Smartphone penetration in Singapore is at an all-time high, with an estimated two in five Singaporeans owning a tablet. Most of the locals you see staring intently at their phone screens in trains, at restaurants or while walking are not calling or texting but using some app or other – it's an apps-economy. And when in Rome ... these are just some of the many useful apps to help you get around Singapore and maximise your enjoyment of a visit here.
My Transport Singapore (Android/iTunes)
The Singapore Land Transport Authority's multiple award-winning app provides a great one-stop guide to the major transport modes on the island. It gives real-time island-wide bus arrival information for each bus stop, which really helps you make the most of your time. You can search and locate bus stops and service numbers without actually being at the bus stop, or spend a bit more time in the comfort of a cafe, and zip out only five minutes before your bus is due to arrive. The app also contains a guide to the local MRT train system, including maps to locate each train station. You'll also be able to search and locate nearby taxi stands and quick dial for taxi booking services. Finally, the MyConcierge function allows you to personalise your favourite services. The frequent updates, the latest being cycling paths, make this free app a real winner.
Gothere.sg was a real breakthrough when the site was first launched. It's an idiot-proof transport guide for the lazy, and helps you to go from one place to another (just type where to where), while its GPS function helps to pick up your location automatically. The search results provide options such as from bus only, bus and train to taxi only and so on, and their respective costs. The iTunes app is S$4.98, while the Android one is unofficial, but seems to work anyway — otherwise you can use the gothere.sg website too.
YourSingapore Guide: Singapore (Android/iTunes)
This free Singapore Tourism Board app summarises key attractions. Don’t expect anything off the beaten track, but it serves as a good, fuss-free intro app to typical locations that the undemanding tourist should visit and that are within walking distance of an MRT. There are contact numbers and addresses listed, and culture vultures will be glad for the calendar that allows you to find out what events are going on for any particular day. The app doesn't contain much secondary information, such as exactly how long an event will last or bookings, but it does link to secondary sites.
Singapore being the Garden City, whether you're a nature buff or not, you're bound to visit a few of its parks, which are serious attractions in themselves — we're talking Gardens By The Bay and the Botanic Gardens, for starters. sParks, a free app by the National Parks Board, provides general information about parks, their locations, trails within the parks and latest promotions. The trail info includes different points within the trails and relevant brochures. Even parks that aren't exactly the standard green ones that may spring to mind are included, such as Youth Olympic Park, Esplanade Park and the War Memorial.
By Fen Chia