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pin drop appPin Drop

Cost: Free Usability:

With the Pin Drop app you can make sure you know exactly where all those favourite places you stumbled upon on your travels are, without having to actually remember yourself. Just drop a pin wherever you are in the world, and you will always know how to get back there. You can share pins with your friends and back them up to the website so even if you lose your phone, you won't lose your pins. If you're the kind of person who loves to just explore new places without guidebooks or maps then this is the perfect app for you.

Pros

Genuinely useful and so simple to use.

Cons

None really, but it isn't available for Android or Blackberry... yet.

 

word lensWord Lens

Cost: Free Usability:

How many times have you stared at a foreign sign or menu pondering what all the words meant? Just point your iPhone or iPad camera at the text and the Word Lens app will translate the written words for you! The translation is provided in an instant and the app is incredibly easy to use. As far as translation apps go, this has to be one of the most innovative apps available at the moment. It is not always exactly spot on with its results, but the translation goes a long way in helping you understand what you're looking at.

Pros

Doesn't need an internet connection.

Cons

Limited Language support, and the language packs don't translate both ways.

 

aroundme appAroundMe

Cost: Free Usability:

When you're in a new place it's nice to know where things are. AroundMe provides you with locations for pretty much everything you could need. Whether it's the nearest cashpoint, coffee shop, petrol station, or hospital, the AroundMe app points you in the right direction so you always know where you're going. And this is undoubtedly it’s coolest feature – put it into augmented reality mode, and you can use the back camera to look ‘through’ your iPhone’s screen in order to see an overlay of what is physically around you. It integrates with TomTom, Navigon, and other navigation software, and you can even find out cinema schedules with it. Although it can be used in a variety of different countries, listings can be a little inaccurate sometimes and the augmented reality mode is slightly off sometimes (though it seems to be improving with each update). The advertisements can be irritating too, but for £1.99 you can get rid of those.

Pros

Augmented reality option makes it even more fun to use!

Cons

Has been honed for the United States, but other countries could still be improved.

 

Photosynth appPhotosynth

Cost: Free Usability:

Showing off the amazing views you encounter on your travels is possible with the Photosynth app. The beauty of this photography app is its interactive panorama capture that creates a stunning panoramic image by stitching together lots of smaller /img/seopages. You can take photos going up and down as well as from left to right, so that the entirety of any scene can be captured. The image stitching engine takes care of the rest, and once it's ready, you can save them to your online Photosynth account, and easily share them with friends through Facebook and Twitter.

Pros

Powerful photography app that's simple to use.

Cons

Image quality isn't great, and it doesn't support the high megapixel cameras on the latest iPhone and iPad.

 

help callHelp Call

Cost: £1.99 Usability:

Indispensable in an emergency, Help Call could save your life. The idea is by no means ground breaking, but the urgent assistance this app could provide is unquestionably important as it includes a database of emergency numbers from across the globe, and currently covers 126 different countries. The app automatically recognises the country it is being used in, so you don't need to select where you are. Four large buttons allow you to quickly contact either the main emergency services, as well as a friend whose number you can add in the settings.

Pros

Potentially life-saving app.

Cons

Doesn't yet cover every country in the world.

 

simply declareSimply Declare

Cost: £1.49 Usability:

Simply Declare is an innovative app that lets you manage your travel purchases, and makes declaring them all for duty purposes a doddle. You can manage multiple travellers with the app, so you can take advantage of all your party's duty free allowances. Just set the total amount you can spend, and as you add bought items you can see what you have left to use. The app automatically calculates the exchange rate between multiple currencies, and the rates are updated in real-time.

Pros

Take photos of your receipts and invoices and add them to your purchase list for backup.

Cons

Needs Wi-Fi to keep the exchange rates constantly updated.

 

packing proPacking Pro

Cost: £1.99 Usability:

The Packing Pro app has featured in numerous top travel app lists from publications like National Geographic and the Wall Street Journal, and for good reason. If you travel frequently and often need to take different items for each trip, Packing Pro provides practical help. Create comprehensive packing lists, and enter your destination and duration of stay to have an expert list assistant check it for you. The expert list assistant then suggests changes like taking extra socks and sunscreen, or leaving that extra jumper at home depending on these factors. The ability to auto-sync lists and settings through iCloud and extensively customize the design lets you make this app your own.

