Top Apps – The Shack’s Picks for a SXSW Road Trip

This is post 3 of 7 in the SXSW 2011 series

Some members of The Shack social media team will soon be heading to Austin, Texas to attend SXSW Interactive. The trip is sure to be a blast, but we want to make sure we don’t run into any difficulties on the way, like getting lost or not knowing where to eat. So we’ve armed ourselves with a few apps to prevent the preventable.


Want a freebie from The Shack? Just leave a comment below and you might just snag one before the day is over! Tell us about your favorite traveling app, let us know what you think about our blog, or just say hello. It’s that easy.

And without further adieu, here are the apps.


SXSW Go (pictured above)

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: Free

If you’re heading to Austin for SXSW, you’ll definitely want to have this app at your disposal. The main benefit is that it lets you search for events you might want to see based on category, venue or time and create your own schedule so you don’t miss any must-see happenings. Most major events these days will have their own version of an app like this, so be sure to search them out before heading to any major trade show or conference.


Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Price: Free

Every time I open this app I’m instantly hungry. Foodspotting helps you discover new foods at nearby restaurants by showing you pictures of the delicious dishes uploaded and rated by other users. You can quickly scan by nearest, latest and best or choose from categories if you know what you’re craving. This year at SXSW, Foodspotting is having a street food scavenger hunt (you find it in the guides section of the app) and we’ll be doing our best to dominate it.


Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Price: Free

No matter where you are or what you need to find, this app will show you the way. You can quickly search by category for things like ATMs, gas stations and theaters, and the app will give you a complete listing of businesses ranked by proximity to your locale. You can then get step-by-step directions and phone numbers if you want to give them a ring. I, along with over 94,000 people on iTunes, recommend this app to anyone who is travelling traveling to unfamiliar territories.




Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Price: Free

Instagram is photographic magic that you can share. Just snap a pic on your phone then pick one of the many filters to turn your “ok” photo into an “Oh, hey!” photo. You can then share it with your Instagram followers and all your best buds on
Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Posterous, Tumblr or even Foursquare. Your fancy new pic will automatically be added to your library for future admiring. We at RadioShack are addicted to this app and are planning on doing some fun things with it in the future. So if you don’t have it already have, download it now and give us a follow.


SitOrSquat: Bathroom Finder

Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry
Price: Free


The name says it all. This app (sponsored by Charmin) is the world’s first wiki for recording and accessing information about restrooms. You can locate restrooms nearby, read reviews, and even see photos – all before you decide to make a visit. It also includes crucial bits of data such as which restrooms have changing tables, which are handicap accessible and which might have special vending machines that may (or may not) be of interest to you. All the information is loaded by actual users, so feel free to add your own two cents and we’ll do the same. There are currently over 65,000 restrooms in the database and it keeps improving every day.



Platform: All
Price: Free


Foursquare is all about checking in at different locations. In doing so, you get a lot of things in return. You can earn points, badges and mayoral status (a fun way to one-up friends), get special discounts at a variety of business (including The Shack), let your friends know where you are and see where they are, too. It’s a key way to stay in touch with people at an event like SXSW Interactive. Foursquare has already announced 18 new badges for SXSX this year, and we’re going try to get them all.


Is there anything we missed here? What apps are you arming your phone with for SXSW?


Don’t forget to leave us a comment!



UPDATE: We have selected our winners for this post. Check back for more giveaways!




This is post 3 of 7 in the SXSW 2011 series


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  • Claudia Davis

    The problem I find with a lot of these apps is that they don’t have a map attached. I am in a new city and need to know exactly where I am going. It gets frustrating.

  • evic

    Wish I was going :( But foursquare is a must! Should add Gowalla I am sure they will do something it is in their backyard ;)

  • courtney

    i find urban spoon app the most useful. it is always fun to try new places to eat when you’re out of town.

  • SunRae

    I love the different apps especially the food spotting one! Always looking for great places to eat!

