Apps to facilitate your visit to Manhattan

The TripAdvisor app is loaded with maps, reviews

The TripAdvisor app is loaded with maps, reviews and advice that can either steer you away from or direct you to tourist attractions. (Credit: Handout)

Your summer vacation may be over, but there's still time for one last bite of the Apple. Long Islanders can visit the No. 1 tourist destination in the nation and not worry about booking hotels or scheduling flights. These apps will help you enjoy a late-summer day trip to Manhattan.

TripAdvisor NYC Guide

(iOS, Android; free)

Yes, you've been to Manhattan a gazillion times. But there are a lot of landmarks, events and restaurants you might not know about. Since the last thing any self-respecting Long Islander wants to do is carry a New York City guidebook and look like you just got off the bus from Montana, just fire up this app and pretend you're browsing your email. The app is loaded with maps, reviews and advice that can either steer you away from or direct you to tourist attractions.

TKTS

(iOS, Android; free)

The TKTS discount ticket booths come to your smartphone with this official app from the Theatre Development Fund. You can't purchase tickets through the app -- its mission is to give real-time information about same-day discounted seats available at Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. The tickets can be purchased only at the three TKTS booths in the city, including the iconic location in Times Square.

Best Parking

(iOS, Android; free)

Thinking of driving your car into Manhattan? Usually a bad idea, but with this app at least you have a fighting chance. Best Parking generates a map of available parking lots and garages along with their rates. If you're feeling really lucky, you can see a map displaying where free street parking is allowed. In addition to New York, the app has parking information for 100 cities in the United States and Canada.

Transit

(iOS, Android; free)

The iOS mainstay finally arrived on Android phones earlier this month. Using your phone's GPS, Transit provides real-time departure information and schedules for subway lines, LIRR trains and buses near your location. The app covers 43 cities in the United States and Europe, including some limited bus and LIRR information when you're on Long Island. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app does not have offline access to schedules, so plan your itinerary before you descend into the subway.

 

Tech Bytes

 

 

Warning to XP users

 

Microsoft's venerable Windows XP is still the second most popular PC operating system, behind only Windows 7. But Microsoft says XP users should make plans to change. In a new warning the company says security updates for XP will end on April 8, and because there will be no official patches for any new vulnerabilities, hackers may have free rein in attacking XP computers.

 

Electrical storm

 

As electric cars gain in popularity, charging them could cause some powerful problems. MIT Technology Review says homeowners who install dedicated 240-volt electric-vehicle chargers could overtax neighborhood electrical grids if there are many of these devices in the same area. MIT says charging with a conventional 110-volt outlet poses no problems, but one 240-volt charger can be "the equivalent of adding three houses to the grid."

 

Zillow buys StreetEasy for $50M

 

Zillow has agreed to acquire Manhattan-based StreetEasy for $50 million. StreetEasy focuses primarily on apartment rentals in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The acquisition will help Zillow, whose website features the largest listings of U.S. home-price values and home-sales data, expand its presence in New York City as it fights off competitors such as Trulia in the rebounding housing market.

-- Peter King

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