The Ultimate London iPhone iPad App Review List – The Top 17 London Apps for iPhone

As it gets ever closer to my trip to London in November, I’m starting to decide which iPhone apps I plan to take on our trip. This will be my first time to London with an iPhone and I can’t wait to make use of it. The iPhone will be an incredibly useful tool for planning and while I’m on a trip to Britain.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of London iPhone apps, it’s merely a list of the best ones that I could get a demo of. If you’re a London iPhone app developer and your app isn’t on the list, feel free to contact me so I can review it. If an app has a concurrent London iPad version, we’ll provide a separate link.

Without further ado, here is the ultimate list of London iPhone travel applications.

Lonely Planet London City Guide

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By far the best London Guidebook on the market right now. It’s polished, works well and is feature packed. It includes all the great travel tips and information that you’d find in a guide book. It has a ‘nearby’ functionality that will show you what’s going on around you. Has a great map with all points of interest highlighted and a library of images of London. You can do an app wide search. By far my favorite feature is the ability to create a ‘favorites’ list so you can easily access all the things you want to do from one spot.

Pros: Featured packed, slick interface
Cons: No Tube Map

Price: $5.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
Lonely

Spoonfed Radar

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This is a MUST have App for anyone going to London. Spoonfed is a great resource for seeing ‘what’s on’ in London and their innovative app will use your location to show you everything that’s going on around you. This app will be perfect for when I need something to do and have a few hours to kill.

Price: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:
Spoonfed

London Tube

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My favorite out of all the other London Tube apps. It provides Beck’s classic map of the London Underground – which works in landscape mode – directory of Tube Lines and stops, stations, GPS locate function and a route planner. It’s a perfect little app and will be indispensable to anyone traveling to London would doesn’t want to look lame always looking at a Tube map.

Pros: Actual Tube Map, landscape mode, GPS, ridiculously cheap
Cons: There Aren’t Any

Price: $.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
London

Click to Download iPad Version:
London

Love Art: National Gallery iPhone App

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This is a pretty impressive app from the National Gallery in London. It’s filled with great videos, audio about paintings and so much more. The images included are high quality and this will make an excellent companion to a visit at the National Gallery. The National Gallery should definitely be on your list if it’s your first time in London

Price: Free

Click to Download in iTunes
Love

London City Slicker

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A lot of work went into this app and it shows. London City Slicker is a great guide to London with excellent written text (not taken from the Wikipedia), images, audio and maps. The audio is informative and you can pause and resume it, unlike the London Audio Guide. The maps aren’t internal but that’s going to change with the next version, according to the developer. The new version will also have added video tours about the history of London. This app is a good buy.

Pros: Information rich, easy to use
Cons: No way to search the app.

Price: $2.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
London

London Mini A-Z

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Now, I LOVE this app. It provides the classic London A-Z map in a easy to use app. It’s easy to search, easy to read and has GPS location. I don’t like how you can’t zoom in and out and there isn’t a landscape mode. However, this app will be going on my trip!

Pros: Awesome Map
Cons: Needs more functionality, no landscape mode

Price: $9.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
London

Click to Download for iPad:
London

Frommer’s London

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This was one of the first London guidebooks to come out on the iPhone. It’s improved quite a bit since the original release. All the information on the app is offline so it’s perfect for traveling. It’s filled with useful information on restaurants, hotels, shopping, etc. It also has an excellent London guidebook that gives the rundown on traveling in London. Overall it’s a very nice app and I’m definitely going to use it on my Trip.

Pros: Tons of info
Cons: No Tube Map, needs more maps

Price: $4.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
London:

Top 10 London


I love the DK books and I use them for all my London planning. So, I was happy to see that they had an iPhone app. It’s a useful little app packed with lots of great information, decent maps and a currency converter. Lots of great info!

Pros: Plenty of Info
Cons: No Tube Map

Price: $7.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
Top

London Free

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Good little app. The user interface isn’t that great, but it makes up for it with all the information it contains. It’s a database of all the free things you can do in London. Has contact information, location on a map and the closing/opening times. You can make a list of your favorite locations so they’re easy to find again. Very useful.

Pros: Lots of Great Info
Cons: No search function

Price: $.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
Free

London JamCams

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Pretty cool little app that lets you view the traffic cams from all over London. Great for dreaming about London when you’re not there. Great for checking the traffic when you are there. I love pulling this app up and just watching London go by – it’s not quite as good as actually being there, but it’s still a lot of fun none the less. There are other London webcam apps – but this is by far the best one so far.

Price: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:
London

Anthem GB

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In case you go to an event where you might need to know it – this apps has the music and words to the UK National Anthem. Very fun app. I can never remember the words to the anthem, so this is a very helpful app.

Price: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:
Anthem

Currency

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Must have for any world traveler – this keeps travel of currency conversion rates. Not only can you keep up with the latest currency conversion rates for the UK, but you can also compare it to other currencies. Especially useful if your trip includes a destination other than Britain. It’s also good to keep tabs on the strength of the US dollar.

