By: Little Ms. Tech and Gadgets (Lizza Monet Morales)
As an actor in Los Angeles, not only do you need to bring your A game to your craft but you need to tap into your super sleuth inner-ninja to navigate around all the nooks and crannies that exist in this city. I liken my daily driving adventures in the City of Angels to the experience of playing a racing video game. One wrong turn can be the key difference between advancing to the next level (making your audition on time), and game over (due to the traffic trolls keeping you at bay). And let’s be real, we can only use the “heavy traffic” excuse to apologize for our tardiness so many times before it sounds like a broken record!!
So until we have flying cars à la Judy Jetson, here are some apps that will help you crack the LA code in no time-whether you are looking to get to your acting class early, meet up with your Power Group buddy somewhere in the middle of the city you’ve never been, or are scouting for a new local hangout.
In a word, Sigalert is a LIFESAVER when it comes to keeping you moving from A to B. Before even starting your engine, take a minute to log on to Sigalert.com and quickly glance over your intended route. This is especially essential if your route involves any of the following numbers: 5, 10, 101, 110, 134 or 405. Using Sigalert, you’ll save yourself countless hours by previewing what traffic looks like in real time. I admit I kind of cheated on this one because it’s technically not an app but it might as well be. Visit Sigalert.com via your smartphone’s browser and save the page to your phone by clicking the “Add to Home Screen” button.
CityMaps2Go ( Free and paid version at $1.99)
Leave your Wi-Fi worries behind with this handy app. This interactive offline map makes finding your destination a synch without having to rely on a “hotspot” to improve your Wi-Fi connection or worrying about extra data costs. This app has a map for every major city worldwide PLUS Wikipedia travel guides to boot. This makes it an ideal go-to app whether you’re home or jet setting from film set to film set around the world. Note: the first five maps are free, but additional maps only become available upon purchasing the full version.
It’s available for both iOS and Android.
*Bonus feature: The smart folks behind CityMaps2Go offer a “map guarantee.” Should you find yourself needing a map for an area that isn’t currently listed you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will create one for you automatically.
As the name implies, this app’s main purpose is to find what’s around you at any given time. It’s easy to use as one, two, three, as long as you have your GPS enabled on your mobile device. The app comes with a preset list of categories. Once tapped on, it shows you all the nearby businesses in that and their distance from where you are. Once you find a listing you’re interested in, you have a couple of options: see its location on the map, view the driving route to get there, add the location’s info to your contact list or if you want to be extra fancy email the 4-1-1 to your friend.
It’s also available for both iOS and Android
LAWay-Everything Los Angeles (Free-Android Only)
I have a love-hate relationship with this app. As one of the resident Geek-ettes, I pride myself on doing all my gadget and tech research hands on. That said, as an owner of both a Samsung Galaxy Note II and an iPhone, it kills me that it’s only available on one but not the other. Especially when it’s such a useful app. My hope is that it will come to an iPhone near you by the end of 2013.
Until then, Android users should rejoice and get this all-in-one app downloaded on their mobile devices right way.
Whatever you’re hunting, this app has your back. It comes with 50 plus apps in one app. You’ll find info on everything from dining, street eats, nightlife and shopping to live traffic cams, Wi-Fi locations, subway routes, classifieds AND jobs.
Los Angeles Street Food ($1.99)
An app round up on my home town wouldn’t be complete without including this bad boy. If you’re looking to spoil your foodie palette and eat like the locals do then you’re going to LOVVEEE this app. Oh and with most places serving food for under $20, your wallet will love it too.
This offline app makes it easy to track down your favorite food trucks or discover new street food spots. This is especially helpful if you are craving a certain type of food but aren’t in the mood to randomly experiment on an unknown spot.
Each entry is sorted by name, distance, price and neighborhood. The reviews are provided by a professional food critic with Angeleno roots.
The app is the brainchild of Patrick Green, who authored the first edition of Night + Day LA & LV guidebooks, while contributing to Citysearch, Angeleno, la.com, Sheckys, and Digital City AOL. With a track record like that, rest assured your taste buds AND stomach are in great hands.
The Los Angeles Street Food app currently features over 60 food trucks plus other street food destinations and is updated monthly. The app also links you directly to each truck’s Twitter feed if you’re looking to go food-trucking in real time.
Think I left one off the list? Let me know in the comments below about your must-have apps this month.
Till next time, I’m sending you smiles across the miles!!