Seven Downloads to Upgrade Your Life in L.A.

Want to get around more easily while listening to great music and catching up on local news? There are L.A.-specific apps for that. Here are seven to get now

1. MyLA 311
Are you annoyed with the broken down couch that’s been sitting on your block for weeks? What about that dirty mattress? And that old school television? Get rid of it! Well, not you: Get the city to get rid of it. MyLA 311 is an app made by the city for you to report potholes, trash, and graffiti… so the city can come to your rescue! It’s speedy, too.

2. Google Maps
As a biker and Metro taker, there are few L.A. one-stop-shop apps that I find useful. Really! But Google Maps, despite its flaws, is an invaluable tool: it gives you directions for biking, taking the Metro, walking, and driving, which few other apps do for our part of the country. One piece of advice: Despite Google Maps “knowing the city,” practice common sense while following its directions.

3. All Trails
Are you a big hiker? Are you looking for new places to go in town and beyond? You gotta get All Trails. The app provides directions and descriptions of trails and even allows you to contribute reviews and photos. I’ve used this all over Los Angeles County and have even played with the app while in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. It’s great!

4. Dublab
Okay, music people: Dublab has a great app. Very similar to the Made in LA Soundmap, the Dublab app gives you “audio enlightenment” with a local slant and offers many ways to listen. The app is free and supports the local art-focused non-profit.

5. Secret Stairs
Based on the popular local book, the app gives you a few staircase loops that are nice ways to walk around the city while getting in a little exercise. One critique: it’s currently only sharing a guide to Silver Lake. Let’s hope they expand!

Every local news outlet has their own app, but which constantly streams news? KPCC’s! The recently re-designed app lets you listen to programming—live and not—whenever you want in addition to headlines, videos, and a quick way to pledge. This one is a must for the in-the-know Angeleno!

7. eTips Los Angeles Travel Guide
This app is one to recommend to visitors. It offers guides to exploring the city based on your stay. It’s quite comprehensive and covers the entire city,something most tourist apps don’t do. Instead of playing tour guide for your friends, let this do the work for you.

Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.