The Top 11 Apps Every Angeleno Should Download, Pronto!

When it comes to mobile technology, we dance a fine line between early adopter and total luddite. While many of us here at R29 L.A. have been all iPhone since gen-one, the whole app thing remained a mystery until somewhat recently. But with the iPhone in its fifth year and Android phones in practically as many pockets these days, the app market has exploded and so has the number of icons on our phones’ desktops.
There’s now an app for any niche interest or practical use you could ever think of. With so many to pick from, the intel on the best apps isn’t always written on the wall. We’ve found our way through friends’ recs or casual reading of a few tech-y blogs. But, we want to help you cut to the chase, which is why we’ve rounded up a collection of our fave functional, informative, and just plain-fun apps seemingly tailor-made to up the ante on L.A. living. Get clickin’, people, and don’t forget to hook a sister up with your own go-to's in the comments!
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Gas Buddy
We know what out-of-towners think: In L.A. the streets are paved with gold, celebrities crowd every Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Louboutins grow on trees. In reality, we all need to keep a close watch on our spending, and when it comes to L.A. living, where to get the cheapest gas without breaking the bank is often front of mind. Enter Gas Buddy, your new bestie that lets you know where to get the least-expensive gas anywhere around this great SoCal basin. There’s no excuse not to take advantage of the cheapest gas around, which will keep you cruising miles after that other guy started running on empty.
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Hike Los Angeles
Who needs a gym with L.A.'s weather and natural resources? Hike Los Angeles stores info and maps on great local hikes on your phone along with their respective stats, including elevation, distance, and user reviews. If you love a vertical challenge and have tired of the same old Runyon loop, this is just the thing for you. Bonus: No service bars are needed to access the app!
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Sunrise, Sunset
Not unlike inhaling and exhaling, the sunrise and set are a part of our daily functioning that we so often take for granted. We just love the idea of technology, of all things, enabling us to be more present in our world day to day (minus the rising fees of yoga classes). And this simple but wonderful app will give you just that, for L.A. and wherever your journeys take you.
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California Farmer’s Market Finder
With the Farmer’s Market Finder in your pocket, you’ll never have to suffer through sub-par grocery-store produce again. The brains behind this beaut of an app break the markets down by neighborhood, time, and day of the week. So, no matter where you are, those perfect peaches, plums, and pears are always within reach (as long as they’re in season!). Looks like there's no need to wait for Saturday morning anymore!
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Road Stoves
If we had a nickel for every time we loaded Kogi’s site in our phone’s browser to find one of those amazing kimchi-filled taco trucks … well, we’d have a lot of nickels! With Road Stoves you’ll never have to launch Safari when the hunger hits because you’ll have the locations of Kogi and every other fantastic set of meals on wheels right where you need them. Road Stoves connects you directly to individual trucks’ Twitter feeds to help you stay on top of location, menus, and all the rest, so you can relax and concentrate on sating that craving.
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Park Me
You might have heard of the miracle that is Park Me, the parking-spot-finder app, but still haven’t downloaded it. What are you waiting for? Get to it! Park Me does all the work for you, and even estimates costs, so your can stop circling the block and get your spot.
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Chef’s Feed
The Internet age has made food critics of food lovers overnight, but occasionally it’s nice to know the person vouching for your Friday night reservation has more culinary credentials than just enjoying food. That’s where Chef’s Feed comes in: Chefs you know and love (Joachim Splichal of Patina, Josef Centeno of Lazy Ox Canteen, and Akasha Richmond of Akasha to name a few) share their favorite spots to grab a bite, and even give us the 411 on their favorite dishes. We can’t wait to try Suzanne Goin’s late-night Korean pick — download this puppy (for free!) — to find out where!
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We are so over getting burned by bad intel from our de facto phone map and its accompanying “show traffic” feature. Consider Waze your handy new helper that will get you moving thanks to user-generated updates in real time. This is crowdsourcing at its finest: expertise by locals, for locals that will get you where you want to go fast.
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Movies by Flixster, With Rotten Tomatoes
Movies by Flixster With Rotten Tomatoes allows you to make new friends and keep the old. With just one icon on your home screen, you get the most up-to-date showtimes while staying true to your longtime love, Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re going to have one movie app, this is the one you have to have.
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Surf Report
Before paddling out in the swells, we suggest you download Surf Report for information on where to go, wave heights, and the time of the tides, as well as tons of other bonus features like surf videos, news, and weather reports. Whether you’ve got a sporty short board strapped on your roof, or have been chilling on the same long board since you were a teen, Surf Report is sure to keep you hanging ten!
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LA Traffic Mayhem
Even the most serious among us have given into a little PDA gaming once in a while, and L.A. Traffic Mayhem is the perfect fit for us white-knuckled Angelenos who spend half our lives stuck in traffic. Can’t stand one more minute of gridlock? Put the power to turn the light green at the tip of your finger, but you better watch out, because accidents do happen!