High-tech is everywhere, even in Lane county. One example of just how fast our tech community is growing is the many new mobile apps that are being created locally. Schools, retailers, city planners and more have been busy creating some great apps that will make your life easier, safer, and maybe even more fun. With ten Eugene and Lane county mobile apps to show you, we have a lot to cover, so let’s get going! App 1: Real Time Bike Lane Service The Real Time Bike Lane Service, iBike Eugene, is a new mobile app that was developed by the City of Eugene and the University of Oregon. What does it do? This app helps you to help the city (Public Works dept.) and other cyclists by reporting any problems that you may notice on your bike path. Using the GPS function of your smartphone, the app will include the location of the problem encountered, as well as a bit of info from you as to what the problem is. It will also ask for a contact name, phone number, email, photograph of the area, and any other details you feel you should include. Download the app from iTunes or Android. App 2: SexPositive This free app, SexPositive, is also made by the University of Oregon. Although it was originally made for U of O students, this is a really great app for any age and any walk of life, student or not. This easy to use mobile app helps users by teaching them more about, well, as the name implies…sex. The U of O site says it best when telling you what the app is for, which makes sense since they created the app: “Sex positivity strives to counter the fears, secrecy, misinformation, judgment, and general negativity that currently surround sexuality. It emphasizes medically accurate sex education and safer sex. It makes no moral judgments about what forms sexuality does or does not take. Sex positivity refers to a way of thinking that embraces and promotes all forms of sexuality and consensual sexual experience, placing these values on equal footing with the choice not to engage in sexual activity.” App 3: UniverCity 3D This app is local to our U of O students as well as some other universities, and it’s one that looks like it will do quite well once it goes national. UniverCity 3D is a type of shopping and social networking app that connects college students with local retailers. This cool app will help college students save money when buying things, let’s face it, we know that college kids are not likely to be cutting coupons, and that’s where UniverCity 3D comes in. Downloading the app gives the young collegian discounts at local retailers with no coupon clipping involved, and no payment for the app. Retailers pay a small monthly fee to reach the students with their discounts, which helps give them an edge over the larger chain stores, so it should be a win win! App 4: Oregon Gas Prices / GasBuddy Okay, I cheated a bit, this app covers all of Oregon, but, it’s just too good not to include. Gas prices are so up and down lately, unlike our paychecks, so we have to do what we can to save money, right? Right! So, get your GasBuddy App, plug in your zip code, and watch it tell you where all of the best gas prices are nearest you. Using it myself for zip code 97402, I found that I could get gas at the Chevron on River Rd & Azalea Dr for $3.92 a gallon, or a little further away at a better rate I could go to Costco for $3.80 a gallon. These prices update often, usually every hour or two, so it’s definitely worth a quick check before your next fill up. App 5: Lane Transit AnyStop I love this app and only learned of it while researching for this article. Why do I love it so? I am not a bus rider myself, but I am the mother of a 20 year old daughter that rides the bus a lot. We used to look all the routes up online, which is easy enough, but the Lane Transit mobile app is going to make it, and my life, a whole lot easier because now all that info is easily available through the app. No more calls from malls or stores asking me “mom, can you go online and find out when the next bus is coming?” or “mom, which bus do I take to get to such and such place?” Always happy to help my daughter of course, but this will help her navigate her way through her day quickly and easily, and for that I am happy. App 6: Eugene Rentals So far there are not many local rental mobile apps, however, I’m sure more rental agencies are definitely going to join this new way of finding renters. So if you have an agency or realtor you like best, be sure to watch their website for mobile apps. This particular one we found is called, EugeneRentals.com, and is available for both Android and iOS devices. It allows you to find a rental using searches that narrow it by number of bedrooms, bathrooms, minimum and maximum rent, area and unit type. App 7: MapMyRun Runner, walker, it really doesn’t matter, this may be called MapMyRun but you can use it for more than just running. This neat app will tell you about some popular, and not so popular running trails throughout the area. You can also find the information at their site online. The map app includes a map (of course), how many miles the trail or hike is, the elevation, and other information that the person that made the run, jog or walk decided to include in their trip notes. For Eugene alone there are over 18,554 routes already entered into this database by fellow outdoor lovers. App 8: HopStop Similar to the Lane Transit App, the HopStop App will give you transit directions. This one may be a bit more helpful if you’re not only wanting to take the bus, or are not on the Lane Transit bus line. This app will give you door-to-door directions for walking, biking, taxi and the bus, so it’s very helpful if you’re someone on the go a lot. It also shows you where hourly rental cars are, and on that note, did you know that we have hourly rental cars here in Eugene? We do, and I am not talking about something like Budget or Nationwide Car Rental. I don’t see an app yet for this service, but if you’re interested these car rentals are online at Zipcar.com. App 9: EPark Anyone that has to go downtown in Eugene knows that parking is going to be a nuisance. You can avoid it and take a taxi or the bus (use one of the apps we just shared), or you can download EPark Eugene, an awesome mobile application that will help you find on and off street parking options downtown. It doesn’t “yet” help you to know whether a space is currently occupied or not, but this is something in the works, and that will make this app even greater when that rolls out. App 10: CycleLane Our last app is another one for bicyclists, and although it’s still of help to the city like the first app we shared, it’s also one that can benefit you. Quite simply put, this mobile app is for tracking bicycle routes. With the CycleLane app you start recording your ride when you begin and then at the end you save it and specify what you used that route for. Examples would be: using the route to go shopping, getting exercise, work commute, etc. This will all then be sent to the Lane Council of Government so that they can learn more about the various bike routes bicyclists use most and know which ones to further develop and which not to. How is this helpful to you now though? It’s a nice way to record your trips to know things like how far you biked, how often you take that route, and well, who knows what else, it’s just fun sometimes to keep track of the things we do. For Android Users – download CycleLane from the Android Market and for IPhone Users – download Cycle Lane from the iTunes App Store. Finally! That’s it for my 10 fantastic apps for Lane County, do you know of any that you would like to share? We’d love to hear about them if you do. We’d also love to hear of any local sites that you think are helpful to you as a resident, because next I am working on telling you about some great online sites that are helpful to us as a community. I hope these apps are of some help to you. If you have any tech questions, apps or otherwise, feel free to ask me anytime here on EDN or on my site, The High Tech Society.
Kimberly has a degree in journalism and enjoys writing for a variety of different websites on topics such as current news, technology and the art of freelance writing online. She has her own blog that she enjoys working on at http://TheHighTechSociety.com, and also loves spending time with her husband and two grown children that also live in the Eugene area.
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