The 17 Essential Apps for Every San Francisco Resident

|September 6, 2019

Apps were practically born in the Bay Area, so it makes sense that our city has produced some of the most useful tools in the App Store and Google Play. Whether you need help navigating local transportation, cheering on your favorite team, keeping up with local news, buying a home, getting your clothes dry cleaned, finding out what the weather’s like in your favorite neighborhood or even tracking down your favorite food truck, there’s an app for that.

To make your lives easier, we rounded up the essential app for every San Francisco resident—and some of these tools extend into other parts of the Bay Area, too!

BART Official

App Store | Google Play 

Features of the official BART app include end-to-end trip planning, real-time departures with data straight from BART, escalator and elevator advisories, the ability to save your favorite trips and stations, station information like bike and car parking, trip planning using more than one public transit system, and even Spanish and Chinese translations. To get the lowdown on all the features and see other BART apps, click here.

BART Runner

Google Play 

The highest-rated BART app amongst Android users, BART Runner offers a streamlined experience for experienced BART commuters. Users can enter most traveled routes and receive a real-time listing of upcoming departures in one click, see estimated departure times with a second-by-second countdown that refreshes automatically, set a departure alarm to go off before your train leaves, and even more.

Golden Gate Park

App Store | Google Play 

things to do in Golden Gate Park San Francisco

This Guidekick, Inc. app is the insider’s guide to Golden Gate Park’s 1,017 acres. To help you plan your visit, the app highlights over 100 points of interest, features an interactive map that locates you as you move throughout the park, and provides engaging details about nearby park attractions as well as information about amenities and other points of interest that allow you to tailor your visit.

Lyft

App Store | Google Play 

Ride sharing is an essential tool for Bay Area residents, but the reason Lyft makes this list of essential apps is all thanks to Bay Wheels. Available in the regular Lyft app, Bay Wheels provides rentable bikes at bike stations all over the city. In the app, you’ll pay $2 for one ride up to 30 minutes and an extra $3 for each additional 15 minutes. For residents, we suggest checking out the Monthly and Annual Memberships which offer unlimited 45-minute trips for one monthly or annual fee.

MLB Ballpark

App Store | Google Play 

SF Apps

MLB At Bat can provide an inside look at the San Francisco Giants, but it’s the free MLB Ballpark app that will make your San Francisco gameday experience perfect. Available for iPhone and Android, you can purchase and access your tickets in the app, forward tickets to family and friends, view food and beverage options inside the park and find where items are sold, get directions and transportation information, and more.

Mr. Chilly

App Store 

Specially tailored to showcase San Francisco’s moody microclimates, Mr. Chilly provides accurate hourly forecasts for the next 24 hours, offers dynamic temperature heatmaps, has a day and night cycle, and even provides further information into the wider Bay Area and Peninsula.

MuniMobile

App Store | Google Play 

San Francisco on a budget

The major bonus of the official Muni app is that it provides on-the-go ticket purchasing options, including pay-as-you-go or pre-purchase. Users can also enjoy discounted tickets compared to cash prices and use trip-planner integration for simple commuting.

myTheo

App Store | Google Play 

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The McGuire Real Estate mobile app provided by myTheo connects you with your real estate agent on the go. When you download it for Apple or Android, you can access multiple MLSs, find upcoming open houses, create saved searches, add property notes, and chat with your agent all in the app. Contact your agent today to get set up.

Off the Grid Markets

App Store | Google Play

Created by Off the Grid, the Bay Area leader in food truck cuisine, this app provides Bay Area residents with information, schedules and updates about upcoming street food markets and available vendors in the vicinity. You can follow your favorite vendors to easily track them down and even get push notifications with vendor lists and fun things to do in the area.

ParkMe

App Store | Google Play

San Francisco apps

An essential for anyone driving in the city or in the Bay Area, ParkMe is the world’s largest and most accurate parking app. Apple and Android users can see maps of parking lots, street parking and garages in the area, check daily and monthly parking rates laid out on a map, set a parking timer for your spot, get real-time info on how many spots are available, get directions to your spot and pay for parking in the app. To see the interactive map in action, check out the website here.

Rinse

App Store | Google Play 

This essential app began right here in San Francisco and has now expanded to markets all over the United States. Using the app, you can schedule a laundry pickup for any day of the week, including Sundays, and your Rinse Valet will stop by between 8 and 10 p.m. with everything you need to get started. Services include Dry Cleaning, Wash & Fold and Hang Dry, and you can even check your Valet’s status in real time! For all the San Francisco and Bay Area details, click here.

Routesy

App Store 

San Francisco on a budget

The free public transit app of choice for Apple users, Routesy simplifies your daily commute no matter which services you’re using: Muni, BART, Caltrain, AC Transit and more. Simply choose the line you want to ride and Routesy will show you the closest stop or station along with real-time prediction data to make sure you make it on time. You can also bookmark your favorite stops to quickly get predictions immediately upon opening the app, and purchasing Routesy Pro provides even more features.

San Francisco 49ers

App Store | Google Play 

The 49ers App was designed to enhance the fan experience with access to exclusive content, team updates and essential gameday information. In addition to following breaking news and watching live games, users can even access tickets and see gameday parking maps, too.

San Francisco Chronicle

App Store | Google Play 

Available by subscription or included with your print and digital subscription, you can access all of the San Francisco Chronicle at your fingertips. Through the app, you can also tailor your alerts by topic and manage push notifications so you only hear about the news you care about most.

San Francisco Public Library

App Store | Google Play 

San Francisco apps

An excellent choice for avid readers, the San Francisco Public Library app makes it easy to find and discover titles, place holds, manage your account, and get the branch and availability information you need, anytime.

SF/Arts Express

App Store | Google Play 

This free app puts all the information of SFArts.org at your fingertips with a straightforward user experience. You can view current listings for more than 1,000 San Francisco and Bay Area arts events, find art venues on an interactive map, get links to tickets, bookmark events for later, and explore highlighted events selected by curators.

SF Weekly

App Store | Google Play 

The free SF Weekly app is the local’s resource for curated local news, upcoming events, local music news, movies, restaurants and reviews directly from SF Weekly.

Do you have a recommendation?

Tell us about your essential San Francisco apps in the comments below!

Category Community Guides, San Francisco

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McGuire Real Estate

McGuire Real Estate

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