AAA’s TripTik Mobile iPhone app a must for road warriors

May 25, 2010

When I downloaded AAA’s new iPhone and iPod Touch app, The best part of TripTik is its navigation feature. Enter in a destination and you’ll be able to pull up written directions, just like in Google Maps. However, tap the co-pilot button and, as long as your sound is on, you’ll hear voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions.

After completing a step, simply shake the device—great if you’re traveling solo and can’t safely look at the phone—to hear the next step. Shaking the device also updates your location, so if you’ve made a wrong turn, the app will know. While TripTik does work on iTouch and iPad, you’ll need a constant Internet connection for this feature to work; so it’s best used on iPhone or iPad 3G. I didn’t see a way to clear the route, only replace it with a new destination. There also isn’t a way to modify directions if you wanted to avoid a certain area, but since you’re getting audio GPS in a free app, I’m not going to complain too much.

TripTik Mobile relies on your location to display AAA-rated points of interest nearby, including restaurants, hotels and gas stations (with gas pricing included). The navigation of the explore feature takes a little getting used to—tap the icons to display those points-of-interest on the map. You can also view the results in list format. However, the search bar is for addresses only; you can’t look up a specific location, which may be something AAA might want to include in the future. If, say, no auto shops appear in your immediate area, you can tap the screen to expand the search field. You won’t necessarily see everything near you, as the app relies on AAA’s database of approved sites.

TripTik also has built-in access to Roadside Assistance. There is a field to store your AAA member number, which will then be sent automatically anytime you need help saving you time of fumbling for your card.

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