Whether you’re riding your own bicycle or a custom Kimpton PUBLIC bike, a biking app can make your outing all the better and safer, as well as more fun and productive. So the PUBLIC team put together a list of some of our favorite iPhone and Android apps for people who cycle in the city. The newest generations of smartphones are some of the best bike accessories ever, with some really cool new bike apps now available. From navigation to weather reports to fitness tracking, here’s a quick list of some of the apps that have earned a permanent place on our devices and home screens.
After Apple ditched Google’s maps for the iPhone 5, Google soon released their own new version of the Google Maps app for iPhone. It surpassed the original in most ways, and recently it even added bike-friendly directions, something Android users already enjoyed, and Apple’s maps never offered.
The mission statement of Citymapper is to “make cities easier to use,” and we think that’s pretty cool. It scouts out every available transportation option to help you find the smartest possible routes. You can plan a trip by bike, bus, ferry, train, taxi and walking, or even by city bike-sharing systems if you don’t have your own bike with you.
Before the iPhone era, the state-of-the-art bike maps were on paper, showing the official bike infrastructure of a city. The Bike Maps — by Maplets app brings these bike maps to your phone, with an extensive list of maps available for your local area. Once downloaded, they can be navigated offline, saving your battery and data plan.
Good weather reports are crucial for bike commuters to know what clothes to wear or pack for a dry day at work. Forecast.io is the best-designed free mobile weather app I’ve found, with a proprietary API that compiles 19 different sources of weather data to provide a simple, accurate forecast at a glance, with a cool scrolling timeline view.
IFTTT offers all-purpose Internet wiring to connect different websites and online services together and make all kinds of cool things happen. One useful way to use IFTTT for biking is to create personalized weather reports that automatically send you an email, text or app notification when rain is in the forecast, so you’ll never be caught without a raincoat again.
If you’re interested in activity tracking but aren’t quite ready to commit to a Fitbit, the free Moves app offers simple movement tracking throughout the day using just your phone. Automatically detecting whether you’re walking, running or biking, it generates an elegant daily and weekly journal of your activity in terms of steps taken, miles traveled, calories burned, and time spent moving, to motivate your fitness goals.
Definitely the most popular app for the Lycra-wearing crowd, Strava turns your phone into a bike computer to calculate all kinds of fitness data while you ride, like calories, miles, elevation, speed and mapping your route on GPS. It awards you for personal-best records and keeps track of your cumulative rides and runs over the course of the year.