App, app and away: the best going out apps

Barchick
barchick.com
The logo may not suggest this is the most sophisticated app in the world but it’s actually pretty comprehensive. Those barchicks certainly get around. The search tool asks you to sort by area, then by what kind of boozer you’re after (options include “killer cocktails”, music, gay & lesbian and people watching, among others), when you want to go there, and who you’re taking (you wouldn’t take your mum the same place you take your mistress - yes, you can search mistress). They also list reviews, bar jobs and eating challenges. And it’s not just London – the team have even started to drink their way around the world.

Songkick
songkick.com
Founders Ian Hogarth and Pete Smith claim their app is “the world’s largest single source of concert information”. Songkick allows music-lovers to select bands they want to see live and receive ticket sale alerts before they are in town. This means you get tailored alerts so you’re only bothered with the bands you actually like. Then it provides a number of face value and third party resellers to purchase from. You can even list what gigs you’re going to on your profile to find a crowd to hang out with once you’re there. Recent developments include a publishing tool so new performers can add themselves to Songkick’s vast database of musical acts.

YPlan
yplanapp.com
For those who want something to do but don't know where to start, YPlan's team of experts curate a list of ten events happening each night. Scroll though the list and tap twice when you want to book. There’s no need to print anything either – YPlan is totally mobile. The app launched in London at the end of last year as a way of helping people find and book ticketed events at the last minute. YPlan’s aim is to make city dwellers more sociable and spontaneous. It’s now looking to expand across the globe, with New York the next city in the cross hairs. Dude Where’s My Car? actor Ashton Kutcher has also reportedly invested in its US expansion, so what could go wrong?

Top Table
toptable.co.uk
This UK cousin of US app Open Table is sparse and simple, but when you’re stomach’s doing the hungry rhumba, that’s exactly what you want. The app allows you to search under area or restaurant name for an eatery and you can make a free and easy booking on your phone. If you’re unsure where to go, restaurants are sorted under new openings, special offers and “diners’ choice”, which are the highest rated by other users of TopTable. And if you still can’t decide where to go, there’s a review section, blistering with all the honesty of hungry app users whose guacamole was lumpy or sushi was squishy. Or they might be nice and praise a new gem.

Hailo
hailocab.com
All good things must come to an end and when that time comes, you want to be at home in your bed with a cup of tea – instantly. Steve Jobs let us all down by failing to invent the iTeleport before he died. So we’ll just have to put up with the next best thing, which is a black taxi driver who probably knows where your house is just by looking at the sort of shoes you’re wearing. Download the app, hail a taxi in two taps, pay with your credit or debit card (or pay the driver cash), and let London’s trusty taxi fleet do what they do best - talk your ears off and drag you into an impromptu debate about the EU. This app has also branched out internationally.