Pros

It does a good job of making sure you pack everything you need, and nothing you don't.

Cons

Can't actually pack your bag for you.

 

flightTrack proFlightTrack Pro

Cost: £6.99 Usability:

FlightTrack Pro is a powerful flight tracking app that gives you everything you need to avoid being stuck in an airport waiting for a delayed flight. The app connects to over 16,000 airports and 1,400 airlines across the world, so that it can provide constantly updated information about whichever flight you are travelling on. Know if your flight is delayed or cancelled before you get to the airport, and track your flight's progress in real-time. Even find out facts about the aircraft you're flying in, how fast it's going and what altitude it's at, while on-board with the offline mode.

Pros

Has been around for a while now so is very accurate and reliable.

Cons

You won't be able to use the app with charter flights or private aircraft.

 

vocreVocre

Cost: Free Usability:

A truly groundbreaking translation app featuring some astounding technology. Essentially, the Vocre app converts your iDevice into your own personal interpreter; speak into the microphone in your selected language, and the app plays back what you said in a completely different language. The person you are communicating with can then do the same, so that you can understand what they are saying, completely breaking down the language barrier between you both. The app is still being developed so may have a few teething problems.

Pros

Being able to communicate with someone when you can't speak their language.

Cons

Translation still not perfect, so you have to talk slowly and clearly for best results.

 

ViatorViator

Cost: Free Usability:

Never struggle to find something to do while on holiday again. The Viator app provides information on 9,000 different attractions and tours spread across more than 750 locations, along with user reviews and photos to sort the good from the bad. Adjust your search by location, date, and activity, and then book it straight from the app to take advantage of money saving deals. Ok, so the technology behind this app is nothing special, but its usability and flexibility provide you with a hassle free way to quickly organise things to do while on your travels.

Pros

Avoid paying too much to unscrupulous tour agents.

Cons

Some tourist destinations aren't covered, especially in developing countries.

 

ATPI On The GoATPI On the Go

Cost: Free Usability:

This app has been specially developed for business travellers, but with its huge variety of features is useful to anyone who spends a lot of time travelling. It combines some essential tools for travel so that you can find everything you need in one place. Store you passport, driving licence, and visa details in the mobile wallet, and put all your travel booking references in the mobile itinerary. Through the app you can search for flights, check your flight's status, and access a travel directory with emergency numbers and local etiquette tips for over 100 top destinations.

Pros

Organise all your travel details in one place.

Cons

Boiled down it's just a combination of different apps already available.

 

EveryTrailEveryTrail

Cost: Free Usability:

With the help of GPS, your smartphone can be used to track your travels with the EveryTrail app. Simply tap to start a new route, and the GPS tracker logs exactly where you wander to as you move along. Take photos and capture videos as you walk, and instantly add them to the route. Once you've finished, you will have created your own tour that you can share with friends and other EveryTrail users. You can also follow tours that other users have uploaded, and use the app for all types of activities, like skiing, sailing, and cycling to name just a few.

Pros

No need to pay for those guided tours anymore.

Cons

The app requires the GPS to be permanently while you're recording your track, which can drain the phone battery quickly.

 

wi-fi finderWi-Fi Finder

Cost: Free Usability:

We all know the best places to pick up some free Wi-Fi where we live, but what about when we're on holiday? With the Wi-Fi Finder app you won't have to go out in search of a hotspot, because it will tell you exactly where the nearest one to you is. Sort from free access and paid access, and once you've chosen your destination the app will provide contact details and directions to get there. This app will save you a few bob in roaming charges if you simply have to go online, and won't cost you a penny to download.

Pros

Wi-Fi locations are all stored offline.

Cons

Some of the Wi-Fi listings are out of date and advertisements are irritating.

 

touchnote postcardsTouchnote

Cost: Free Usability:

Forgot to send those postcards to friends and family back home? Use the Touchnote app to send personalised postcards with your own unique photo and message without even having to visit a post office. What's more, it will probably cost you less to send a postcard using Touchnote than it would to send the real thing. Each postcard sent out costs £1.49, but discounts are available if you buy packs in advance. You can customise your postcards offline and then send them when you have access to a Wi-Fi hotspot, saving even more money by avoiding roaming charges.

