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Plug into Houston: 13 Must-Have Local Apps that Open Up H-Town

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Finding your way through the fourth-largest city in the U.S. can be challenging. Rest easy, though, because you can conquer anything with a smartphone in hand. There are apps for everything from finding a place to eat to locating the closest hospital.

You never know which app will come in handy, so we put together a list of 13 apps that will keep you up to date on all the events, help you find your way around, and be the first to know about the most exciting news. Download them and explore Houston!

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ParkingPanda

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

parking_panda_houston_appIn a city of almost seven million people, finding an available parking spot in a downtown lot, garage, or valet can seem impossible. Let this handy app do the hard work of finding, reserving, and redeeming parking cheaply in Houston or anywhere in the U.S.

  • Reserve parking in advance
  • Instantly and easily redeem parking confirmations
  • Access discounted locations to find your best match
  • Pay safely and securely

Hitch

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

hitch_houston_texas_appYou never know when you’ll need to rideshare from city to city in the Lone Star State. Add this easy-to-use app to hitch a ride for the Austin City Limits Festival or the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo without making a single phone call. You don’t even have to contact drivers to get an estimated fare before you request a ride from one place to another since they streamline that process for you. Rides are available with as little as 30 minutes’ notice, with no advance scheduling required.

  • Contact drivers 24/7
  • Enjoy electronic payment processing
  • Enter your current location and end location easily
  • See an estimated fare before the ride begins

BCycle

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

bcycle_app_houstonAccess bike share locations and check availability at more than 80 B-cycle stations, so you can rent a bike for 30 minutes with only $3. Be sure your route keeps you close to the stations so you can check in once an hour to avoid extra charges. Take a ride through the tree-lined Museum district or visit shops and watering holes Downtown. The app allows you to track your trip history and even get event information and directions.

  • Get directions
  • Track your trip history
  • Locate bikes and stations
  • Easily check out bikes for a short trip or a whole day

Houston TranStar

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

houston_transstar_appYou won’t find this app anywhere but the Lone Star State! Stay on top of area traffic and travel conditions, including construction and crash incidents. Reliable sources will help you decide whether to stay on the Interstate or hop onto the Sam Houston Tollway. Figure out the most efficient way to get where you need to be.

 

  • Report incidents to help the app stay constantly updated
  • Access instant information from road sensors and cameras
  • Get real-time traffic conditions
  • View construction schedules to help plan your trip

RideMETRO

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

ridemtero_app_houstonWith more than 25 locations throughout Greater Houston, this helpful app makes it convenient to park your car and get on board with METRO. Whether you need a bus schedule, plan to ride the light rail, or need to know more about HOV lanes, this app will help you drive less and do more. Find your closest options, look up routes and schedules, and pick the right one for you!

  • View simple payment options
  • Find a bus or rail service perfect for you
  • Stay updated with service alerts
  • Easily plan your trip and purchase tickets

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Houston Life

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

houston_life_appHouston is rich in culture and the arts, with opera, art fairs, museums, and excellent restaurants. This app helps you find the best things to do in Houston, no matter if you’ve lived here all your life or you’re in town for five minutes. Get the inside scoop on the best chocolate, where to find the most authentic tres leches cake or the best gulf coast seafood. Newcomers to the city can learn the ins and outs and find out why the city is so loved by its inhabitants.

  • Keep up with trends and creative projects
  • Discover new places and things to do
  • Watch video clips of the Houston Life show
  • See Houston music and cultural entertainment

TapHunter

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

taphunter_app_houstonLooking for the best icehouse in the city? Or the best block for a bar crawl? The TapHunter app will point you to the legendary Houston locations, such as the West Alabama Icehouse in Montrose or the Axelrad Beer Garden. You can even leave tips for others about a new drink you discovered or ask who’s been to the new underground beer garden. Download this app to stay in the know on the best beverages in H-town.

