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Happy Apps in the Right Hands

A couple weeks ago, you may recall I subscribed to Free Mobile at a whopping 16€ a month. The SIM card works well in my iPhone and ‘ye ol’ iPhone’ is happily singing along connecting faster on Free than it ever did on SFR. It rarely leaves my hand these days…and I’m even more careful than ever of having it snatched right out of my hand.

Last week my daughter’s iPhone was stolen out of her purse in New York City without her even knowing. It was an expensive lesson to learn, but we’re hearing more and more about the rash of thievery not only in NYC, but in Paris, where it’s clearly gotten out of hand (or purse or pocket).

On the Métro, the thieves are managing a “quick grab-and-run” that means $400 in their dirty hands. One out of every two thefts on the Métro, train or bus is a mobile phone these days. It was reported by that “Of 1060 objects taken with violence in the subway in November, 820 were cell phones, which means more than 75 percent,” said Brice Hortefeux, France’s security minister. “And iPhones alone account for 48 percent of all these thefts.” One sad story involves a 27 year-old woman who both fell victim to a thief and a fall costing her her life last December at the Etienne-Marcel station.

The French are appalled by the increase in violence associated with the thievery and are seeking solutions to rendering the stolen phones valueless. In the meantime, take caution.

I’m not expert on how to avoid this — seems a good thief is tough to beat, but locking it away safely and not using it in public is the best way to avoid it being stolen. On the Métro, don’t sit in the seats close to the door and don’t leave it on your café table for anyone with which to walk away. I’m not sure if it exists yet, but a kind of “leash” attachment to a belt or purse sounds like a pretty sound idea to me…anyone know of a way to attach it? Or where to get one?

Meanwhile, the city of Paris is promoting iPhone usage with 10 new apps to make it even more important! See which suit your needs…


1. “Paris à la seconde“: tout, tout de suite
Paris à la seconde

A closed swimming pool, a visit which causes a traffic jam, a weather alert: Paris informs you in real time all the pitfalls you may encounter on your way. But this application does not just provide you with practical information. It also allows you to propose ideas for going out, hard to communicate information, share photos, etc. With “Paris in the second,”  become a reporter for your city and get to know your tips and your ‘loves at first sight’ to your fellow citizens.

2. “Beecitiz“: une ligne directe vers votre mairie

Suppose you encounter a street light out in the middle of the night. Do not panic, thanks to “Beecitiz”, you can now contact your city in the next second. Experimented in the fourth arrondissement last year, “Beecitiz” allows you to geotag the problems of roadworks and report directly to municipal services best able to solve the problems…it’s a direct line between the government and the governed.

3. “Slash“: l’expo qu’il vous faut

You’re walking along quietly in Paris when you are caught by the irrepressible desire to see a show or an openings. No problem, “Slash”   will guide you to the nearest museum or gallery that best suits your needs. Opening hours, dates of the exhibition, subway stations and Vélib’ in the vicinity, “Slash” provides all information necessary for your aesthetic travels and allows you to read in just a few moments about an artist’s work, what might push your button or the ambitions of an exhibition. Consider it a personal guide that fits in your pocket.

4. RATP Premium: l’appli métronomique
RATP Premium

Classic of classics, one never tires of the application “RATP.” In addition to its interactive maps, mapped network of buses, Tram, RER and alerts, it lets you optimize your tracks. With the “routes,” you enter your starting point, your point of arrival and you immediately know which lines to take, and matches to take the time to your journey. A good way to arrive always on time for your appointments.

5. “Dismoioù“: Partout comme chez soi

In the same spirit as “Quype”, but with an interface closer to Little Miss Sunshine than to Tron, “Tell me where” helps you find restaurants, cafes, bookstores and more generally all the places that are likely please you. With this application you evaluate places, you criticize the bad shots and as you specify your preferences, “Tell me where” advises you that you are getting better and better. Finally, the networking notifications allows you to view assessments of friends and contacts. Better than the opinion of a restaurant critic, this is like recommendations from your best friend.

6. “Share my spot“:  places de parking à gogo
Share my spot

In Paris, it is well known, it is impossible to park. Or it should be to many. This is precisely what is proposed on “Share my spot.” This application geo-tags your car and tells you the closest available parking space. When you leave, you return the favor by pointing out that you’ve liberated the space. This information will be forwarded to another user and you’ll gain a few points, and money is saved by finding access to free parking. A good idea that will work better as there are more users…unless of course everyone does not use it.

7. “Paris ci la sortie du métro“: des raccourcis pour vos journées à rallonge
Paris ci la sortie du métro

Parisians are in a hurry and they’re not alone. With “Paris it out,” they will no longer lose a second in the metro. Indeed, the application tells you where to take the train and the place where you should sit to find yourself right in front of your exit or your correspondence. The less trouble to maneuver the crowded quays, you travel efficiently, in a straight line with a click and solve the famous traveling salesman problem: find the shortest path between points of passage.

8. “Terrace and sun“: sous le soleil exactement
Terrace and sun

Sunny days will be here soon and with them the issues that arise each year to all Parisians when the swallows are back: Flip flops or sneakers? Walk or to Vélib’? Picnic in parks and gardens or sunburn on the terrace? For those who prefer the sun at any occasion, “Terrace and Sun” is an indispensable tool. This App allows you to find the sunniest terraces in the capital, hour by hour, by district or near you. Only drawback, it does not specify where to find the sunscreen or the summer novel that you can read to chill out intelligently.
9. “Votre air“: prenez le pouls de la pollution
Votre Air

Pedestrian or cyclist, you sometimes wonder what you inhale? This App is for you. It allows you to calculate the amount of pollution you are exposed to a specific location or along your route. Prototype which is based on data from monitoring stations AirParif, “Your air” allows you to develop pathways healthier or freer of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and other particles. Operating currently in a single district of Paris (Porte Maillot to Bastille and Montparnasse to Montmartre), its perimeter will be extended to the whole of the Ile-de-France in 2012.

10. “Le bon tri“: l’écologie mode d’emploi
Le bon tri

In the manner of a green Georges Perec, “The right sort” invites you to visit a Parisian building to introduce you to good practice in waste segregation. Through the kitchen, we take our breakfast and we learn that the juice carton should be put in the yellow container. When we DIY tinker, we discover that the bottle of white spirit has its place in the green bin. You will have toured the containers: each waste has his own bin, each bin has its function. “The right sort” can also find the glass bin closest to your home and learn the best way to recycle in the Ile-de-France. A tool that finally demonstrates that practice can rhyme with aesthetics thanks to shimmering graphics by Patrick Pleutin.
Get happy with these new apps and don’t let your apps get in the wrong hands. For more information, visit Paris.FR.

A la prochaine…

adrian by HarryAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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