Price: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:
Currency

British Airways

The BA app is a pretty useful tool. It was recently updated and features route information, mobile check-in, account information, latest British Airways news. One of the really cool features is the mobile boarding pass, on some flights you don’t even need to print a boarding pass, you can have the boarding pass right on the iPhone. Very slick and innovative.

Price: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:
British

London Taxi Fare Calculator

This app will calculate the fare, time and route for your taxi trips to help you plan your journeys around London. This is based on the TfL Taxi Tariff and estimated traffic congestion in London according to the time you take your journey. While it’s a little slow and relies on the data network for it’s data – it’s a very useful app and can help you save a bit of money if you’re debating whether or not you should take a cab or the Tube.

Pros: Very Useful

Cons: Uses Data Network

Cost: $0.99

Click to Download in iTunes:
London

Time Out London

This is a definite must have app if you’re looking for things to do in London – from theater, movies and concerts – this app has it all and will located things going on near you. Get the most out of your city with the SMIRNOFF & Time Out London app for iPhone – it’s the app Londoners have been waiting for. We’ve put everything that’s great about the capital in one place, with information on gigs, events, bars, restaurants, club nights and film releases. London is full of possibilities – and now you can find them on your phone. Constantly updated with a wealth of events, the SMIRNOFF & Time Out London app for iPhone is easy to browse, and searches can be tailored to your location and tastes.

Pros: Wealth of Information

Cons: Don’t like the design and it’s plastered with liquor adverts

Cost: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:
Time

Evening Standard App – London’s Newspaper

The Evening Standard is my favorite paper when I’m in town – it’s London’s local paper and comes out in the evenings for the commuters. It’s filled with great articles and you can keep up with the latest London centric news that a lot of the bigger papers ignore. The London Evening Standard is a quality daily newspaper, published in tabloid format in London, England. It is the regional evening paper for London and the southeast of England, with coverage of national and international news as well as topical features.

Pros: Keep up with the latest London News

Cons: Terrible User Interface

Cost: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:

London

British Film Locations

Find and photograph the most iconic British film locations in cinematic history. This application will not only map out the most famous film scenes around your Google maps location, it will allow you to search by film title so you can discover an entire Great British film tour whether you’re looking for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts or one of the Braveheart battlefields. Each film location is accompanied by a detailed synopsis and description of how to find it.

Pros: Very informative and fun

Cons: None

Cost: Free

Click to Download in iTunes:

British

What Apps That Will Be on My iPhone?

So, now the big question is, which apps will I take on my iPhone on my trip in November? Here’s a quick list:

Spoonfed Radar
Lonely Planet App
London Tube
Frommer’s London
London Audio Guide
London Mini A-Z

Many thanks go out to all the plugin developers who were kind enough to offer demos of their programs so that I could review them.

What’s your favorite London iPhone App?

Don’t wait until getting to London to start saving via travel apps there are some great apps to save on airfares as well as hotel stays, can also save on holidays let us know whether you find any worth writing home about.

Comments

  1. avatarJoe says

    Great article! I do love the idea of a social situation whereby one would be compelled to sing the National Anthem. Actually, pretty useful for football players, they all seem to break down after the first couple of lines…

  2. avatar says

    What about the just released NRU (‘near u’) from lastminute.com Downloaded it last night and it’s great on an iPhone 3GS (apparently works on iPhone without digital compass but not as cool). Check this out: http://bit.ly/Rvsq9 – and no, I don’t work for them :)

  3. avatarBoon says

    While I myself have an iPhone and whenever I travel I look for relevant apps for the city I am going to, I find that nothing beats a good guidebook by your side. Any iPhone app just won’t have the breadth and depth of knowledge of a guidebook, and my opinion is that as long as you are spending more than two days in a city, the £5-£10 is well worth the investment.

    Anyways, I did a quick search on google, and if you have trouble deciding which guidebook to get, here’s a good top 5 list from someone in London:
    http://www.london-insider.co.uk/reviews-of-london-travel-guides/

  4. avatarPatrick says

    Tube Deluxe is definitely a lot better than London Tube. The routing function is much better and it’s updated more often.

  5. avatar says

    My Free London Walks now cover 62+ walks, mainly in Central London but also in the outskirts. The walks have been downloaded 678,000 times as of end October 2009. You can subscribe to the walks by searching in the podcast section of iTunes for ‘London Walks’

    My iPhone app is nearly ready. You can see the screen shots on the London Walks Facebook group page. Should not be long before the app is live.

    All my walks are recorded live, so you can download to your iPod or iPhone and walk the routes without ever looking at a guide book or a map.

    Robert Wright

  6. avatarJon says

    Tried the national rail app? It’s not london-specific, but considering how many people commute into and out of London every day, it’s a fair bet that some of them want to know if their train is late. Quite a nice app, too – especially considering how much data it’s accessing. It’s hard to get a neat interface with so many stations/trains.

