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The Derive app allows you to explore urban areas spontaneously. - 

With the increasing reliance on smartphones and technology to get around, it's easy to fall into routines -- taking the most efficient route to get to work or walking to the same corner coffee shop at lunch. 

But a few new apps are hoping to force us to get lost and discover more of the cities around us:

Drift 

From Broken City Lab, the Drift app "helps you get lost in familiar places by guiding you on a walk using randomly assembled instructions. Each instruction will ask you to move in a specific direction and, using the compass, look for something normally hidden or unnoticed in our everyday experiences." Drift is free and is currently only available on the iOS store. 

Dérive 

Dérive (named after an interesting Parisian movement in the 1940s, by the way) was created as a "simple but engaging platform that allows users to explore their urban spaces in a care-free and casual way. Too often in urban centers we are controlled by our day to day activities thus closing off urban experiences that exist around us. Dérive app was created to try to nudge those people who are in this repetitive cycle to allow the suggestions and subjectivities of others to enter into their urban existences." Dérive is available through their website.

What's your favorite way to explore a city? Let us know in the comments

Follow Raghu Manavalan at @@RaghuNotRagu