Las Vegas iPhone apps: a guide

This app uses your phone's camera and GPS to navigate the Strip.
This app uses your phone's camera and GPS to navigate the Strip. (Screenshot from

To help make your next trip to Las Vegas a winner, I tested iPhone apps (they also work on iPod Touch and iPad) that you can use to book a room, sharpen your card skills or even say, "I do." Many have an Android version that works on multiple platforms, including phones and tablets from Motorola, Samsung and Nokia.

Las Vegas Reality

Pros: An augmented reality app uses your phone's camera and GPS to navigate the Strip. If you're not in Vegas, it offers a virtual tour — which placed the Mandalay Bay near my sofa and landed the Tropicana on my cat.

Cons: The airport and convention center are the only off-Strip locations.

Cost: Free for iPhone.

Sutro Media's Viva Las Vegas, Baby

Pros: An opinionated, photo-rich app from Sara Benson that includes reviews, neighborhood details, up-to-date prices and tips on where to find low-limit tables and better odds. Blackjack, craps and other gambling basics are also onboard. Categories include Hidden Gems, Family Friendly, Outdoors and Sin City (clubs, nightlife and tattoos).

Cons: No landscape mode, but this feature is expected this summer.

Cost: $2.99 for iPhone.

Las Vegas Guide — Lonely Planet

Pros: Offbeat app emphasizes non-gambling activities with a colorful map, dollar-stretching tips and suggested itineraries and excursions to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc.

Cons: A few gambling tips or wedding chapel listings would be nice.

Cost: $5.99 for iPhone; an alternate Android app is 99 cents.

Vegas Mate

Pros: Uses Google Maps for navigation and shares ratings for hotels, shows, etc. Tourist tips answer a range of questions and address gambling superstitions.

Cons: No eye candy.

Cost: $1.99 for iPhone.

MGM properties in your pocket

Pros: Individual apps for Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo and New York New York each have in-app tutorials, GPS-enabled maps and app-only promos for discounts. Action buttons put the resort concierge, room service, bell desk, box office, wedding chapel, etc. just a tap away. Most include a primer on blackjack, craps, etc., with Luxor and MGM Grand offering the best. The Bellagio app features its fountains and conservatory, and Aria highlights its spa and Liquid pool lounge.

Cons: Apps for the Aria, New York New York, Excalibur, Circus Circus and Mirage fall short on gambling explanations.

Cost: Free for Android and iPhone.

City Center Fine Art Collection

Pros: Photographs and the lowdown on the art and artists at the collections at Vdara, Aria, Mandarin Oriental and other spots.

Cons: Podcast interviews with artists would make the tour soar.

Cost: Free for iPhone.

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Pros: This app can book rooms at Bally's, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, Harrah's, Imperial Palace, Paris and Rio, as well as list special offers. It serves up the scoop on Caesars' statues and provides in-depth gambling tutorials. A postcard feature lets you shoot a photo, drop it into a Caesars backdrop and then email it.

Cons: Only photos of Caesars are onboard. The bar won't launch unless you tap directly on the text (such as accommodations) rather than anywhere on each bar.

Cost: Free for Android and iPhone.

Wynn Las Vegas

Pros: Images and videos rock; in-app dialing and email help book rooms, shows, golf, etc. at the Wynn and Encore resorts.

Cons: No maps, gambling tips or special offers.

Cost: Free for iPhone.

Palms Casino & Hotel

Pros: A trendy app with exclusive offers and action buttons to book rooms and make show or nightclub reservations.

Cons: It lists table games but offers no basic rules.

Cost: Free for Android and iPhone.

The Beatles Love

Pros: This entertaining collaborative app from Apple and Cirque du Soleil lets you experience some of the "Love" show at the Mirage with 10 free Beatles songs and behind-the-scenes photos and videos.

Cons: 16 songs aren't free and cost $1.29 each, or $12.99 for the show/remix soundtrack.

Cost: Free for iPhone and Android.

GPSMyCity Top 20 Vegas Wedding Chapels

Pros: App details wedding chapels and highlights celebrity hitching posts such as the Little White Wedding Chapel, where Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow tied the knot and Bruce Willis wed Demi Moore.

Cons: App offers fewer cost details, but the writing is more engaging than in other GPSMyCity Vegas apps (Day Trips, City Walks, etc.)

Cost: $2.99 for iPhone.