Apps, , , , , — January 20, 2012 19:57 — 4 Comments

Heading to San Francisco for the Macworld | iWorld expo? Check out these apps

The Moscone Center in San Francisco has been used by Apple and Macworld to host major events and launches. Apple stopped being invoved with Macworld in 2009

Going to San Francisco for the 2012 Macworld | iWorld expo? Here’s a list of useful apps to help you get the best out of the city, especially if you are new in town.

UPDATE: What’s going on? Check the Hess Events List | Macworld-iWorld | for a full schedule.

Most of these apps I have used myself on previous visits,  so they have been personally roadtested. Let’s start with the essentials:

Food and Drink

San Francisco’s Best Coffee.$0.99. One for the true connoisseur. A fantastic app for scoping out the city’s best coffeeshops and carts. It also informs you of the type of beans and the machines each cafe and cart uses.
There are more than 70 listings serving quality roasted coffee like San Francisco’s Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Ritual and Sightglass. I found the Tartine Bakery & Cafe on Guerrero St, Mission with this app, and what a find. It was pricey, but they serve fantastic coffee and pastries and worth spoiling yourself. It’s busy during morning rush hour, but the staff are super friendly and the service is great.Nowi-fi (last May) so don’t go there expecting to work.


Cheap Eats in San Francisco. $0.99. Another handy little app that provides a comprehensive list of restaurants offering great food at a reasonable price. No matter where you are in the city, this app gives you instant access to the nearest restaurants accompanied with their description, menu recommendations and tips.
I’ve sampled Thai in Castro and had a great Indian meal in the Tenderloin using this app. I also discovered Giordano Brothers in North Beach; great beers, Pittsburgh-style sandwiches rammed with fries and live music some nights. A little gem.



iBART. Free. Not only does this great little keep you on track, it has been called a ’thing of beauty’ by The Atlantic Monthly no less. Essential to all BART riders – from the occasional to the daily, the tourist to the commuter; why aren’t all travel info apps made like this?


San Francisco Metro. $2.99. For other modes of transport try this app. A superb geographical map & route planner which takes in the SF Metro (Bart), Streetcar, Light Rail, Ferry & Bus systems. Another great feature is the ’Minute Map’ option which allows you to see the travel times from a start point to all other locations on the map. This is a unique way to view the topology of a city and gauge traveling times. No frills, no fuss, no internet connection required.


Smart Maps — San Francisco. $2.99. Let’s get lost may be all well and good for ChetBaker-inspired beatniks, but you may need to get zoned in to get to that gig, talk, or meeting. Luckily, Smart maps is exactly that. The entire app was designed with the concept that it should work offline, without the need for internet, so great, if like me, you are visiting from abroad and worried about data roaming. It’s a great alternative to the classic Maps app, that you can personalise with awesome features like ‘Around Me’ or ‘City Guide’.



San Francisco Way. Free. A one-stop killer app, that has everything you need to know for staying, or living, in San Francisco. There are 50 apps bundled into one, from coffee shops and wi-fi hotspots, to wanted criminals (you never know who you might be sitting next to on the tram) and yoga studios. SF Way will sort you out. Indispensable.



SF Arts. Free. A vibrant City like San Francisco has plenty to offer, whether poetry nights in North Beach, jazz in Fillmore, clubbing in Mission, art in Soma district. Find out what’s on while you’re in town with the city’s official live guide to local arts events. More than 1,000 events listed each month – now that’s what I call a scene!


Time Shutter. Free (lite version). Macworld maybe all about the future, but get a feel for the history of the city with Time Shutter. Using over 100map-based vintage images taken 100 years ago, Time Shutter San Francisco puts you in the shoes of someone walking through the most beautiful city in America at the dawn of 20th century. Fascinating.



Airbnb. Free. Need a place to stay for a few days? An SF startup that has gone truly global, I used this app last year to stay in a place in Mission, which was funky and cheap, choose your budget, choose your pad. Book space directly from your iPhone in a few simple clicks. Highly recommended.


Getting there

TripIt. Free.
Consolidate all your trip details into one itinerary on your iPhone or iPad, sync’d with your calendar, and online at TripIt keeps a track of flight info and cheap flights, you can even share your itinerary with friends or colleagues.

The 2012 Macworld iWorld conference runs from 26 to 28 January at the Moscone Center.


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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.


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