  • Explore drink lists for any TapHunter location
  • Follow your favorite drinks to stay updated
  • Stay up to date with local events
  • Review any drink you’ve tried

Houston Texans Mobile App

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

houston_texans_appDiehard Houston Texans fans use this app to stay up to date on games, player stats, and team breaking news. Whether you’re headed to NRG Stadium or just keeping up with the guys for your Fantasy League, you’ll always have the latest information about Houston’s NFL team.

 

  • Find real-time coverage and news
  • Explore the gallery of action photos from games
  • Listen to exclusive podcasts with players and coaches
  • Track your fantasy football players

Houston Public Library

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

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Once you’ve got a MY Link library card in hand, get to know your local branch by browsing the book collection, or participate in the programs offered for Houston residents. HPL has 44 locations including 31 Neighborhood Libraries, four Regional Libraries, three Special Collection Libraries, and four Express Libraries, the HPL Mobile Express, and a satellite library located at the Children’s Museum of Houston. But it’s not just about books! HPL offers educational, recreational, and cultural programs and services for every Houstonian.

  • Place holds and renew materials
  • Explore upcoming events and programs
  • Easily contact for questions
  • Use your MY Link library card to borrow digital materials

UH Go

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

university_houston_go_appMore than 46,000 students attend the University of Houston and show their campus spirit by wearing red on Fridays. Even if you’re not a student, this app comes in handy if you want to attend one of the many athletic events on campus or just wander through the University’s extensive public art collection. UH is figuratively and literally in the heart of Houston, so take advantage of the many on-campus activities.

  • Explore campus maps
  • Set up notifications and news updates
  • Follow athletics and game updates
  • Discover events on and around campus

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ABC13 Houston

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

abc_houston_appGet customized local news and weather updates personalized just for you. You’ll see video updates for the latest news in your area, as well as hourly and daily forecasts, so you are always prepared for the ever-changing Texas weather.

 

  • Customize your “My News” page
  • Get only the alerts you want straight to your notifications
  • Watch live video from local broadcasts
  • Listen to 24/7 updates on weather and traffic

FOX 26 Weather App

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

fox_weather_houston_texasHouston traffic can test the patience of even the calmest drivers, so you need an app that alerts you about the latest wrecks and traffic conditions. The FOX 26 app will keep you updated with instant alerts for traffic and weather. You’ll also enjoy how easy it is to save and organize your favorite locations and places to go.

 

  • Interact with the radar map and future radar
  • See the fully integrated GPS to access your location and exact weather
  • Get severe weather alert notifications
  • Watch updated traffic information

KHOU 11 Houston Sports

AppStore  |  Google Play  |  Website 

khou_sports_houston_appAlways be in the know about the latest stories with continuous news and weather coverage.  Houstonians are legendary fans of their home teams, whether watching the Astros at Minute Maid Park, getting rowdy at a Rockets game, or tailgating before the Texans play at NRG Stadium. Access award-winning sports coverage of all the Rockets, Texans, Astros, and more with this all-inclusive app.

  • See state-to-international headlines
  • Watch weather and traffic cams
  • Access the TV and flight schedules
  • Find sports and crime news

Get to Know Houston

Houston is large, diverse, and still manages to be unique. Get to know everything the city has to offer, from sports to the finest cuisine. With this group of apps on your phone, you’ll never miss out on a local art festival or wonder where to find the coldest beer on a hot day.

Do you know any other apps that would make a great resource? Let us know at media@rentcafe.com and we’ll check them out!

If you’re looking to move to the bustling H-town, find the best rental apartments in Houston on RENTCafé, and start your life there. Soon enough, you’ll drop the hard H and start pronouncing Houston like a native Texan.

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About the author

Mihaela Buzec

Mihaela is an online content developer for RENTCafé.com. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and is now studying for an MA in Current Linguistics. She is a passionate reader, writer, and researcher, with a background in academic writing. You can get in touch with Mihaela at mihaela.rentcafe@yardi.com.

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