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Top 5 London Apps

  • 3 Aug 2015

Each month we ask a London expert to give us their Top 5 for the best in the capital's shopping, dining, nightlife and more. There’s so much going on in London – the problem is unlocking the best of it (and finding your way round it all to boot). Londoner and Wired UK tech writer Katie Collins shares her top five London apps to help you get the most from the capital.

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1.) Uncover 

What does it do? Securing reservations at London's most fashionable restaurants usually involves planning weeks or even months in advance. Not so with Uncover, the app that savvy Londoners are using to clinch same-day bookings at exclusive dining spots including La Gavroche and Gymkhana. Uncover is also beautifully designed, with smooth transitions, seductive photography and features that allow you to search nearby, or by occasion.

Who should use it? Foodies who want to sample the best of London's restaurant scene.

Why I love it: The carefully curated restaurant selection really sets Uncover apart from rival last-minute booking apps. Thank the app's creators; they forged personal relationships with a handpicked selection of establishments so you’ll never be fobbed off with a table at a cheap pizzeria.

Platform and price: iOS, free

2.) Great Little Place

What does it do? Ditch your guidebook and download Great Little Place to discover secret drinking dens, unusual museums and markets packed with local produce. All listings are submitted by locals who generously point you towards their favourite spots. Just use the Tinder-style swipe system to turn GLP into your very own little black book packed with the addresses of London's hidden gems.

Who should use it? Explorers and anyone determined to discover the real Londoner's London.

Why I love it: Great Little Place helps you get under the sprawling capital’s tough skin and discover the hidden haunts that people like you love with a passion.

Platform and price: iOS, free

3.) London Official City Guide

What does it do? Created by Visit London, this official city guide app will hold your hand through the daunting experience of trying to tick off all the major sights. Offline maps keep you pointed in the right direction even with no data or Wi-Fi – and you can also create bespoke itineraries to use offline (along with crucial information about each of your waypoints). Helpfully, the app also lists amenities like pharmacies, police stations and bureaux de changes.

Who should use it? First-time visitors to London and sightseeing completists. 

Why I love it: It doesn't matter what time of year you visit, there's a distinct possibility that the London weather might not be your friend. This app helpfully offers suggestions based on the weather to help you dodge the downpours.

Platform and price: iOS, free

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4.) YPlan 

What does it do? There's more to going out in London than West End musicals and concerts at the O2. Tap into the city's vibrant events scene with YPlan and you could end up at a food festival, a rooftop cinema or sipping an after-hours prosecco in an aquarium. Not wild enough for you? Book to see a Red Bull Air Race. After something more sedate? Attend a talk by the Dalai Lama. Getting hold of tickets couldn't be easier – find and pay for events through the app and then just flash your phone at the door.

Who should use it? Culture junkies 

Why I love it: London has so many events that it's like being at the world's best festival every day. YPlan lets you get into the spirit and make truly spontaneous decisions about what to do.

Platform and price: iOS, Android, free

5. Tube exits 

What does it do? There probably isn't a Londoner in the capital without a tube map on their phone – and with good reason. The city's underground network is vast, so follow suit and download Tube Exits. Hack time off your journey with its route planner, real-time line status updates, and calculator for the quickest route between two stations. The app even makes rush hours more bearable with a simple interface that tells you where on the platform is best to board. Follow the app's advice and you'll even alight right next to the exit.

Why should use it? Everyone (even if you plan to travel by taxi – London traffic means the Tube is often quicker).

Why I love it: It takes years to get to grips with all the nuances of the Underground. Tube Exits does all the hard work for you, preventing rookie errors and transforming even first-time visitors into tube pros.

Price and platform: iOS, 79p


Read more of Katie's tech tips and ideas on the Wired website 

>> Download the Heathrow Express App for our best fares and live service updates <<

 

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