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ELECTROPUF // $.99 There is no shortage of apps for getting around Chicago, including Chicago L Rapid Transit to find the nearest el stop (and system map) and iTrans Chicago Metra to get Metra routes and schedules. But our favorite is Buster: The Chicago Bus Tracker. This app makes the CTA’s already incredibly useful bus tracking information much easier to read and use. Buster’s interface is so simple and intuitive you’ll find lots of ways to use it—for example, figuring out which of several route options will arrive first or estimating overall travel time when you need to make a transfer. Darn accurate, too.
USEFUL 5/5 | SLICK 4/5 | FUN 1/5
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URBANSPOON // FREE There are many good applications for finding restaurants and cultural events, including Metromix (listings and search), Yelp (maps connected to reviews by real people), and OpenTable (making reservations on the fly). But these pale in comparison to Urbanspoon, a city-by-city restaurant review and search application that got plenty of buzz when it launched as one of the first apps for the iPhone. Its restaurant-finding software continues to innovate: Now iPhone owners with the 3GS model can use “augmented reality” to find a dining destination. Using the “scope” tool, look down a street through your iPhone’s camera, and computer graphics instantly populate the live video image, including pointers to all the restaurants captured in that view (including price range and type of food) and their distance from where you are standing. Turn around and do the same thing in the other direction. Very cool.
USEFUL 5/5 | SLICK 5/5 | FUN 5/5