Pros

Save time by sending out multiple postcards without having to write each one out.

Cons

Postcards being sent to countries other than the US, UK, Australia, or Germany will take longer than four days to arrive.

 

plane finder arPlane Finder AR

Cost: £1.99 Usability:

Point your iPhone's camera at a plane passing high overhead, and you will be presented with all sorts of interesting facts about it. The Plane Finder AR app is one of those augmented reality apps that leaves you wondering exactly how it works. Well, the vast majority of commercial airplanes carry Aurora ADS-B equipment which transmits feeds that are picked up by the app. The type of information the app shows you is the flight number of the aircraft, its registration, how fast it's going, how high it is, and how far away from you it is. Exactly what you do with these facts is entirely up to you!

Pros

The app takes full advantage of the iPhone's Augmented Reality capabilities.

Cons

Doesn't have a really useful or practical purpose for most travellers.

 

JetLag GenieJetLag Genie

Cost: £1.99 Usability:

Long haul flights and jet lag go hand in hand, but there is a way to drastically reduce the effects of jet lag with the help of the JetLag Genie app. Just input your flight details and your regular sleeping pattern to receive a personalised game plan that will help you to feel fresh and energetic after travelling half way across the world. You'll be notified when you should sleep and wake, and times to get out in the sunshine or stay inside with the lights off. It will even recommend when you should take the natural sleep aid melatonin.

Pros

Simple way to get the most out of your trip.

Cons

A fairly new app, so a few bugs have been reported.

 

onavo extendOnavo Extend

Cost: Free Usability:

Here’s a one for cost-savvy travellers: with one neat trick, the Onavo Extend app compresses the data usage of your smartphone so that you pay less for your data plan. It connects to Onavo cloud-based technology which shrinks your other apps data usage, and also keeps track of exactly how much you've spent, and how much you've saved using the app. It works at home and abroad, but has been optimized for use while overseas. It will even tell you which apps have the highest data usage so that you can avoid using them when possible.

Pros

Possible to triple your data roaming plan at no extra cost.

Cons

Doesn't support media streaming or VoIP apps like YouTube or Skype yet.

 

hailoHailo

Cost: Free Usability:

Never be left out in the cold waiting for a cab again. This revolutionary app will show you exactly where the nearest taxi is, and with a tap of a button will send it your way. You can even pay for the cab using your debit or credit card if you're low on cash, with no extra charges on top of the meter rate. The Hailo app has been specifically designed for registered black cabs only to ensure safety while travelling, but is currently only available in London, Dublin, Toronto, and Chicago. Being a relatively new app more cities will undoubtedly become available soon.

Pros

Watching a cab approach you on the map is curiously addictive.

Cons

You might end up using cabs much more than you usually would.

 

WeatherProWeatherPro

Cost: £2.49 Usability:

Possibly the best weather forecasting app available, WeatherPro will make sure you're prepared for the climate no matter where you are travelling to. It provides detailed weather reports for over 2 million different locations across the globe. The Beach Weather feature tells you the water temperature of your holiday destination, along with the UV Index so you know how much sunscreen to slap on. If you're heading on a skiing holiday, access detailed information about your resort, including snow depth, number of lifts and pistes open, and even a live webcam if the resort has one. It can even connect to global satellites to provide animated radar image of where the dreaded rain is heading.

Pros

High quality weather reports from Europe's largest independent weather company.

Cons

Some extra features require in-app purchases.

 

HearPlanetHearPlanet

Cost: £1.99 Usability:

HearPlanet have an ambitious plan to create an audio guide for the entire word. The app lets you listen to a variety of audio guides for hundreds of thousands of locations all over the world, so ditch the guide book and just listen to a guide explain to you what you're looking at. Anyone can contribute a voice recording, whether they’re a seasoned backpacker or simply possess interesting local knowledge, so if you get bored with one speaker, just switch to another. The app will also point you in the direction of landmarks that are worth knowing about.

Pros

Easy way to quickly learn about what you're looking at, without talking your eyes off it.

Cons

Still in development so there are quite a few gaps in less travelled areas to fill.