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Ten Great Travellers' Apps (Part 1)

Published: Sep 28, 2012
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Wifi Finder

Wifi Finder

(iOS and Android)

Ultimately, this app will be the most essential on the list; virtually everything requires the Internet these days, and roaming data is often too expensive for anyone without an expense account. With Wifi Finder, just a few bits of data will show you the closest wifi hotspot, so you can do the bulk of your work without fees.

 

 

What's App 2

WhatsApp Messenger

(iOS, Android and Blackberry)

WhatsApp Messenger helps you circumvent probably the biggest problem with using your phone while you travel: bills. This gem uses the normal phone numbers from your contacts list to send free, net-based text messages via wifi. These don’t go through your provider, so they won’t show up on your bill. Don’t be restricted, take to the net!

Packing

Packing

(iOS)

More than just a checklist app, Packing will make you a more versatile traveler, reminding you of the various objects often forgotten right up until they become essential. From passports to USB cables and beyond, packing will make sure you’re never left out in the cold.

Currency Converters

XE Currency/Oanda Currency Converter

(iOS, Android, Blackberry)

Planning your finances can be a nightmare at the best of times, and that’s doubly true when you make transactions in unfamiliar units. A train costs 50 Euro, but a spoon costs 1,000 yen? It’s always a good idea to keep a versatile currency converter on hand. That way, you always know what you’re spending.

Skype

Skype

(iOS, Android, Blackberry)

The telecommunications industry is still struggling to catch up with the newly interconnected globe, and even a simple phone call can costs dearly. With Skype, the world’s most popular VOIP (Voice Over IP) client, any call is just a few cents per minute. All you need is an internet connection, and a few dollars loaded onto a Skype account. With Skype, your calls home can take as long as they need to.

Translators

Vocre/Google Translate

(iOS, Android, Blackberry)

Most tourist destinations will have at least a sprinkling of English-capable people, but a dedicated traveller is still bound to run into at least a few insurmountable language barriers. In these cases, it’s technology to the rescue: just speak clearly into the phone, and these apps will spit out a tinny, robotic translation. It’s not perfect, but it can be enough to keep travellers on track in even the most foreign locales.

Texi Magic

Taxi Magic

(iOS, Android)

One of the hardest parts about a new city is transportation. Taxis are a logical solution, but are often slow in coming, and unpredictable in their idiosyncrasies. Taxi Magic levels this playing field, letting you use its intuitive interface to book, track, contact, and even pay for taxi service across North America.

Poynt

(iOS, Android)

Poynt is the yellow-pages on steroids. It provides a comprehensive business search function, letting you find restaurants and venues, but also maintains event listings, movie showtimes, even gas prices! With Poyn, any city can feel at least a little bit like home.

Wikitude

Wikitude

(iOS, Android)

Wikitude offers a fun and novel way to interact with the world around you; simply view your surroundings through your cell phone’s built in camera, and Wikitude will layer tags and information onto the picture. Simply hold the camera over a cityscape to see the major locations, or scan a street to easily browse shops.

Foodspotting

Foodspotting

(iOS, Android)

Foodspotting has taken restaurant reviews to another level – a lower one. This app lets you browse customer reactions to individual meals, rather than whole establishments. If you’re torn between a few choice menu items, this app can stand between you and some wasted cash.

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