Helpful apps to explore in and out of the city

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Helpful apps to explore in and out of the city. (iStock)
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As pedestrians walk down the street with their noses in their phones, it can be assumed that they are aggressively texting, looking up directions or playing the trendiest new game. However, these busy bees may be exploring one of several helpful apps that are unlikely to die in a fad. Whether you’re looking for a favorite brew around town or want to check the progress of a local fire, just a tap, and a download can bring your answers.


Sometimes people are impatient and simply can’t wait to find that specific IPA they’re craving. Instead of stopping in at every brewery or bar nearby hoping to find a specific beer on the tap list, Taphunter can find a specific brew, cocktail or spirit with a simple “tap.” The app also provides users with an interactive map to help them explore menus of restaurants, bars and tasting rooms, and informs them of upcoming events they can share to friends directly through social media. Taphunter also can be used in cities around the country to help users find their favorite drink abroad.

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store


Swim Guide

When the weather is perfect and the beach bags are packed, there is nothing worse than arriving at a beach just to find out that it’s closed. Luckily, Waterkeeper’s Swim Guide provides daily water quality updates for 400 beaches in California and many in San Diego. Along with the updates, the app provides descriptions about each beach, park and lake with their user-friendly map to help users pick the perfect location based on their wants and needs.  

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store


Little Italy San Diego

With history and culture dating back to the 1800s, it can be hard to capture all Little Italy has to offer in one visit. Luckily, the Little Italy Association has compiled guides for food, shopping, events, landmarks and parking. The app also provides self-guided tours that are accompanied with local’s stories so users can take in the culture at their own pace.

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store


Balboa Park Official Mobile App

With 1.88 square miles, there is a lot of ground to cover at Balboa Park. Fortunately, the Balboa Park Official App provides extensive maps and coverage of events and attractions for the Park’s 15 museums and surroundings. Because of the Park’s many options, the app allows users to create personalized lists and find nearby restaurants, ATMs, restrooms and parking lots. The app has also created tours for hikers and bikers, as well as those who are on a date or are looking to explore the park’s hidden gems.

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store


CAL Fire Ready for Wildfire

As the weather heats up, it’s important to be prepared for nature and its mighty forces. To prepare for the upcoming fire season, CAL Fire has developed an app that provides step-by-step instructions for families to build emergency supply kits and evacuation plans. Users can set up fire alerts for certain counties and track a fire’s progress with its personalized features.

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store


Get It Done

With busy schedules, it can be difficult to attend city council meetings to voice opinions and concerns about San Diego neighborhoods. Now, citizens can make their voices heard with the touch of a button. Get It Done San Diego, an app from the City of San Diego, allows users to report numerous issues, such as broken street lights, damaged guardrails and many others, so city officials can begin addressing these issues quickly. Users can even include a photo so the city knows exactly where the problem is and how to specifically address it.

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store


Discover San Diego

With expertly-written content and user reviews, this app can help users plan out their days to a “T.” Discover San Diego provides descriptions of hotels, restaurants and destinations, and creates customized itineraries and maps based on the user’s preferences. With a download, the app also provides deals at local attractions and restaurants throughout the city. Whether used for a vacationer’s entire week or a local’s free Saturday afternoon, Discover San Diego can take the stress out of planning so the user can sit back and enjoy. Editor’s note: This app is run by PACIFIC’s parent company Tronc and contains content written by staff members of The San Diego Union-Tribune and former

Free on Google Play and Apple App Store