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Tech Tips

Apps for the Big Apple

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For New York novices, the city can be overwhelming. Not too long ago, you needed clunky guidebooks and sprawling maps to find your way through Gotham's labyrinth. But now, thanks to tons of applications for the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android phones, navigating the Big Apple is easier and more portable.

In the city that never sleeps, an app like NYC Way can help you find what you need at all hours of the day—restaurants, nightclubs, movie showtimes, street vendors, restrooms, Wi-Fi hotspots, and much more. It's available for free at www.mycityway.com. And visiting the city's major museums is now a snap. The American Museum of Natural History, for example, has several iPhone and iPad apps that serve as personal tour guides to the museum's collections (you can find them at www.amnh.org/apps/), and the Museum of Modern Art's app offers an exhibition calendar, multimedia tours, and an index of every work in the collection (www.moma.org).

So now that you know where to go, how do you get there? There are dozens of apps to help you navigate the city, and the website of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority describes more than 40 of them, some of which give you real-time bus and subway info for your current location (www.mta.info/apps/). In addition to scrollable street and transit maps, Exit Strategy NYC tells you where the exits are at each subway station, so you can choose the most convenient car to ride in—it even works underground when you can't connect to the Internet (www.exitstrategynyc.com).

If you're coming to New York for your big break, Back Stage has an app for reality TV casting, and our publication Call Sheet has one with contact info for casting directors, talent agents and managers, production companies, and acting schools. Both can be found at Apple's iTunes Store. The iPhone app Actor Genie tells you what films and TV shows are currently shooting in New York (and L.A. too) and provides contact information for their casting directors (www.actorgenie.com). Actors Access Mobile, for the iPhone and iPad, allows Actors Access members to submit their headshots and résumés to casting directors from wherever they happen to be (available at the iTunes Store).

Theater enthusiasts may find that the apps ILoveNYTheater and At the Booth! are crucial. With ILoveNYTheater, you can see what's playing on Broadway and buy tickets directly from the box office, while At the Booth! tells you which Broadway and Off-Broadway shows are offering discount tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. Both are available for the iPhone through the iTunes Store.

These are only a few of the many apps designed to help acquaint both newcomers and locals with various aspects of New York City. With apps like these, you'll feel right at home.

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