  • Chrisann

    Freebies are great! Love the shack! :)

  • Mike G

    One of my must have apps when traveling is some sort of GPS app with a map. I make a lot of trips to the east coast and my in car navigation is horrible and so hard to operate. Plus maps with online gps apps are constantly updated and I trust them more than my in car gps

  • Mary

    I can see the Foodspotting concept catching on quickly. However, my questions is what’s with the Foursquare app and all of the other "checking in" apps that are available? I so don’t want everyone on my Facebook page knowing exactly where I am and when! Seems like a disaster waiting to happen to me.

  • Curtis


  • Sally

    I need a better phone that has apps. My cell phone is just a basic one. :(
    I think it would be great to have all this info right on my phone!
    There seems to be an app for everything, I hope to someday soon get to know what they are all about!! I still don’t know what all my city has to offer.

  • Carolina Tiger

    As an avid sports nut i cannot live without ESPN Score & Cricingo.

    They allow me to keep upto date with all my teams where ever I may be.

  • Cindy

    I love word warp app it some fun! It’s like text twist, but it’s free!!

  • kazul

    Ok – I would SOOOOO use the bathroom finder one but the name has 2 change.
    Potty Spotter would be a better.

  • Kari

    Love you guys! I so need to get myself the Sitorsquat App. – with 4 kids we are always searching for a bathroom;)

  • Sheila

    Hey, some nice apps!

  • Ted

    Definitely "Aroundme"!

  • Environ2

    FlightTrack App has always helped keep me on time.

  • JW

    Radio Shack has been around a long time!

  • Gingey Ginge

    I love instagram! It gives anyone and everyone the chance to produce awesome pics!

  • Junior

    I love Foodspotting

  • Cherie

    Instagram is the app I would love, because I am very into photography, I take pictures constantly!

  • stephaniet

    I like the Yelp app because then I get a good idea of reviews and also I find great local spots I have never heard of before. Good for food exploration.

  • Dollar Van Demos

    My favorite travel app is Go Sky Watch Planetarium which allows you to see where you are in the Universe, not just on Planet Earth.

  • Doha A.

    Hi RadioShack, I ♥♥♥ you! My favorite traveling app has to be Facebook! Cause it gets boring by mile 200!

  • scrabbler

    I love my Garmin GPS!

  • Tcyc

    I love the Sit or Squat app.

  • Sarina

    favorite traveling apps – gateguru, skype, sit or squat, and instagram! have fun as SXSW!

  • Sarina

    have fun AT :)

  • Dave

    Love the Shack!


  • mixj

    i love the soundhound app for android for.finding the names of songs you dont know while youre driving!

  • Ricktoon

    Just want to say Hi. Have a variety of tools I use on the road. Built in navigation. Redbox for finding movies, Movie Night for a night out. Will have to try Sit or Squat for my wife!

  • Melanie Fry

    Some of these look pretty good!

  • Michele

    I love this App! The "Sit or Squat" App is possibly the most useful App ever. So much so, that I’m wishing to win a gift card so I can update my phone at RadioShack and use it.

  • shawn

    google maps is all i need

  • Jim Wiliams

    Definitely want to try out Foursquare!

  • Adam Ayala

    I’ve never been to Austin for the SXSW festival but I’ve heard it’s hit or miss. But if you get the chance make sure to visit the Congress Avenue bridge near sunset and watch the bats fly over your head.

  • Stefanie

    I love Instagram with its cool filters and Twitter & Flickr connections.

  • Joanne

    My MIL would love the bathroom app. I like the food apps, my son has some on his phone that he loves.

  • Sue

    I love Radio Shack and the great deals you guys have on phones!! There are so many apps!! LOVE soundhound and use that pretty much on a daily basis. Also love Have2Eat, Have2Drink, and GasBuddy.

  • Carmelicious!


  • SickPigeon

    Hi, everything great. Love The Shack. Use to get remote control cars when I was a kid. I think it’s so awesome The Shack sponsors the cycling team. As far as apps go I’d have to say Gowalla is also a great app even though it has fewer users then Foursquare

  • Sara

    Hello! :) Hope I’m not too late…

  • Shannon M.

    I love the apps that tell you what’s around you at any one particular moment.

  • Paula

    Awesome apps thanks radioshack for the heads up :)