Make travel to the big game super with these iPhone apps

Jan 25, 2011
Misc

Super Bowl XLV will be watched by roughly 90 million Americans and by more than 100 million people worldwide, but thanks to this year’s location quite a few lucky folks will also be traveling to the game. More than 90,000 people are expected to be inside massive Cowboys Stadium for the event, with thousands more […]

Super Bowl XLV will be watched by roughly 90 million Americans and by more than 100 million people worldwide, but thanks to this year’s location quite a few lucky folks will also be traveling to the game.

More than 90,000 people are expected to be inside massive Cowboys Stadium for the event, with thousands more expected to be watching the game from outside the stadium on an HD screen. It appears that Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has bought into the always-annoying ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ cliché.

Travel can be a pain though, so for those of you making the trip to Big D here are five essential iPhone apps that will make the journey a breeze.

Super Bowl XLV (Free)

The first thing you’ll learn from the official app of this year’s Super Bowl, Super Bowl XLV, is that the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Committee is a real organization. You’ll also learn that these wonderful people have given iPhone users a free app that will likely come in handy for those of you traveling to the game. First-time visitors to Cowboys Stadium can search for nearby attractions, check out official visitor information for the surrounding cities or search for transportation to the game. There’s a handy link to Google Maps and the stadium parking lot as well as more football-centric sections involving the history of all levels of football in the area (it is Texas, after all) and fun facts about the stadium. While it’s not the flashiest app or the kind of thing hardcore football fans will get into, it’s definitely aimed at Super Bowl visitors, and given the price there’s no reason for you not to check it out.

FlightTrack ($4.99)

If you’re planning on flying to Dallas for the Super Bowl, or are just a frequent flyer who enjoys reading articles about Super Bowl travel, then FlightTrack may be of interest to you. The app from Mobiata boasts a large database of flight information: real-time flight status for more than 4000 airports and 1400 airlines, as well as snazzy features such as calendar sync, live flight-tracking maps and an offline mode. For five more dollars you can upgrade to FlightTrack Pro, which offers added goodies like push alerts and airport delay predictions. While there are some horror stories out there – mainly about the real-time status’ being delayed – they are far outnumbered by overwhelmingly positive reviews, making this the app to track your super flight.

GasBook (Free)

For those who have a more grounded attack in regards to your Super Bowl travel, GasBook Free can save you some money without costing you anything (there’s also a 99-cent version that removes ads). Like FlightTrack, this U.S.-only app, is a huge database, but with gas prices instead. Its best feature, however, is its numerous search options, including distance, brand and price. GasBook is also heavily user-driven, so if you notice a price discrepancy you can report it from the app, and once validated, it will update for everyone. Aside from that there are things such as a fuel log, the ability to bookmark stations and a map view to better plan out your stops. The app is often updated, so it will still be useful when you’re planning that summer road trip or your trek to next year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Zagat To Go ($9.99)

While the game and the festivities surrounding it are sure to take up much of your time, presumably you’ll have to find something to eat as well. Handmark’s Zagat To Go brings the popular restaurant guide to your phone, covering 45 cities – Dallas/Fort Worth included. Much of what is included is your standard fare; you can use GPS to find nearby restaurants or search by a number or criteria. It wouldn’t be an app worth mentioning without some wow features, though, and fortunately Zagat To Go has got them as well. There’s an offline mode in case you’re somewhere without service, the ability to make reservations from within the app, best-of lists and the Augmented Reality feature, in which you point your phone’s camera (3GS and newer) at a restaurant and get reviews and pricing. While pricey, it’s still one of the more complete apps of its kind, and no doubt gains cache from the Zagat name.

Dallas Way (Free)

Based on the popular NYC Way app, Dallas Way is an all-encompassing app with something for Metroplex newbies and veterans alike. Its iTunes page describes the app as a collection of 60-plus apps, which is sort of misleading; it’s more like a city guide with every imaginable category. Things are broken up into specific sections, so if you are feeling thirsty you can select the coffee ‘app’ or the nightlife ‘app’, depending on what kind of thirst you have. More obscure categories include restrooms, safety and dog parks, so every imaginable category may be an exaggeration – but only a slight one. Everything opens within the app and it’s free, so even if it’s not quite as cool as the iTunes page makes it out to be, it’s still worth a download.

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David Lister

David Lister is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is a former editor and writer at the NationalSportsReview.com and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. 

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