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The Electronic Traveler: A Good Metro App, Instagram and the Hunger-Saving UrbanSpoon

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I spent a day in Washington, D.C. on Friday visiting the Smithsonian, the National Archive, the Capitol Building and a number of other sights in our nation's capital. Naturally, my phone was well used. In fact, the battery was essentially spent by the time I headed back to where I was staying late in the afternoon.

Knowing that I would be riding the Metro rail system around the city, I downloaded iTrans DC, and I must say, this is what transit apps should be. Not only was it extremely simple to use, but it got me around with minimal confusion. It immediately displays a map of the entire system that looks just like the maps in the stations and on the trains. Input any start location (or let it choose your current location for you) and a destination (say, the White House), and it maps out your route with Google app-like precision.

I've tried a couple other transit apps and this one is by far the best. If you are in D.C., I highly recommend it. If you live in a city with substandard transit apps, download this one for reference and build a new one.

I have advocated for UrbanSpoon before and I'm going to do it again. When I was in New Orleans recently, some friends and I were looking for a restaurant near our location on the outskirts of the French Quarter. A quick check of UrbanSpoon landed us at Olivier's, a wonderful Cajun place.

In D.C. on Friday, I was famished and made my way to the DuPont Circle area. Less than a block away, UrbanSpoon found me Luna Grill, essentially a little diner with terrific sandwiches and super-reasonable prices. In every city I've been to over the last two years, this app has not once steered me in the wrong direction.

Lastly, props to Instagram. It loads quickly and makes sharing photos simple, including a selfie of some idiot in front of the Capitol Building. Kudos. Next up, beach time and new opportunities to drop my phone in the Atlantic Ocean.

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