in touch with people back home, as well as all the new friends and coworkers you meet! It uses data and wifi to avoid those international phone plan fees.

Whatsapp is not as versatile as Viber, but is a very popular texting-via-wi-fi option with many study and intern abroad participants.

While it can be difficult to get a good video connection, the skype app works for video calling as well as messaging straight from your phone. No need to drag around your laptop looking for a wireless connection.

The best thing about GroupMe, besides easily texting multiple people at one time using data or internet, is the fact that you can text family members without smartphones back home. Add a phone number to your conversation, and they will receive a text from GroupMe. You can use internet and data, and they receive an SMS, and neither party has to pay international text fees


Home Budget Calculator (iOS download)/Droid Wallet (Android download)
The exchange rate can cause even the best budgeter to trip up. These apps allow the world traveler to set a budget, enter how much they have spent, and keep track of how much of their weekly or monthly budget is left.

Making travel arrangements tends to be easier when one person books the tickets, and sometimes a large group of friends just cannot come up with exact change to pay a restaurant bill. Venmo makes things easier by allowing money transfers between friends via the app.

Instead of making international transfers through your bank, save money and use TransferWise, which now has an app version.


Keep up to date with what's happening in your new location with the BBC News app. All the news you need is right on your phone straight from the BBC.