At one point in the not so distant past, finding your way around required a map, a sense of direction and some navigation skills. Finding a new home involved visiting multiple estate agents, locating a good place to eat was based on trial and error or word of mouth, and figuring out the utterly ridiculous London Underground system required, well… a lot of head scratching!
In this day and age, with technology so ingrained into our everyday life, it’s no surprise that anything that you could want or need has been smartly compacted into an app. This is particularly useful for expats new to London, as all the information you will need to get by is at the touch of your fingertip.There’s an app for just about anything these days, whether you want to know the best and safest cycle routes in London, or an accurately updated weather report to help you try to combat our unpredictable British climate. Whether you want food delivered to your door or you need to find a local plumber to fix your leaky sink; there’s an app for that!
Finding A Home
Whether you’re looking to rent a flat for yourself and your cat, a house with a garden for the kids to play in or find a professional house share, here are the apps that can help.
This free app allows you to browse thousands of adverts on-the-go for rooms to rent. You can view all the rooms to rent on a handy map to figure out what is best suited to you in terms of location.
Movebubble was chosen by the Evening Standard (a London newspaper) for being the city’s best property rental app. It features an ‘intelligent property feed’ and makes it easy to book viewings.
We all know that when it comes to shared accommodation, the people you live with will make or break it. Ideal Flatmate is a housemate matching service, and you can search by ‘looking for a room’ or ‘looking for a flatmate’.
When you’re in desperate need of a plumber or electrician and you’re not sure who to call…
This is a great app for finding a handyman in your area, whether you need plumbing, electrics or gardening. Other categories include locksmiths and junk removal.
This app is a fast, convenient way to get things done around the house. From moving and packing, mounting and installation, or even flat-pack assembly, take the stress out of your mounting household checklist!
Find a cleaner, then easily choose and manage your time slots with the Housekeep app. Additional options for regular customers include a key pick up and tracking system, and bespoke cleaning packages.
From trains to tubes and cycles to taxis, here’s all the apps that will help you with transport, timetables and tickets.
Take the confusion out of the London Underground with this handy app, which has the official tube maps, a smart route planner feature that will tell you which line and which stops you need to get to your destination quickly, as well as offering live service updates and helpful information.
London Live Bus Countdown
This tells you when your next bus will arrive at any bus stop in London; a useful tool in your daily commute to work. It also allows you to see live camera feeds on the map.
Bike Hub Journey Planner
This app gives you a choice of three route options: quickest (which can include busy roads), quietest (which favours cycle lanes and back streets), and ‘balanced’. The app also includes spoken instructions and turn-by-turn navigation.
This is Europe’s leading independent train app, offering live timetables, announcements and route planners. The app also includes handy money-saving tips and hacks, as well as information on how to get the best deals with your railcardsrail cards.
If Uber isn’t your thing and you want a trusted, vetted taxi service, try the My Taxi app. This will get you a London black cab without the stress of trying to flag one down off the street.
Food And Drink
Whether you want a lazy night in with a takeaway, are looking for restaurant reviews and recommendations, or need to nab an exclusive table booking at a London hot spot, there’s an app for all options.
Get food from typical takeaways to healthier options delivered. You can even order beers, spirits or wines to your door!
For a huge database of restaurant reviews and recommendations from fellow foodies, check out Foursquare. You can also easily keep track of where you have already been and make wish lists of where you would like to go.
What a lot of apps (such as Foursquare) lack is availability. Opentable fills the gap in this area, allowing you to see the availability at restaurants across the city.
Dating And Socialising
Sure, there are plenty of better known dating apps out there, but if you’re looking for something that sets the bar a bit higher than Tinder, or if you’re new in town and just want to meet new friends, then give these a try.
Happn is a dating app that lets you connect with other users you’ve crossed paths with in real life. If you happen to find someone that you like, you can secretly ‘like’ them; they won’t find out unless the interest is mutual.
Bumble is a multifaceted app that includes dating, friendship and business networking options. With the female-friendly dating section, a woman always makes the first move and has a 24 hours to initiate with her matches.
Inner Circle is considered to be more exclusive than other apps, with an aim to ‘connect ambitious and like-minded people’. Each potential member is curated and approved to ‘ensure that compatibility and mutual interests prevail.’
Find your feet in this bustling city with the help of these handy map apps.
This is a detailed offline map that will help you with navigation and directions once you download your chosen area. You can also search for nearby accommodation, restaurants, ATMS and local sights of interest.
Hailed as the ultimate transport app, this popular app is specifically designed and built for city commuters. It features a journey planner that combines all modes of transport to find the best route for you, with options including walking, cycling, tube, bus or train.
Easy to use job apps in the palm of your hand will save you from hours of trawling through websites at a computer.
Reed is one of the most popular job search sites in the UK, and their easy to use app includes a swipe features where you can simply chuck the jobs you aren’t interested in out the window, and build a list of the ones you do like. It also features an easy one-click application system once you have uploaded a CV to your account.
This app is fast loading and has an easy to use interface and job search. You can also see how many potential employers have viewed your CV and receive reminders for jobs that you have shown interest in but not applied for yet.
Gigs And Events
For finding all the best and most happening events in your area.
The Hype app features everything that’s going on in your local area in real time. From music gigs to gallery openings, this is a fantastic way to have your finger on the pulse and discover new experiences in your area.
DICE allows you to get hold of tickets to the best clubs, gigs and music festivals. It’s a great app for spotting events in your area and securing your place at them.
What are your favourite London apps? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!