1. Transportation – Charm City Circulator
We already love this free way to get around downtown, but we were even more excited to download this app. There are route maps, news about service or route changes, and alerts for nearby points of interest. But our favorite feature is the “next bus” integration that pretty accurately gives an estimated arrival time for the CCC, which means less waiting and more circulating.
2. Nightlife – BeerGivr
This local startup came up with a genius idea: buy people drinks through your phone. Working with PayPal, you send a text message to a friend (“Sorry I’m running late!” “Can’t make it, but Happy Birthday!”) and choose a drink. Then, the text and a QR code pops up on your friend’s phone. The bartender scans the code and, before you know it, there’s a drink in their hand.
3. Fitness – Armour39
Not surprisingly, fitness behemoth Under Armour has come up with an easy way to monitor your workouts. The Armour39 (which is compatible with any Bluetooth heart-rate monitor) tracks heart rate, calorie burn, and real-time intensity. This app is ideal for runners who want to find that heart-rate sweet spot while training or anyone looking to see just how efficient that cardio workout can be.
4. Entertainment – Wham City Lights
The proverbial lighter in the air at concerts has been replaced by smartphones. So Dan Deacon and the guys at Wham City have decided to do something to enhance that experience by creating an app that produces a light effect on your phone and syncs with every other phone in the room (which has the app open), so they flash simultaneously and change color in response to the music.
5. Arts – Soundscape
The Hearing and Speech Agency came up with a truly unique way to appreciate the city with the Baltimore Soundscape Project. The idea is to create one huge “sound map” by asking users to record and upload what they are hearing around town. The result is a decibel map of various points in the city—everything from the hum of water taxis in Fells Point to cheering crowds at Camden Yards.
6. Food – Real Food Farm
Real Food Farm, located in Clifton Park, has been bringing healthy, affordable food to Northeast Baltimore since 2009. Now, this app makes the food available to all. The app allows you to create a shopping list, purchase produce, browse healthy recipes, get the neighborhood farmers’ market schedule, and find out when a Real Food Farm truck is nearby. Think of it as an organic grocery store in your back pocket.