I don’t live in New York, but if I did or were to travel there, I would have no qualms about taking along the Not For Tourists Manhattan City Guide on my iPhone. If you’ve ever seen the Not For Tourists book series, the comprehensive award-winning city guides available for several US cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington D.C., as well as one for London, then you are already familiar with the Not For Tourists style. Though the books are definitely well-written and designed and a bit more tangible, the Not For Tourists Manhattan City Guide is a fairly well-done translation for iPhone.
There are several things about Not For Tourists Manhattan City Guide that are just plain useful and it’s easy on the eyes to boot. The user interface is relatively intuitive for the amount of information included and navigation is relatively simple as well.
The travel guide organizes locations by neighborhoods, gives a brief description of each, and then organizes nearby places to eat, drink, shop, play, and buy dog food. Essentially if you’re looking for some specific type of place, you can find a category to encompass it.
Once you’ve located a place, you are provided with address and phone number, the option to call the establishment directly from within the app, pull up the place’s location on the map, as well as a little ditty about the place such as what they sell, serve, or might be known for. Granted, the editorial comments in the books are a fair bit more entertaining and comprehensive, but with most listings, you get the gist. It would appear to me that many of the places listed in the Not For Tourists Manhattan City Guide could have used a bit more detail in their description, but this is an iPhone app not a book.
I have no idea if it’s as comprehensive as it could be, as only a New York native could answer that. But being directionally challenged I concede that having the ability to easily find whatever I might be looking for, get the directions, contact information, including websites if available, as well as have it pinpointed on a map without ever looking like I was lost in the first place is pretty useful.
The most recent press release from Not For Tourists developers does not state if there will be more cities to come, but the Not For Tourist library includes a books for most major metropolitan areas so we can probably expect more for the iPhone as well. As a portable travel guide, if you’re headed to New York, Not For Tourists Manhattan City Guide should come in very handy.