Ten Apps for your travels
- 27th November 2015
There are literally tens of thousands of mobile apps pitched at travellers covering everything from finding directions to translating the local language. But which ones should you download on your phone before and during your trip? Here at bmi regional we’ve selected ten, covering a range of different travel situations.
PackPoint (www.packpnt.com) – The first question is of course what should you take with you?
If you are unsure of what to pack, PackPoint will tell you. Simply tell the app where you are going, what the purpose of your trip is, the length of your stay, and you’ll be given a list of things to take!
Uber (www.uber.com (www.uber.com) – Once you arrive, you will want a way of getting around.
Frequent travellers in particular like Uber because of its convenience. Create an account, link it with your credit card, download the app and you are ready to go. Just open the app and order a taxi wherever you happen to be.
Uber currently works in the following bmi regional destinations – Bristol, Brussels, Milan, Munich, Newcastle and Rotterdam.
Here (www.here.com) – Your phone will have a map app pre-installed, but as an alternative to Apple or Google Maps, you could consider using Here.
Formerly owned by Nokia, it was sold to German car manufacturers Audi, BMW and Daimler for £2 billion in August.
Features include the ability to download maps in over 100 countries, meaning you are not at the mercy of expensive data plans or a wifi signal, and public transport directions for over 1000 cities.
Finally, Here has indoor maps for shopping centres and airports around the world.
**XE Currency (www.xe.com/apps)**. With iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows versions, XE Currency gives you live exchange rates, as well as a mobile currency calculator. Useful for working out how much something costs on the spot. Or indeed if you are about to go into a business meeting and you need to know what to sell your services or products for.
Especially when it comes to making sense of signs and menus, Google Translate can help. The app allows you to type to translate 90 languages, you can use your camera to translate text instantly in 26 languages, and you additionally get two-way automatic speech translation in 40 languages.
**Quip (www.quip.com)** – You won’t always have your laptop with you, sometimes you’ll want to take notes or even start writing documents on your phone.
Launched two years ago by ex Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, Quip claimed at the time to be the worlds first mobile-first word processor.
Quip has since evolved into a productivity tool that lets teams chat and edit documents on the go.
However, for the individual user it’s still free – and with the recent launch of its desktop app anything you write on your mobile will appear on your PC too.
As an on the go writing app, Quip is extremely user friendly. In fact, it was used to write this blog piece!
(As an alternative, Evernote (www.evernote.com) has much of the same functionality)
**WalkJogRun** (www.walkjogrun.com) – Even if you are in an unfamiliar city, you might still want to go for your morning run. That’s where this iPhone App and website come in.
Enter the address where you are and you’ll be presented with a range of routes added by other users. For instance, here’s one for Central Munich covering just over three miles – http://j.mp/1I0NyE3
Viber (www.viber.com) – To avoid expensive roaming charges you’ll need a messaging and voice app when abroad, that you can use within reach of a WiFi signal. The chances are you’ve already got a Skype account, though as an alternative, Viber is worth a look.
Viber offers free calls between phones that have the app installed, and you can purchase “Viber Out” credit to call other phone numbers. In addition it has instant messaging capabilities and you can use it to share files.
Viber is available on all devices – Blackberry and Windows, as well as iPhone and Android.
Foodspotting (www.foodspotting.com) – Want to know what the food actually looks like before you set foot in a restaurant? Foodspotting is a community of food enthusiasts who photograph what they eat and upload the pics online.
Foodspotting has mobile apps for every platform, as well as a website. In addition, the makers of the app encourage you to use the hashtag #foodspotting on Instagram.
The coverage of the app is fairly extensive, for example, here’s some of the restaurants in bmi regional destination Jonkoping – http://www.foodspotting.com/find/best/jonkoping-/in/The-World.
Google Photos (photos.google.com) – Finally, though not a travel app as such, Google Photos has two features that anyone who likes to take lots of pictures on their phone while travelling will like.
First of all like a number of other apps, Google Photos will back up the pictures on your phone (Flickr and Dropbox do the same).
However in an update that’s just been announced, Google Photos will be able to free up storage on your phone by deleting pics once they’ve been uploaded.
That means you can take as many photos as you want and, if you only have a 16gb phone, you don’t have to worry about running out of space (just make sure you find a WiFi spot to back everything up).
This feature is rolling out on Android and coming to iOS very soon.