Top iPhone Apps for Washington

By: Annalisa Jones

From applications that mimic flatulence to ones that help you keep track of your caloric intake, the iPhone application store can be overwhelming when it comes to shopping among the tens of thousands of offerings.

But if you live in the Washington area, there are plenty of helpful and fun apps to help you in your daily grind. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites below. Know of some we missed? Leave your own in the comments!

For getting around town, the DC Rails app  ($1.99) provides Metro-train arrivals and the ability to add favorite stops as well as view all stops. Only problem? You can’t check arrivals when you’re underground on the Metro, where there is no service. Great for planning your ride beforehand, though. The iTrans DC metro app ($4.99) provides the same service with step-by-step directions, time overviews, and slightly better graphics.

If you’re ditching the rails for the open road but can’t find the nearest Zipcar location, use the Where app (free) to locate the nearest Zipcar location as well as find the closest restaurants, Strabucks, gas stations, movie times, local events, and where your friends are.

If you’re out late and are debating whether to walk to the Metro or call a cab, use the Are You Safe in DC app ($0.99), which locates you and provides a safety level according to crime reports specific to your location.

If you didn’t grab the paper on your way to work, you have many choices to view news on your iPhone. NPR has an app called NPR Mobile (free) that has mostly audio content as well as articles to read. You can search through programs such as Morning Edition and Fresh Air or browse by topics and columns, though none of the content is streamed live. The AP mobile app (free) provides up-to-date news from the Associated Press, everything from local to national news as well as sports, business, and entertainment. You can view videos and photos as well as search for stories. The New York Times, ABC News, and USA Today offer news applications as well, all free.

With some unique apps for living and working in DC, the DC Public Library app allows you to search through the library catalog, put a book on hold, and search for the closest branch and times. Free.

If you work on the Hill and need to meet with the Representative for the third Congressional District of Virginia but don’t know who that is, the Congress app (99 cents, or $9.99 for the plush version) will supply you with a photo and every other senator and representative’s office information, Twitter links, and bios.

Can’t decide between Thai and Ethiopian food for dinner? Use the Urbanspoon app (free) , which finds your location, searches at random for the nearest restaurants based on your preferences, and provides price details, a map, and reviews.

What are your favorite iPhone apps? Tell us in the comments below! 

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