Summer is right around the corner.
If you’re packing your beach bag or maybe a picnic lunch, or lacing up your walking shoes, it will be time to explore one of the greatest cities in America. Let your digital apps help make it happen for you.
Start your day by working toward dinner. The app Reserve wants to help. The dining concierge service is live in seven cities including Chicago.
From Farmhouse to Homestead on the Roof and Bottlefork to Forbidden Root, there are over 60 restaurants to try with menus, reviews and all. Book seven days out to be safe, but Reserve claims it can deliver some reservations on the day of too.
It's dining out made simple from booking to tying up the bill even when it comes to splitting the check.
“At the end of your dining experience, rather than having to pull out your wallet and fumble around, it just happens automatically,” says Reserve co-founder Greg Hong.
Now how will you fill your day until dinner? First things first, check the weather withWGN Weather App and make sure you're covered for the day with the right amount of sun protection this summer. Yes, there's an app for that: The Sun Exposure App.
"We can compute for throughout the day, what the forecast is going to be, how long you can expect to be out there,” says Alan Joyce. “We can help you figure out when is the best time to be outside and the right amount of protection to use when you are out."
Wolfram is behind this digital tool. They are number crunchers. Astronomy, algebra and now the UV forecast.
Now that you're covered and on the go, what happens if you gotta go? You dial up Flush Toilet Finder.
The app is free and features over 200,000 potties around the globe using GPS to find you the nearest loo. You'll get a name, address, other notes like if it's handicap accessible, if there's a cost or a key needed.
"If someone knows there is a public toilet nearby, they're going to easily add it to the app and that way the data base grows and helps everyone really,” says Jake Ruston, creator of the Flush Toilet Finder.
And you may need the finder if you’re out for the day using Detour.
For less than 25 bucks, you purchase 10 hour long audio tour sessions. Right now, the high tech audio walking tours are in eight cities. It's coming to Chicago this summer. The app uses GPS to tune you in, then you put your phone in your pocket so you can listen, look and learn about some of the offbeat, untold stories that make the heart of a city truly beat.
This app is social, too. It can keep the group you're with synced for a shared experience from London to L.A. and Chicago to Marrakesh.
It may not be available until late June or July.
Here are some other apps that WGN staffers have found useful and fun: