I recently broke down and bought an iPhone 4.
I held out valiantly against joining the Army of Apple, but when my Windows Mobile phone died because of a disastrous Android experiment (I turned the phone into a paperweight) I decided to jump into the 21st century and get an iPhone.
One of the best decision of 2010 for me. The iPhone has over 300,000 apps for all kinds of uses. Anything you can think of that can be done on a computer/laptop/netbook, you can probably find an app that will do it also.
Combining my two loves, travel and tech, I decided to look at some of the travel apps available for the iPhone. Many of these are available for other phones, so don’t you Android, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry users feel left out.
All of the following apps are FREE so you can easily delete them off your iPhone and not worry about losing 99 cents or more for every one that is a dud.
Sit or Squat
Sponsored by tissue maker Charmin, Sit or Squat gives you the chance to find a bathroom, preferably a clean and fresh smelling one. No one wants to walk around doing the “Hold It In Dance” and be forced into a dirty gas station. Did you know there was a nice hotel around the corner? Or a McDonald’s five blocks down? With this app, you are never far away from decent facilities to answer the call of nature.
You’ve prbably heard of Foursquare and it’s competition, Gowalla. You pull out your phone and it uses the GPS to find out where you are and point out places of interest nearby, including restuarants, museums, etc. The best part is that other users leave tips about places as you get closer to them. If you’re approaching a store, you can see a tip that says, “Talk to Jane. She’s the best salesperson and she’ll get get you a great discount.” Or you approach the diner listed and it pops up with, “Don’t get the steak. It has the consistency of rubber. Better off getting the breakfast items off the menu.” Any place and every place can have an entry and if there isn’t one, you can create it yourself. This is the best demonstration of user created content and using peer reviews to make the best decisions. Think of it as a portable TripAdvisor, offering suggestions and allowing you to create your own.
World Nomads Language Phrases
I’m sure there are applications that do more and have a wider vocabulary, but the World Nomads apps (they have multiple languages) gives you the ability to speak a new language just by touching the phrase in English and having the iPhone say it out loud. So if you want to say where is the bathroom in Kyoto and you could not say in Japanese to save your life, you don’t have to say it. Your iPhone can do it for you.
Some would say it is the height of laziness to have your phone do it instead of you, but I say take or do whatever you need to make YOUR trip enjoyable.
When you’re sick aborad and need to find a physician, check out this app. Created by two doctors, it gives you the ability to diagnose your symptoms, give yourself basic first aid and find a doctor. If you trust Google and have your health information entered there, iTriage links up with it.
The currency converter I use on the web is now an iPhone app. Use it to convert currency in a clean interface.
Not sure if this works outside of the United States, but this finds red light cameras and speed traps as you drive along. It also warns you with voice interaction to slow down because you’re approaching a school zone. Helpful when you’re in a new town and if there’s a voice warning you to slow down, it could help keep you and others around you safe. Could even save you from a speeding ticket!