Apps for Locals

We don’t need a card-counting app for our smartphones. Nor do we need an app that can hook us up with cheap Criss Angel tickets. What we need are apps that make living in this town easier. Here are a few apps do just that:

CityCenter Fine Art Collection (iPhone; free). MGM has apps for all its properties, but this one actually contains useful information: It identifies all the art under the watchful eye of the Vdara Death Ray.

Foursquare/Gowalla (iPhone, Android; free). These apps allow you to “check in” at venues, telling your friends (and enemies) where you are at any given time. Some venues offer deals for checking in, but not many; it’s mostly just fun. I prefer Gowalla to Foursquare, because the latter was made in New York and has that city’s glib asshole vibe.

Google Sky Map (Android; free). Drive out to open desert tonight, pull over, look up and turn on this astonishing app. Ah, so that’s Regulus.

Happy Hours (Android; free). It points you to the closest cheap beer and sliders. Simplicity itself.

Hipstamatic (iPhone; base app $1.99); Vignette (Android; around $4). Make your expensive iPhone into a $10 plastic camera! Take nightlife, neon and street shots that look like they were shot in the ’70s. Vignette for Android does the same thing, except it’s better.

Las Vegas Traffic (iPhone; free). Hook into the Valley’s traffic cameras and plot your east-west sprint. Your maps application may be just as accurate in gauging rush hour traffic, but c’mon … traffic cameras!

LivingSocial (iPhone; free). LivingSocial is basically a pay-to-play coupon app, but their daily deals on dining and services are so tempting, and oftentimes useful, that you hardly mind the hard sell.

Open Space (Android; free). Having difficulty finding street parking near the Griffin? This user-supported app points you to the closest open spot.

Urbanspoon (iPhone, Android; free). Tells you where you’re eating tonight, using an interface we know well: the slot machine.