What’s Your Widget?

Illustration by Peter Arkle

Navigating the City

Jimmy Fallon, late-night host, NBC
Favorite app: Bionic Eye (iPhone/iPod Touch), $.99
“Basically, you aim your camera down the street and it will show you floating graphics of where, say, the nearest Starbucks is.”

Jonathan Ames, creator, HBO’s Bored to Death
Favorite app: GPS (Palm Pre), free
“I feel very futuristic sitting in the backseat calling out turns.”

Jose Antonio Vargas, tech editor, Huffington Post
Favorite app: Exit Strategy NYC (iPhone/iPod Touch), $2.99
“I was running late last week and used it to figure out the exact subway car on the B to get on so I’d hit my exit at Broadway–Lafayette. It worked!”

Michael Goldberg, marketing exective, Zimmerman Advertising
Favorite app: CrossWalk (iPhone/iPod Touch), $2.99
“Punch in an address, and it gives you the cross street in two seconds.”

Eric Hahn, process server
Favorite app: UpNext (iPhone/iPod Touch), $2.99
“You can zoom in and see an outline of every building near you. Touch one, and a list of every business located in there pops up.”

The Naked Cowboy, busker
Favorite app: Beyond411 (Blackberry), free
“When I’m out in the field (Times Square in my underwear), I can look up a phone number or address, then sync it by Bluetooth to the GPS in my 2010 Escalade.”

Philip Blake, IT specialist
Favorite app: SitOrSquat (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“It shows you the closest public restrooms. It’s comforting.”

Connecting to People

Salman Rushdie, writer
Favorite app: Bump (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“It’s the one where, if you and I both had iPhones, you bump yours against mine and it exchanges our information.”

Katie Couric, anchor, CBS Evening News
Favorite app: TwitterBerry (Blackberry), free
“Makes tweeting really easy, like sending a text message.”

Behnaz Sarafpour, fashion designer
Favorite app: iDoodle2 (iPhone/iPod Touch), $.99
“I do little drawings that I attach to e-mails when I am trying to visually explain an idea to pattern-makers or factories overseas.”

Scott Plimpton, teacher
Favorite App: WhosHere (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“If you’re in, say, Bryant Park, it shows you people who are there too. I’m happily married, but I have friends who use it for hooking up.”

Fiddling Around

Matthew Settle, actor, Gossip Girl
Favorite App: Attractor (iPhone/iPod Touch), $4.99
“You type in what you want in life—I put in ‘daughter’ even before I found out my wife was pregnant—and it reminds you every day, so it gets stuck in your mind.”

Sean Cassidy, president, Dan Klores Communications
Favorite app: X-Plane Airliner (iPhone/iPod Touch), $9.99
“It replicates being in an airplane cockpit. Right now, I’m learning how to take off and land a Boeing 747.”

Al Roker, weatherman, Today
Favorite app: Pow (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“You hit the air with it and it makes a punching sound, like you’re having a fist fight. Guys like doing fist fights.”

Will Swenson ,actor, Hair
Favorite app: Sheep Launcher (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“You have to launch a sheep into space. If you’re good, he goes to the planets. I’ve gotten to Jupiter, but my 8-year-old son has sent him all the way to Uranus.”

Richard Kirshenbaum, advertising executive, kbs+p
Favorite app: Swakker Doodle (iPhone/iPod Touch), $.99
“It’s a drawing app that lets you draw in real time with one or two other users. I play tic-tac-toe with my kids in real time.”

Melanie Dunea, photographer
Favorite app: Scramble (iPhone/iPod Touch), $.99
“It’s a puzzle I’m so addicted to, that I almost fell down the stairs walking into the subway because there is no pause button.”

Tuning Out the World

John Flansburgh, songwriter, They Might Be Giants
Favorite app: Public Radio Player (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“Lets you hear local stations all around the country, including my favorite, WJFF, in Jeffersonville, New York.”

Ivanka Trump, real-estate developer
Favorite app: Pandora (Blackberry), free
“I listen to music—Lady Gaga, Kanye, Jay-Z, the Beatles, Robert Plant—while I’m walking down Fifth Avenue to my office in the Trump Tower early each morning.”

Lou Antonelli, financial-services account manager
Favorite app: NYTimes (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“The day’s articles are downloaded onto your phone, so you don’t need a cell signal to read them—great for the subway.”

Jason Chen, editor, Gizmodo
Favorite app: Kindle (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“It’s basically the equivalent of a Kindle e-reader you can have with you anywhere.”

Jesse Mann, general manger, The Bowery Presents
Favorite app: FlyCast (Blackberry), free
“A fantastic streaming radio app with a good bitrate, so the sound quality is excellent.”

Adam Balkin, tech reporter, NY1
Favorite app: SlingPlayer (iPhone/iPod Touch), $29.99
“It allows me to access Slingbox, which is connected to my cable box at home. I can still watch Penn State football live even if I happen to be sitting through a wedding.”

Illustration by Peter Arkle

Improving Your Life

Pete Daversa, pit master, Hill Country
Favorite app: Kitchen Calculator (iPhone/iPod Touch), $1.99
“When the restaurant’s running at full speed, I don’t have time to stop and figure out complex conversions.”

Marisa May, co-owner, SD26 restaurant
Favorite app: DailyHoroscope (Blackberry), free “I have been going to the same astrologist every six months for more than ten years, so it helps me fill in the gaps between visits.”

Tor Myhren, chief creative officer, Grey New York
Favorite app: Japanese (iPhone/iPod Touch), $19.99
“My wife is from Japan, and my quest is to understand what she’s mumbling under her breath. It’s kind of like a dictionary, flash card, and Kanji writing tool all in one.”

David Barton, gym owner
Favorite app: Calorie Tracker (Blackberry), $2.99
“It’s very smart and easy to use for counting calorie, carb, and protein intake for each meal.”

Nick Miscione, sales clerk, Metro Bikes
Favorite app: Big Oven (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“You get 160,000 recipes. I punch in ‘lasagne’ or ‘chili’ while I’m walking into the grocery store.”

Tim Sweeney, D.J., Beats in Space
Favorite app: WorldMate Live (Blackberry), free
“I’ve got all my travel itineraries on there, so I, hopefully, won’t miss any flights and always know where I’m staying.”

Ian Berry, children’s media consultant
Favorite app: WeatherBug (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“Shows satellite images up to the minute, instead of every few hours like most weather apps.”

John Chun, investment banker
Favorite app: FlashLight (Blackberry), free
“The entire screen turns bright white, so you can use it for reading in the dark.”

Adam Benton, portfolio manager, Clearwater Analytics
Favorite app: Zipcar (iPhone/iPod Touch), free
“It’s new and freakin’ sweet. Once you rent a car, you can unlock the doors with your phone. The app looks like any other car-key remote.”

Additional reporting by Sam Dangremond, Iavora Daraktchieva-Dohn, Sally Holmes, Bennett Marcus, Thayer Mcclanahan, and Julie Zeveloff.

What’s Your Widget?