Why we love it: It's your portal to the coveted bike and scooter life
Use it for: Bar hopping, running to a nearby meeting and terrorizing pedestrians
Whether or not you think the return of Lime's electric scooters to our city is a plague on our city — kids who barrell down sidewalks at top speed, we're eyeing you — Lime's app for finding and quickly accessing bikes and scooters across the city is a handy and easy-to-use essential tool for Spokane-living. With the app and its friendly neon-green interface, you can quickly discern where the nearest Lime vehicles are, access them at a rate of $1 to unlock and 25 cents for every minute of use, and get going. While the system does, unfortunately, require that you add money to your "wallet" in set increments of $5, $10 and $20 — meaning that you can't add exact change — you'll want to at least have it downloaded for when you impulsively want to hop on an electric scooter and zoom into the sunset.
Why we love it: It makes Hoopfest manageable for the uninitiated
Use it for: Keeping track of your favorite teams throughout the contest
Hoopfest can seem like chaos. Featuring over 6,000 three-on-three outdoor basketball teams, tens of thousands of fans, and 450 separate courts spanning a whopping 45 city blocks, it sounds, on its face, like a logistical and navigational nightmare. But don't worry: the Hoopfest app has got you covered. Use this interface to keep track of the competing teams, their wins and losses, and where and when they're playing. It also features detailed information on the teams, messaging and social media sharing capabilities to communicate with other people at the event, as well as a notification system for upcoming games that the user has flagged. Don't go to Hoopfest without downloading it.
SPOKANE COUNTY ON THE GO
Why we love it: It makes local government services accessible
Use it for: Reserving sites at county campgrounds, viewing agendas for public meetings and renewing pet licenses
Everyone hates government bureaucracy — especially when you have to take time out of your day to physically go to a stuffy office. (Being greeted by a government employee with the same level of enthusiasm for public service that Leslie Knope demonstrates in Parks and Recreation might make it better, but not by much.) But, thanks to the relatively new Spokane County on the Go app, you can conduct a fair amount of county business on your smartphone. This handy interface lets you access meeting agendas, reserve sites at county campgrounds, pay taxes and sewer bills online, and look up court dates in one centralized format. But there's still some weird quirks that only a government-app would have: Android users should search for "Spokane County" in Google Play to find it, while iPhone users have to type in "CivicMobile" to find it on the App Store.
Why we love it: Anything that makes riding public transit better is great in our book
Use it for: Planning your trips and commutes
While Moovit, a public-transit-planner app, isn't specific to Spokane, the interface does use real-time data from Spokane Transit Authority (STA) to give you timely and accurate information on bus routes and arrival times when scoping out your next commute or trip on transit. It's simple yet extremely effective. Featuring directional routing, bus line maps, and more, this app is an essential for any venture into Spokane's growing public transit system. It'll keep you from hopping on the wrong bus or waiting unnecessarily long for your ride. (USA Today recently highlighted it as one of five apps to download "before your next trip," and it's gotten gobs of other positive press in the past years.) Hopefully, it will entice you and others to ride public transit more often if you don't already.
Why we love it: Libraries are a great public resource, and we love things that have to do with libraries
Use it for: Browsing the Spokane Public Library catalogue
When it comes to real-life books, one might think that libraries are falling out of fashion. If you've got cash, Amazon has made it so incredibly easy to get your preferred titles delivered right to your doorstep. But libraries still exist and serve important functions (especially for those without monetary means) and BookMyne is a great app that makes the institutions easier to utilize — including the Spokane Public Library system! This app lets you select a library and browse their titles as well as search for specific titles, track what you've checked out, and any holds or fees that you might have on your account. Awesomely, you can also scan the barcodes of books you have at home or see elsewhere and find out if any local libraries stock them. So download it and go use your local library for a change.