There's an app for almost anything now, even for playing spin the bottle. Seriously.
Among the useless and strange lie two new apps, Gowalla and Happy Houred, that are quickly becoming Austin favorites. At their cores, these two new mobile applications have different uses, but you can use them for the same result, like finding your next favorite Austin hot spot.
GOWALLA: (check out this slideshow for screen shots.)
Gowalla is an app designed here in Austin, but available almost anywhere in the US, that allows you to check in certain places around town and tell your friends what you're doing there. It keeps a passport for you, listing everywhere you've been stamped, and you can pick up and drop of virtual items at each location. Each check in, which you can choose to automatically post to your Twitter and Facebook profiles, links to a map showing exactly where you are.
What's best, is that Gowalla actually offers real life rewards. They drop off prizes at different places around town, and if you pick one up, you actually win it. SXSW gifts included cameras, phones, wristbands, free food, and more.
Gowalla also allows you to create trips, almost like scavenger hunts.
If you're looking for hot spots around Austin, this is a great app for you. Push notifications (optional) tell you where your friends are, too. Available on most mobile devices.
Check out their site to download the app: Gowalla
HAPPY HOURED: (check out this slideshow for screen shots.)
Happy Houred allows you to create your own specific search criteria to find the best happy hours near you in Austin. What's great about this app is that it's so fluid--you can add or update restaurants and bars around you to keep the app accurate. It's not only a great way to find happy hours, it's a great way for restaurants and bars to advertise--FOR FREE. Want a tequila bar that has food discounts at 2pm on a Friday? If it exists, this app can find it for you.
Available for the Iphone here: Happy Houred
If you have any mobile apps you think are useful for Austin-ites, I'd love to hear about them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.