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New shoes? Check. New outfit? Double check. Cash and credit cards? Triple check.

I guess you’re ready to hit the clubs. Well, not quite. There’s something that you absolutely must have in your arsenal before you head out: a smartphone laden with the greatest, most vital apps for anyone about to paint the town red.

Here are some of the best free apps for Android and iOS that will make your night out an incredible one.

Uber

A curious thing happens in most English cities at 4am.

Clubs start turning on their lights, causing their worse-for-wear patrons to shuffle out onto the street, looking for a way home. Public transportation isn’t running, and most taxi companies have a 40 minute wait.

But you need to get home! Who do you turn to? Uber, that’s who. This smartphone-powered public transportation competitor allows you to get a ride home without having to call an operator Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi You'd expect by now that hiring taxis with an app on your fancy GPS-enabled device to tell the drive your location would be an everyday event, right? Wrong. Read More or even mess around with cash.

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night-out-uber

The downside? Uber can be expensive, especially when many people are using the service simultaneously, as something called “surge pricing” is implemented. This can send the cost of getting home soaring by as much as nine times.

It’s also only available in a handful of cities; if you live outside of a major metropolis, you may not even have access to it.

Uber is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry 7 devices, although I’ve had success running the Android APK You Got Your Android In My Blackberry - How To Run Android Apps On Blackberry OS 10 You Got Your Android In My Blackberry - How To Run Android Apps On Blackberry OS 10 Before you side load your Blackberry device with your favorite Android app, there are a few things you need to know. Read More on my trusty Blackberry Q10.

Hotel Tonight

So, you’ve missed the last train home. It’s too late to book a room with AirBnB (which is a fantastic service if you plan ahead A Traveler's Tales: How To Save Money On Your Next Trip With AirBnB A Traveler's Tales: How To Save Money On Your Next Trip With AirBnB We are always eager to cut costs while traveling. Hotels are expensive. Ludicrously so. But are there any alternatives? Until recently, the answer to that question was a loud ‘no' till AirBnB came along. Read More ), and you need somewhere to crash that won’t break your budget.

Your only real option is to check into a hotel. Fun fact about hotels: they only make money when people check into their rooms. If nobody is staying, the hotel gets nothing.

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With that in mind, meet Hotel Tonight. This smartphone-only travel store finds unsold hotel rooms and rents them out at steep discounts Hotel Tonight: Find the Best Last Minute Deals on Hotels [iOS] Hotel Tonight: Find the Best Last Minute Deals on Hotels [iOS] Read More . While you have to check-in on the day of purchase, the rooms themselves are quite affordable, with discounts often being more than 50%. This is ideal for last-minute travel.

Hotel Tonight is available for iOS and Android.

Shazam

Ever hear a great song in a bar and wonder who the artist is?

It’s annoying. Indeed, as someone who doesn’t really listen to much radio, I tend to do a significant chunk of my music discovery in bars and clubs. Thankfully, Shazam makes it easy to identify the artist and title of a song Discover New Music & What It's Actually Called With Shazam [Android & iOS] Discover New Music & What It's Actually Called With Shazam [Android & iOS] Music is one of the great forces that can bring people from all walks of life together. Most of us love at least one genre of music, and we tend to get along with those... Read More at the push of a button. All you need is a data connection, and it even works well in the ambient noise you can expect in a packed-out club or bar.

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Shazam is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Blackberry 10 users have SoundHound, which is a practical alternative to Shazam since it can also easily identify songs SoundHound: The Ultimate Song Identification App [iPhone] SoundHound: The Ultimate Song Identification App [iPhone] SoundHound for iPhone is an app that is perfect for finding the titles to your favorite songs on the radio, lyrics to the existing tunes in your library, and new music that you may have... Read More .

FourSquare

Launched in 2007, FourSquare has made it easy for people to check in to locations and share with the world Check In & Become Mayor of Your Favorite Venues With Foursquare Check In & Become Mayor of Your Favorite Venues With Foursquare Read More where they’ve been.

I know a lot of people who depend on FourSquare on nights out because, let’s face it, we’ve all gotten separated from friends on a night out. FourSquare makes it easy to get reunited. It also boasts thousands of venue reviews, making it easy to find the coolest, most interesting bars, clubs, and restaurants.

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FourSquare is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry 10.

Just Eat

It’s late and you finally got to the hotel, but you can’t sleep. All that drinking and dancing has given you an almighty hunger for some pizza. But you can’t be bothered heading outside again. So, who do you turn to? Just Eat, of course.

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This UK-based company has made it easy for customers in Europe, India, Canada, Argentina, and Brazil to order food from local takeaways 6+ Best Apps To Order Pizza From Your iPhone [iOS] 6+ Best Apps To Order Pizza From Your iPhone [iOS] Ordering food online is by far one of the most convenient ways of securing a meal, and using an app on your iPhone is even simpler. Waiting in line or being put on hold on... Read More , using either their website or their app. Just tell them where you are and what you’re hungry for, and they’ll pinpoint the nearest takeaways to you. Plus, it doesn’t cost any extra to book online!

Just Eat is available for iOS and Android.

What Do You Think?

I’ve just gone through some amazing apps that are guaranteed to help your night go smoothly — from getting around, to getting home, to getting fed. Did I miss anything? Tell me about it and drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear about what you use when you hit the town.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Mr.TinDC

  1. Jeff Layden
    June 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Why does Hotel Tonight need access to my camera and microphone?

    • Matthew H
      June 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      I think for leaving reviews.

  2. android underground
    June 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    App 6:
    Calender, to set a reminder to leave your phone home tonight.

  3. Adrian H
    June 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Foursquare split out the social aspect of their app into a new app called Swarm

    • Matthew H
      June 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Good to know!

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