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Get hip or get help with these Orange County-specific applications
Your phone may be smart, but is it O.C. smart? Among the thousands of apps for the iPhone and Android, here are some that every local should keep in hand. No need to thumb through intricate websites on a tiny screen just to plan your weekend. Whether you’re heading to the beach, the theater, or Disneyland, these apps will tell you what you need to know in one click. Best of all, they’re free!
Hop aboard the gourmet food truck craze. TruxMap describes what’s on the menu, and shows which trucks are near your current location at any given moment. The app works in 30-plus cities in the U.S. and Canada, and is so useful, we’ll overlook that O.C. is lumped in with Los Angeles. iPhone and Android
No matter the season, you always can catch a great performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Use CenterTix to browse the list of upcoming shows, check out video previews, buy tickets, and plan a visit complete with directions and parking information. Link it with Facebook to invite friends to the shows you want to see. iPhone
A surfer’s go-to source for accurate forecasts, Surfline is the only app with cameras stationed at more than 90 locations on the nation’s shores. No matter what draws you to the beach, this app is priceless for finding out how big the waves are and from which direction they’re coming—up to five days in advance. It’s also helpful for planning beach days with the little ones. iPhone and Android
4. Mouse Wait
This app ensures you get on as many Disneyland rides as possible by standing in the shortest lines. Though not always 100 percent accurate, the wait times give a trusty approximation so you know when to hit Pirates of the Caribbean, and when to consider grabbing a FastPass for Space Mountain. iPhone and Android
5. OC Fair 2012
If you plan to devour something deep-fried on a stick before the OC Fair closes Aug. 12, consider downloading this year’s app. It helps you buy tickets, see a list of available concessions, and find your car at day’s end using your phone’s built-in GPS. It also has a Build Your Day option based on the events calendar. Great way to ensure you make every pie contest, pig race, and rodeo. iPhone and Android
6. U.S. Open of Surfing
One of the world’s epic sports festivals takes place every year at Huntington Beach Pier. It’s your chance to see some of the best surfers battle it out, while BMX and skate crews take over the beach. Four live video streams guarantee you won’t miss a minute of the action, including some great live bands. iPhone
7. Anaheim Ducks Official Mobile App
The L.A. Kings may have the Stanley Cup, but Ducks fans have a killer app that allows users to stay in touch with team news, scores, and stats. Watch interviews and highlights anytime, on the go. If you can’t get to a TV during the games, it allows you to follow the play-by-play in real time, signaling you with alerts on all the action. In the off-season? You’ll know when a player’s knee surgery has been successful. iPhone and Android
The Road App
Orange County’s toll roads are perfect for those who want to zip past traffic. The FasTrack mobile app is an easy way to save even more time by managing your account, making payments, and updating vehicle info in a flash. And it’s free. iPhone and Android
Illustration by Richard Borge
This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of Orange Coast magazine.