Handy travel apps for iPhone and Android

Jan 21, 2010
Tech

There’s nothing more useful than GPS for a traveling smart phone user. No matter where you are or what you need, you can navigate your way around any situation, as long as you have a signal. For iPhone and Android users, there are plenty of mobile apps that will come in handy while you travel.  […]

There’s nothing more useful than GPS for a traveling smart phone user. No matter where you are or what you need, you can navigate your way around any situation, as long as you have a signal.

For iPhone and Android users, there are plenty of mobile apps that will come in handy while you travel.  Finding nearby banks and Wi-Fi, booking hotels or participating in global treasure hunts are only the tip of the iceberg. 

Shared Maps apps

MapWith.Us (free) lets you mark your travels on a map and share it with the community.  Created for iPhones, the MapWith.Us iPhone app lets you access the shared maps of others, which could be helpful when navigating a new city. Include photos, audio and text notes with your map markings for a more personalized experience.

8footprints is an easy to use mapping app for Android.  A free app, 8footprints welcomes you with your location’s, time, temperature and humidity.  You can mark locations as you travel and add notes. You can also share with other 8footprints users or tweet them. Through this app, you can also message with other users to learn more information about a given locale.

AndAndo is a free mapping tool for Android users.  Similar to MapWith.Us for the iPhone, AndAndo will track your travels, letting you mark locations on a map.  For travel purposes, a tool like this is useful when you want to use the data for a later date, such as a hiking trail you found while camping. Warning: AndAndo drains batteries while tracking.

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Search and Navigation apps

Sometimes, you really need to connect to the Internet while traveling. Find the nearest hot spot with Wi-Fi Finder, a free app for iPhone users.  You can search based on your GPS location, or you can enter a zip code.  View details of each location and bookmark the ones you like the best.

Earthcomber (free) is a handy iPhone app for travelers.  The GPS and navigation tool will help you find nearby venues, banks, free Wi-Fi and attractions.  Earthcomber is also a social networking tool, so you can keep tabs with your travel buddies while also sharing your experiences with friends.

New York City is a popular travel destination, and most visitors (and residents) don’t have their own cars. Enjoy the city through the transit system, with iPhone users getting help from iTransit NYC Subway.  Access train schedules, get walking directions and receive offline advisory updates with this free iPhone app.

Every once in a while, you’ll need to make a hotel reservation on the go. The free phoneHotel app for Android uses GPS to find nearby hotels that match your search query. Preference options let you search by hotel rating, availability, and all the other settings you’ve come to expect from a comparison hotel search tool.

Fun and Games

If you’re into geocaching, then GPS Mission PRO is a fun iPhone app to play while traveling.  Themed as a ghost-hunter game, you search the world for hidden items in this $2.99 iPhone app.  With support for over 70 countries and the option to log your travels and share them with friends along the way, GPS Mission is a new option for sharing your travel tales.

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Graffitio is an interesting concept based on graffiti art left in various locations to share messages amongst people.  iPhone users can take advantage of their GPS location to pull up any wall messages other iPhone app users have left for that very same location.  While this could use more search options, it’s an interesting app to use while traveling.

Geocaching fans may get a kick out of the GeoBeagle app for Android.  GeoBeagle (free) gives access to three major geocaching sites, which can also be synced with your phone for offline access.  The geocache queues are pulled in via Google Maps, letting you mark your found treasures as you go about your journey.

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