    • avatarLisa says

      I have this app, its a great app but the price tag bothers me, especially since the same info is available for free on the website. The interface is nice, but I don’t know that its worth what they are charging for it.

  7. avatarKT says

    Thank you, Jonathan. I found your App reviews very useful. They helped me decided which ones to download for a forthcoming trip to London. Your efforts are much appreciated!

  8. avatarMyriam says

    Hey Jonathan,

    First thanks a lot for your article : I’ll be one week end in London (from Paris, London is just two hours away ;) and will have my Iphone (at last) next week !
    And your article (along with the international roaming article) is so useful ! Couldn’t find none as interesting and complete on the French-speaking web ! So again, thanks a lot !

    But a small question : as I’m afraid of my phone bill, which ones of these apps don’t work offline (just to avoid them?)

    • avatar says

      The following on the list require an internet connection:

      British Airways
      Telegraph
      Currency
      London Jamcams
      Spoonfed Radar

      All the others you should be able to use without use of a data connection.

      Hope this helps! Happy Travels!

  9. avatar says

    An iPhone without internet, is effectively an iPod touch. There are several ways to get internet abroad for your iPhone.

    There are four main ways (in order of recommendation):

    1. Unlock your iPhone and buy a local sim card. Top up for internet.

    2. Rent a local iPhone. For London, use Aziphone.com

    3. Download a free wifi-finder app for where you’re going and try to pick up free wifi.

    4. Call your mobile network to go on their travel roaming plan. Use data for emails mostly.

    This one might work for those bold enough.

    Rack up an inane amount of roaming charges upwards of $300 and then call your carrier afterwards. Be shocked and apologize. Ask it to be wiped out. I’ve heard stories of people having $600 being written off.

  10. avatarJ. Magon says

    I agree with the user from before, Roaming is insane. Downloading one email with a picture can cost up to $40 (this is an At&t quote) – simply google iphone roaming.

    Check if your phone will work first before going to the UK. Some phones are CDMA technlogy (Many of the Sprint and Verizon) and those won’t work. The GSM phones will work with a local SIM however you need to unlock the phone.

    If your phone is unlocked you are probably best by buying a local SIM. If its not:

    1. Take your phone and search for wifi spots, but they are not always available when you need them and many are chargin nowadays. (Starbucks in London is charging). Do you want to waste precious holiday time on this!?

    2. Buy a new phone.. But this is not ideal due costs and the environmental impact.

    3. Rent a local phone.. as the previous post you have aziphine.com and just another site called fonmigo.com, they provide smartphones and wifi modems (that allows you to take your own iphone).. u have cellualarabroad.com (old phones)..

    There are definetely options.

  11. avatar says

    I’ve been looking for an app with the \London Connections\ rail map. Safari can find one easily but if you’re on the tube there’s no Internet. I’d like one on my phone like the myriad Tube Maps that are available.

    Any ideas.

  12. avatarBob says

    Jonathan,

    I have a US iPhone that I can ‘jailbreak’ to unlock. What carrier do you use for their ‘pay and go’ SIM card to get broadband on your US iPhone? What are the settings to make it work?

    For years I’ve used a Virgin Mobile SIM card for when I’m in the UK, running a Windows Mobile phone. However I was never able to get the broadband to work. After the last trip I got fed up, junked the WM phone and now have an iPhone that I won’t be without.

    With a trip back to the UK coming up, I emailed Virgin and O2 about using my iPhone. No response from Virgin (I don’t think they support iPhone) and a vague one from O2 that makes it sound like it will work, but they weren’t very clear.

    Your experience?

    Bob

  13. avatarA real person says

    How about going and experiencing the place in person, meet people, talk to locals, instead of having your head buried in a screen looking at stuff other people have experienced – if you want that stay home and watch a tv show about london. My advice, chuck away your iphone and enjoy yourself.

  14. avatarBlimeyKite says

    Great list. My favourite London app is London’s Best Coffee for finding independent cafes. So well designed and means no more Starbucks and Nero.

    itunes.apple.com/gb/app/londons-best-coffee/id400916958

  15. avatarKarl says

    Awesome!
    I’d like to add one more. I do not know the link to buy it but I recommend the “play and tour audio guides”
    They work as if you were in a big open air museum. Many places, nice speechs (not wiki ones)
    Thanks
    Karl Bott

  16. avatarSam says

    Great article but am sad to see that the app that I use all the time isn’t on your list. Check out “Travel Around London”, its great for finding Boris Bike locations as well as tube information!

  17. avatar says

    Some great apps there!

    A really handy app that I use for finding pubs around London is Smith Finder. Handy for both tourists looking for a GOOD traditional pub as well as for seasoned pub goers just trying to find their nearest decent boozer!

    http://bit.ly/TxB5ki

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