Go to the head of the class with the best smart phone apps for navigating Chicago. You're welcome.
Festival Finder Chicago Chicagoans live for their summer and fall street fests, but the abundance of events from May to October can be overwhelming. Festival Finder Chicago is a detailed listing of every street, art, and music festival during our warmer months ensuring you will never mistakenly show up at Rib Fest instead of Old Town Art Fair again. (Yes, that once happened to us.) 99¢ for iPhone, itunes.com; 99¢ for Android; androlib.com.
Talking Chicago Baseball If walking around street fairs has you daydreaming of greener sports fields, Talking Chicago Baseball is the app for you to keep current on the latest Chicago baseball news wherever you go. No choosing allegiances required: This app includes news and updates for both beloved Chicago baseball teams. Free for iPhone; itunes.com.
asap Chicago This app aggregates stories from top local news sources like the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Breaking News, etc., to keep you up to the minute even when you’re stuck in a long, evening lecture. 99¢ for iPhone; asaping.net.
Class Buddy Pro Good riddance to the clumsy Trapper Keepers of yesteryear. Class Buddy Pro pretty much does everything short of calling your professor for a final paper extension. It organizes your assignments and exams and tracks your grades and GPA—all at the tap of the screen. $2.49 for Android; androidzoom.com.
FlightTrack It’ll set you back five bucks, but with our close proximity to the reigning champ of flight cancellations, O’Hare, we think it’s worth it. Check the status of more than 5,000 flights and if you miss your plane home for Thanksgiving or, heaven forbid, to Cabo for spring break, search upcoming flights and hop on the next plane out. $4.99 iPhone, Blackberry & Android; mobiata.com.
cab4me Remember that time you walked around Andersonville for two hours looking for a cab? “Never again!” you yelled. Not with this app. Cab4me locates cab stands nearby and searches numbers to local cab companies. It’s also useful for summoning a lift on those exam-day mornings you slept in and during those late nights you need to get home (or to a taco stand) stat. Free for Android, android.com/market; $1.99 for iPhone; itunes.com; and $2.99 for Blackberry, appworld.blackberry.com.
Foodie The App Exclusive to Chicago, this app gets the latest news on early restaurant openings, underground dining events, random deals and prix fixe menus at some of the best restaurants in town. Find an offer that suits you and book a rez with your phone. (There is a nominal fee to access each deal.) Now culinary destinations are accessible on pretty much any budget, let’s buck the “college students only eat Ramen noodles” stereotype once and for all, shall we? $1.99 for iPhone; itunes.com.
Buster You have better things to do than let our lovely, semi-reliable public transportation system keep you waiting. Get updates on when your bus will arrive or find nearby stops and never be late to class again. Note: Also recommended for use in the dead of winter so you can run to your bus stop at the very last, sub-zero second. 99¢ for iPhone and Android; busterapp.com.
Mint.com Personal Finance Your very own and very free personal banker. Track spending, manage bills, stay on budget and never be late on a tuition payment. Or, at the very least, impress your parents with your newfound responsibility. They might even be proud enough to buy you an iPad to use it on. Free for Android; android.com/market and mint.com.
Time Out Chicago Now, we don’t mean to boast (well, maybe a just bit), but we are fond of our handy little app. Find a coffee shop to study at near your apartment, a gallery opening in Pilsen and everything in between. With up-to-date reviews and listings on restaurants, bars, culture, arts and nightlife events, this app ensures boredom is not an option in this city. Free for iPhone; itunes.com. Coming to Android this Fall.