The summer is ending, and that means we’re just a few short weeks away from heading back to the grind — whether that means returning to class or regularly scheduled work. If you’ve got a commute ahead of you, here are the five apps you need to transition back to the 9-5 life with minimum fuss.
If you’re driving to your destination, Google’s crowdsourced travel app is useful for a lot more than just getting directions. Waze tracks real-time traffic speeds, accidents, pulled-over cars, and other useful data to determine just what the best route is, even if that sometimes means going all Smash Mouth and taking the back streets.
Consider this a chance to get to know your city better, and to see more than just the highways and off ramps. Or, take screenshots to justify telecommuting into work.
If you’re not just taking a car, try Citymapper. Citymapper is designed to cater to every kind of commuter, be they the pedestrian wondering if going through that park is a shortcut or the public transit rider trying to decide if they need to switch buses. It’s one of the most flexible commuting apps for large cities, and has the distinction of being one of the best apps for biking commuters out there. Especially if you’re in a new city, or a new part of a city you’ve lived in for years, Citymapper will help you get around, find cool stuff, and shave minutes off your commute.
If you’re trapped underground for long stretches, like on the subway or in the traffic tunnel, it may not be clear what weather awaits you when you finally break through to fresh air. Dark Sky is a handy hyperlocal weather app that will tell you the exact conditions, exactly where you are, without having to guess what an overall forecast has to say. Rather than try to find a window or risk getting soaked, you can know to pop out your umbrella, or take off your jacket, without worry.
Sometimes, you forget your book. Or perhaps currently whatever you’re reading isn’t “transit-appropriate;” hey, we’ve all got books we’d prefer nobody realized we were reading. Thankfully, Kindles are synced across devices and apps, so if you forget your Kindle, or simply want to read something more discreetly on the bus, you can just pop it open on your phone and start reading. Or perhaps download something useful to peruse, like a practical guide to dealing with somebody who wears too much cologne.
It happens to all of us: We get to the end of a podcast’s current episodes, but there’s still a long, long ride ahead. Fortunately, there’s Stitcher. In addition to being one of the best apps to organize and listen to your podcasts, it’s also a useful guide to other podcasts you might be interested in after you finish one up. So if you run out of episodes, you’ll never have to stop listening.
Got a favorite app for commuting? Tell us in the comments!