A smartphone is no longer simply for the tech-savvy and social network obsessed. An argument in the pub can be settled instantly with Google, there’s no excuse not to reply to your emails and if you’re bored, there’s always another round of Fruit Ninja to play – it’s a surprise when you meet someone who isn’t using one. These Edinburgh-specific smartphone apps make day-to-day life in Scotland’s capital much easier – and what’s more, they’re all free!
The classic Edinburgh-based app, Edinbus is a free service which tells you which routes Lothian Buses take, where they stop, and when the next ones are arriving. It also allows you to save stops for quick future reference, and provides information about any disruptions. This is an essential app for any Edinburgh citizen.
City Cabs (Edinburgh) Ltd
For when the buses stop running (or you’re carrying something really heavy!). Choose the date and time, as well as a larger vehicle if necessary, and search for pick-up and drop-off points using GPS. The app also allows you to set up an account which you can use to pay for your taxi rather than having to take a quick stop by a cash machine, adding pennies to the meter. You can then track the taxi as it makes its way to you.
Edinburgh Airport Ltd
When you need to escape from the city, this app will be there for you. Allowing you to keep an eye on both arrivals and departures, you can also input your flight number and track its progress. The app gives information about transfers to and from the airport, car parking (including booking), as well as details of the amenities available at the airport – in handy map format.
If you’re a student at the University of Edinburgh, this app will be a great help to you. You can use it to view WebCT, and keep up to date with your courses when you’re out and about. There are campus maps available, useful if you are new to the uni (or have a tutorial somewhere you’ve never heard of). Possibly most importantly, the app links to the library and you can check PC availability as well as viewing your library account information. A good student companion.
SOLUS UK Ltd
With the Edinburgh Libraries app, you can find the location of your nearest local
library as well as discover events being held in libraries around the city. A registered library member can log in, check what’s in stock, and renew books associated with their account. There’s even a library based blog to keep up with!
Everyone loves pictures of cute animals, right? This app has got them all, from the aardwolf to the white-faced saki monkey. You can learn about them, and then find out where they’re located in the zoo, ready to scout them out on your next visit. There’s also a visitor guide, the opportunity to support the zoo and a special ‘Panda News’ button. The perfect guide to a fun day out for families and groups of friends alike.
Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh
There are lots of different tour guide apps available, perfect for a visitor to the city – but for a resident, Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh provides something a little bit different. See the capital through the eyes of Rankin and his famous detective, Rebus. A map highlights the key locations featured in his crime novels, as well as offering tours of the Old Town, Royal Mile, New Town and the Water of Leith. If you feel like doing a little exploring, this is the way to do it.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
A little bit out of date for this year, admittedly, but good to get prepared for next August. This app allows you to plan ahead for your next show – sorted by venue, time or genre – and book tickets on the move. A calendar function keeps track of tickets booked through the app so you’re never in danger of missing a show. Half Price Hut tickets are also available through the app, meaning you don’t have to go all the way to Assembly to get your discounts.