As a frequent traveler, I for one wouldn’t even dream of going away without my precious tablet. It has been a great little helper in the past, whether helping us decide where to eat or what to see. In this article, we’ll take a look at 3 top apps that I would never leave the house, let alone the country without! They’re designed to maximise your relaxation – and that’s well worth the investment!
City Maps 2Go. Why? Because it’s free. Second why? Because you can download city maps for anywhere – and store them offline. That means no roaming fees!
The app not only offers maps free (did I mention that it’s free?), but reviews, ratings and bookmarks for numerous landmarks around the world. It’s snagged five-star reviews, supports the new Retina iPad, and even synchronises with Wikipedia to give you information about points of interest (POIs) around you. Because all of this is cached offline – you pre-configure it before you leave the country – there are no roaming charges. Put simply, it’s indispensable to have on your tablet.
Though the app doesn’t offer the sheer weight of content found in internet-connection-on apps (such as Yelp), reviewers said that “you probably wouldn’t notice” – there is plenty to go by. And, if you’re backpacking light, it truly is indispensable. Tablets are ideal for viewing maps, and this app provides a truly authentic map experience ( for free!).
Flight+. Available for both iOS and Android, this beautifully-designed app is a must for any tablet-wielding flyer. It does almost everything you could ask for in an airport application. Real-time flight tracking, accurate weather forecasts, seating charts, delays – the app has been designed “by mobile development professionals who travel a lot”. That shows. There’s a low-data and even an ultra-low data option so you won’t be soaking up your roaming time. Sounds good? It’s just under $5, a steal for any flying traveler.
Vocre Translator. It’s hard not to get extremely excited about this app. An iOS-only affair (for the time being), Vocre removes language boundaries completely. And it’s really, really good at it. It listens for languages, and translates between them. And not just one language at a time – two people can hold a conversation in their native tongues, with Vocr acting as an interpreter. It’s a work-in-progress: the app relies on Nuance’s Speech Recognition backend which is far from perfect, but it’s an impressive indicator of what’s possible in the near future. And it’s perfectly useable now.
The only drawback is that it requires an Internet Connection to perform translations, so watch for roaming charges. On the other hand, can you put a price on making friends without language barriers?
So there we have it. Three indispensable apps that you’d be barmy to leave the country without. Technology and travel can go hand-in-hand, and there’s no need for it to detract from your surroundings. Stuff that works well – and these three really do – can enhance any trip abroad.