iPhone App Review: The Best of New York

iPhone App Review: The Best of New York

May 30th, 2011 by

New York City is just about the most exciting city in the world to explore and discover. With some of the world’s best theater, art, dining, and attractions, not to mention parks and outdoor recreation, it’s on almost every traveler’s list of their favorite cities to visit. But how do you decide what to visit, what to eat, or where to stay, without lugging around a heavy guidebook or rifling through pages of printed material from travel websites? With your iPhone and the Best Of New York app by Baffled By Travel, you can have all of Manhattan (and Brooklyn/Queens) at your fingertips.

How It Works

The app is divided into logical sections: Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Shopping & Hotels, and Sights & Attractions. Each category is also divided into sub-categories, such as “Kid’s Favorites” and “Local Museums”, or “Comedy Clubs” and “Live Music”. You can also browse the catalog by rough location (such as Upper, Midtown, or Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, etc…), see what’s near you using the devices location features, or search for something specific. You can also add any listing to your favorites list and access that directly from the home screen. Some listings also include videos viewable from within the app.

Each listing has a price guide (where appropriate), contact information and location (I mean, naturally right?), maps and directions, and even Wikipedia entries where appropriate. From a listing’s details page you can read more information, send an SMS or Email pre-written with that listing’s info, or submit a review of the attraction to Baffled Travel.

Pros And Cons

The first thing you notice about the app is that it has the stylish layout and appearance of a printed city guidebook. High-quality pictures and attractive typography help create a beautiful layout that’s easy to explore and easy to read. This layout continues onto the Favorites page, where instead of the typical list-grid you’re accustomed to seeing in every iPhone app, your favorites are laid out in the same attractive style and font that the rest of the app enjoys.

Using an app over a printed book also has the advantage of being able to browse listings several different ways: by neighborhood, by current location, or by category.

The app unfortunately has very few listings at the moment, though given that this is supposed to be the BEST of New York City that can be forgiven. You can send feedback to the developers and suggest places to be listed which, if they follow up on the feedback and expand their listings, is a great idea.

I also noticed that the app popped up a video ad at seemingly random intervals. This isn’t a terrible thing for a free app to do mind you, I was just struck by how it seemed to happen for no apparent reason at irregular times. It seemed to happen quite often when I was re-starting the app after switching away from it, which frequently had the effect of just crashing the app out anyway.


The Best Of New York is a great little guide for the best city on earth. What it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality of the listings, as well as in the quality of the app itself. The app is free and has no banner ads (though has the occasional video, which I should also mention is easy to skip), and I’ll be trying it out the next time I hit the Big Apple.

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