This free travel app is the only app you need to navigate a new city like a local - here's how it works
There's no arguing that smartphones have made navigating new cities a little easier, but all too often we travel to a new place only to find that the the apps we usually rely on are worthless there.
The current alternative? Download a brand-new set of apps that take up storage space and are left untouched for the rest of eternity.
Mitty. (yes, with a period) is a new travel app that sets out to fix both of those problems.
The creators of the iOS app, available in the App Store on Wednesday (and coming soon to Android), considered the services you would set out to find when you move to - or vacation in - a new city, and then picked the single best app for each service in every city.
The best part about the concept, in my opinion, is that it avoids making you download each app separately. Mitty cloud-streams the apps so that there's more space on your phone's screen, and one less thing you have to unpack when you're home.
Here's how to use Mitty - the one-stop shop for travelers to new cities:
When I first downloaded and opened the Mitty app, the home screen gave me a list of the 14 cities that are vetted and ready to explore, as well as the cities Mitty says are "coming soon."
I went in and selected New York — where I live — to see how accurate it was with service options; since the app creators are based out of the UK, I thought it would be fairly telling.
There were 17 services available here "with more services coming soon," according to the company. Some cities — like Dubai — had fewer services because "service availability varies by location."
I went into a few of the services I frequently use, and they were fairly spot on.
The "Experience" icon was the only one that opened up to more options: Local and Tourist. These seemed to be the same across the board, from what I saw: Airbnb was the service for Local, and GetYourGuide was the service for Tourist.
Then I went into some of the other cities. I wanted to see how much the international cities' apps differed from the New York ones, to get an idea about how useful this app would be in terms of avoiding excess downloads.
Even domestically, Mitty showed different services here and there. In San Francisco, for example, the food delivery app was Uber Eats while New York's was Postmates.
And Mitty does plan on bringing its app to more cities. In fact, if you go back to the city menu (done by clicking on the city name up top) and click on one of the "coming soon" cities, you can contribute to its future service options.
You can also nominate a city that isn't in the options by clicking on "Next City?" or "Vote for your city" buttons. These take you to a Google form to fill out some information about the city you'd want to see.
You still have to create an account for each app you want to use, unfortunately; Mitty says its "working on a solution to integrate universal login system, although it is a pretty big problem to solve." But that's a minor caveat in my opinion: Not having to download a new set of apps every time you visit a new city could be a huge asset to the traveller who can't spare storage space.
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