In Arlington, TX? Try the official Super Bowl app

If you happen to be in Texas for Super Bowl XLV, it's worth your time to download the official app for the Super Bowl. While you could cobble together the same functionality from Google Maps, Yelp and a few other apps with food, travel and event info, why bother? The Super Bowl app is free and offers some pretty useful information.

First, you will want to be on Wi-Fi for the initial opening of the app, as it will download all the mapping info on first run. After that, you'll have a 3D map of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and buttons that will highlight area events, places to eat and more. You can use two fingers to rotate your 3D view, but the 3D is a bit of a gimmick, and this is no GPS app.

Points of interest are filled with live data, and I found the Super Bowl events to be interesting, as you'll want to find real, live parties before, during and after the game. There's also a usable search tool, which you can see in the gallery -- I used it to find local pizza places. Be sure to pull down menus for Dining, Nightlife, Shopping and Entertainment to see what's open at a given hour, or sort by price. You can tap on certain buildings to see what's there as well. During the game, when you're actually at the stadium, you can "enter" the 3D stadium to see gate, elevator and restroom locations.

If you aren't in Texas for the game, check out our apps for planning a Super Bowl party.

The app suffers from a bit of slowness when downloading info, and I'm not sold on the floating menus for each category, but if you're in town for the big game and looking for events around you, or where the bathrooms are in Cowboys Stadium, this free app will let you know without a lot of fuss. One compelling feature: "trending" venues. This shows you where people are congregating, and it'll be fun to watch post-game as people filter to nearby bars and restaurants.

The iPhone and iPad work the same, the interfaces are merely better tuned to their respective screen sizes. The gallery below shows off some features of the iPad app. It's of limited use to those of us not there, but a nice effort for those of you lucky enough to score tickets. There's also the Super Bowl XLV Official Game Program app, billed as a "collectible" for you super fans.