Smartphone Apps for Smart Bostonians

Living in any big city makes a lot of apps a lot more valuable. Yelp, Foursquare, any social / dating / reviews / deals apps all thrive on population density. But you’re not just lucky to be living in a social media-savvy, tech-enthusiastic city. There are some apps specifically for Bostonians that are pretty useful. Below’s a quick roundup of some local apps.

The Best MBTA Apps – Subway & Bus

  • If you ever take the Commuter Rail (to the beach for instance), the MBTA’s mTicket app (Android, iPhone) lets you buy and show your tickets through the app rather than waiting at one of the kiosks or paying in cash on the train. Very convenient.
  • Thanks to some very vocal citizens, the MBTA has been making more real-time data available for both buses and subway lines. Check the MBTA App Showcase for a bunch of apps using this data. I’ve found BostonBusMap (Android) to be very useful.
  • Bonus transportation app: Hubway (Android, iPhone) is greater Boston’s bike-share system. Their app allows you to find the closest bike stations, purchase passes, and see real-time dock availability for pickup or drop-off.

Boston Living Apps

  • Reflyer (iPhone) is an app for browsing and sharing photos of flyers for arts, entertainment, activism, etc. It’s a great way to find local shows and fun events.
  • Dunkin Donuts (Android, iPhone). Now don’t tell me you didn’t expect this. If you’ve spent any time in Boston at all, you know this city runs on Dunks. If you want to be a pro Bostonian, this app is actually pretty useful since you can pre-place an order and skip the line. It also acts as your loyalty card, letting you get rewards for purchases in a Dunks or through the app.
  • Drizly (Android, iPhone) or Buttery (Android, iPhone). These popular alcohol-delivery apps actually started in Boston, so they have great coverage & availability.

Boston News Apps

  • NBC Boston (Android, iPhone) is actually the top-rated news app here. It’s a great general local news app, with text & video coverage, push notifications for important news, weather alerts, etc.
  • The Boston Herald (Android, iPhone) has an app; for or The Boston Globe, you’re better off creating a shortcut to their site, as they’re phasing out their mobile apps.

City Government

  • BOS:311 (formerly Citizens Connect) (Android, iPhone) is an easy way to report potholes, damaged signs, burnt out streetlights, or any other problems the city should be aware of. Your report doesn’t just vanish into a blackhole like sending an email, you can track it — yay accountability!