4 iPhone Apps for Discovering Local Events

July 1, 2012

2:00 pm

Living in a city is fun (source: science).  Whether you know it or not, there is  something going on in your vicinity.  Just a decade ago, finding these events required such archaic tactics as reading the local newspaper or talking to people.  Thankfully, with the advent of the smartphone, and the ocean of apps that came along with it, the answer to the question of “what's going on tonight?” lies in your pocket.

Tech Cocktail fished through this ocean of apps to find four that will help you discover what's hot in your hood.

1) Plancast

The Plancast app is a great tool for those who already have an expansive social network.  By first syncing your Facebook and Twitter accounts, Plancast offers a clean chronological display of what events your friends (and those you follow) are going to.  My biggest knock on the app is the lack of ability to search or browse nearby public events (as you can on their website), making the event discovery limited to only within your network.

Get Plancast for the iPhone (free).

2) Thrillist

If content is king, Thrillist sits atop the nightlife throne.  Although not necessarily an event discovery application, Thrillist's staff writers provide a detailed, engaging, and entertaining description of your city's newest venues – restaurants, bars, shops, and more.  There's a good chance your city is covered by the Thrillist editorial as they're currently in 21 cities.  For those in San Francisco, a very honorable mention goes to Sōsh (iPhone and Android), which includes local classes as well curated and original venue and activity listings.

Get Thrillist for the iPhone (free).

3) Now

If you're looking for something to do now, Now is the app for you.  Instead of offering a simple event description, Now pulls the location tag from public Instagram photos to determine what venues/locations are trending.  The result is a map display with drop pins indicating the trending location alongside a collection of Instagram photos from the event.  Now provides the most visual depiction of nearby events amongst the competition.  The app is currently available in New York City, San Francisco, London, and Paris.

Get Now for the iPhone (free).

4) Time to Enjoy

For those who don't wait until the last minute to fill their free time, there is Time to Enjoy.  By importing your mobile calendar directly into the app, users simply tap on a block of free time to populate a list of events during the selected period.  By pulling from a pair of large databases, Eventuful and Tribune Media Services, Time to Enjoy promises an immense pool of events from which to select.

Get Time to Enjoy for the iPhone (free).


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When Zach Davis isn't getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail's Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.