Apps You Won’t Get Rid Of

Nov 15, 2011

I am right this very second sitting in a cafe on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua. Before I left the US I cleaned almost every app off of my phone. “I won’t need these or use these” I thought and for many of them it was true. These however have stayed on my phone and a few have made their way back on when I had a decent enough connection to download something. If you use these normally don’t take them off your phone just because you’re travelling to a different country… you may well find you want them.

Words With Friends Pro

Having a bit of playful interaction when you’re traveling is nice. It’s especially nice when you’re traveling solo. That said I do find my ability to do well decreases in direct proportion to how much of another language I’m speaking. Ah well, winning isn’t everything.


Yahoo Messenger – free SMS, video & voice calls

I ditched this from my phone assuming I wouldn’t have the connection to use it. Turns out I use it more here than at home, at least the phone version. Even when the tubes have been really small I’ve found this works pretty well with only a little lag. Sure, everyone assumes I shouldn’t be on a computer but out exploring but when you’re a solo traveler in a country where you don’t speak the language talking with friends is incredibly comforting.



I hate having guidebooks with me. As I’m not one of those travelers with two backpacks (just one small one the size of a medium duffle) extra weight is something I care about. So how does this app help? Download all of a guidebook or a portion to pdf, upload it to dropbox, star it so it’s saved for offline use and now you have it in your pocket. In general I find that I don’t use a guidebook that often but having the names of a few places to stay should the ones I find on my own look too dodgy is very, very helpful.

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I always think I don’t need this app as I’ll manage uploads on my netbook instead but it never fails that I want it for travel. Often when the webs are slow I’ll use this as a way to upload a picture or two from my phone rather than turning on the computer and hoping the connection is good enough to work. Just a bit less labor intensive when you want to do just a pic or two at a time and these are coming from your phone anyway.


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