I recently traveled down to Seattle for a couple days and I had switch over my old iPhone 3GS so I could use on it on the US network without fear of major roaming charges. All links go there respective apps. But many apps are available for android as well. *The Chihuly exhibit is a HTML5 app. Featured photo courtesy of Jeremy Lim Used with Permission.
Google Maps or your favorite map application. Looking up anything using Google Maps is a good idea. Jon Jennings and Flynn O’Connor and I drove down to WordCamp Seattle and we used Google Maps to find my hotel and to keep us going in the right direction. Although Google did give us a funny Once in Seattle, I used it to walk to Speakers Dinner, the traffic was horrible and it was a beautiful night, the walk was far better then a cab. I also Found my cousin house in West Seattle, Almost everything… But when my roaming phone wasn’t connecting I went searching for a paper map and directions from local business owners which was less fruitful in not tourist area’s and I felt somewhat bothersome.
Using Seattle Transit is not foreign to me but schedules and stops change since I used it four years ago. But what made this trip special was that Transit App which recent became completely free in the App Store. I switched the location to Seattle and I was able to instantly find the transit listing using an App I already knew how to use. I Decided to take the bus from Downtown to the Seattle Center. Easy as pie… Seriously… I closed down the Chihuly Garden and Glass at 10:00pm and was on the next Monorail to Downtown then on a bus back to West Seattle in no time flat. Monday Night in Downtown Seattle many not be one place I want to hang out in. But the Transit app give me clear and concise directions to the bus stops. I don’t think a regular cab could have done better and certainly not for $4.50 in total.
I only took Uber once in Vancouver with some visitors from Portland before the BC Government pulled the plugin on them. But Uber was giving a great deal to get us to WordCamp Seattle. I called the Car from the hotel OMG it is spectacular!!! I have never had such a delightful trip across the city and felt very “Presidental” arriving to WordCamp Seattle in style. Both Flynn and Jon used them extensively as well.
The Uber app didn’t like my US Phone as I used the App originally from my Canadian Phone at the Hotel via Wifi (my fault for installing on the wrong phone)… But I guess we can figure that out later… I think it may have been more my phone then the Über app… Which as you might think is pretty Über.
Much like the Transit App all I had to do was switch the location of the app and I could find all the cars in the local radius… After a walking tour of Downtown Seattle. We were standing with in 200 feet of an available car. So I tried to rent the car so it could take me to the Seattle Central Public Library. I would need a US membership Card to Car2go and then I could use it in any America CIty and visa-versa. Nothing against the app It worked flawlessly and I am seriously considering getting a US Car2go membership as it seems to be growing.
Although Car2Go now has it’s own app. They didn’t when I first joined the service back in 2011. But the company listed Get2Car as an approved app. The Ge2Car app is reasonably priced at $1.99.
The Wikipedia App and for that matter there mobile website as well allowed me to research more about Dale Chihuly while I was waiting for the sun to go down at this his Garden and Glass Exhibit. Also according to wikipedia no one know who Elliott Bay is actually named after. Which makes sense because my walking tour guide didn’t know either. ( Side note: I highly suggest the Seattle 101 walking tour thanks Jake! )
If I liked something on Facebook I got a free goodie from this sweet shop. Ya I got a bit of sweet tooth… I don’t have Facebook App on my phone but after found my 1password I signed on got my free dark chocolate covered marshmallow and bam! Thanks one Password!
The Chihuly exhibit also had a free audio tour via a html5 mobile website (and provided free headphones so you didn’t use your speaker phone). The audio tour was really well done and gave more insight into the artist and it could only access via your smartphone. They included free wifi to access the web app so you didn’t waste your data. It was a slick interface and allowed complete choice for your immersive experience of the exhibit.
So after my first real trip to a somewhat foreign city these list of app made transportation easier and my time spent in the Emerald City much easier and more fulfilling. I made my way home via Amtrak Cascades train to Vancouver and I booked my ticket online and the included QR code was scanned from an email on my phone. No printer required!
Seattle I will certainly be back but not without my smart phone.