As an avid traveler myself, I love being a tourist in a new city or country. But it can sometimes be challenging when trying to figure out the best restaurants or bars to visit and the most efficient way to get there. To help me out I sometimes utilize “Places” – a location-based app that helps me find nearby restaurants, coffee, bars, attractions, ATMs, gas stations etc. But, if I’m being honest, I really only use it if I’m low on gas and need to find the nearest gas station.
Today, however, a new app was just announced called MyCityWay Now and it seems to be an enhancement of other location-based apps. Mashable describes it as “a personalized concierge service for locals and tourists.” I think it’s like having a local city native in your pocket!
As you can see above, the main menu is divided into the following 9 categories:
- Eat and Drink – offers restaurant selections and coffee houses
- Nightlife – lists local bars & pubs, dancing, music venues and comedy clubs nearby
- What’s On – provides info on what movies are playing in nearby theatres
- Places to Go – helps you locate the nearest art galleries, museums, zoos, aquariums, libraries, sporting and recreation events and stuff to do with the kids
- Getting Around – includes transit maps of the city, parking information for where you are, taxi/car service info and local public transportation
- Shop – helps shopoholics find products nearby; this section also has a Deals & Offers coupon where users can see bargains available from other social sites like LivingSocial and BestDeals.
- Rejuvenate – lists the local salons and spas in the area
- Need – provides info about where to find WI-FI, restrooms, pharmacies and ATMs that you may need to locate immediately
- Travel – helps locate airports and attractions as well as info about local hotels and tours
The sections that I think are real points of difference for MyCityWay Now is their Getting Around and Need subcategories. I feel as though a lot of apps have dining, nightlife, shops and tourist attraction information but sometimes all you really need is a bathroom or the airport and the fastest way to get there.
Getting Around provides travelers with digital access to city maps, and bus/subway schedules that could hopefully reduce car fumes and encourage tourists to take advantage of the city’s public transportation.
The Need section is also great. I swear I have the world’s smallest bladder and am always looking for a bathroom – especially one where I won’t be given the evil stare if I walk in to only use the bathroom. It’s also an added bonus that this section redirects users to the nearest ATM and WI-FI hotspots. Bathroom + cash + Internet cafes = a must-have for all travelers.
The only problem I have with the app is some of the section titles. For instance, What’s On? doesn’t easily resonate with movie theatres. I mean, it does now that I read the description, but that wasn’t the first thing that initially came to mind. Titles like Travel and Need are also pretty vague. Without reading up on each category description, I could see some users getting confused with what products and services are listed where. I think if they made the titles simpler, and focused on words that summarize the information available, it could make the app a little bit better.
Other than that, I find the app to be a leader amongst other location-based services. It has an atheistically pleasing dashboard with services that other apps, like my “Places” Android app, currently lack.
Bad news is the app will only be available in New York City on April 17th and it doesn’t mention how much it will cost. But, hopefully, they receive some positive feedback and numerous downloads so that they continue to make them for cities nationwide!