Now that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is coming to a close, those of us not lucky enough to have experienced it first-hand now have the time to plan our summer holidays. With technology playing a major role in our day to day lives, there is no reason why we should leave it behind when we travel.
Many tech companies are now catering to travellers by providing apps and services to make our travelling experience both convenient and worthwhile, making sure we never miss a flight or a tourist attraction at our favorite holiday destination.
Continuing our series of top apps, Bidness Etc. explored the various app stores to round up its top 5 apps to make your summer travels easier and more efficient.
TripDeck is a comprehensive iPhone Travel Itinerary Manager by Mobiata. The app is a great tool for anyone looking to travel as it combines features such as flight details, hotel reservations, car rentals among many others, into one simple-to-use app.
The app allows users to organize their travel plans by creating an itinerary card for each trip. Within each card, users can then feed in information about their flight, train journey and car rental pick and drop information. Additionally, users can add hotel reservations, including check in and check out times.
Once travel and lodging is fed into the app, users may also add meeting times, restaurant reservations and other activities.
All information added to the app can then be accessed with a single touch; upon launching the app users will see a summary of their entire travel plan in one simple itinerary card. Each itinerary can also be viewed on a map and be shared with friends and family.
The app also allows users to set reminders for each instance with an option to sync the app with their TripIt account.
The app offers live currency rates and charts for worldwide currencies, making it a great companion for anyone travelling to a foreign land.
Upon each update, the app stores the latest rates for easy offline access. Users can also view historical data about each currency, with an additional option to follow the highs and lows of up to 10 currencies at a time.
XE currency also features a ‘Shake to refresh’ feature, which as the name suggests, updates conversion rates every time you give your phone a good shake.
The built in currency converter allows users to easily convert an amount from one currency to the other.
With over 25 million downloads across platforms, its quick load times, offline access and reliable currency conversion rates, it is one of the essential travel apps currently available.
Originally developed by Waze Mobile, Waze is a location-based navigation app available across mobile platforms.
The app combines elements of social media and conventional navigation and map data to provide a smart navigation experience which consistently evolves and expands as more and more users come onboard.
In 2013, the app won numerous awards, including the prestigious ‘Best Overall Mobile App’ award at the Mobile World Congress. The same year, after interest from companies such as Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL) announced its acquisition of Waze for an estimated $1.3 billion.
Since its acquisition, the app combines its own database with the gargantuan map data of Google Maps to search locations. The apps routing abilities are unique as they incorporate data from users, automatically re-routing to a more efficient route in case of traffic jams or accidents.
The ever expanding user-backed database is also effective in finding alternative routes through small streets and alleys which are missing from most navigation apps.
The turn-by-turn navigation mode also features voice alerts to make sure you never take a wrong turn. Now men will never need to stop and ask for directions!
Users can create their profile and add friends, share routes and location information and provide feedback regarding their route to help others. The social element of the app rewards users with points, giving them a higher influence on reporting optimum routes or events along the way. It is also a great way to keep track of how much distance you have travelled, with a worldwide leaderboard for comparison.
If you are travelling to any foreign country, Waze is sure to become a frequently used app, helping you get to where you want without going through the trouble of asking directions at every step.
The app is a convenient tool for planning your perfect vacation and for finding places of interest no matter where you are in the world.
TripAdvisor allows users to find cheap flights and hotels, find restaurants that would interest you with options to browse by category, price range or location. Each entry is accompanied by countless reviews and photos from other travellers.
Users can also use the “Near Me” feature to find areas of interest close to their current location, making it a great feature for anyone on holiday.
The built-in forums also allow users to find answers to any questions related to a specific destination, with the option to write their own personal reviews and recommendations.
The app is available on both Android and iOS devices and provides a simple one touch solution to all your holiday requirements, and is sure to be a regular feature in ones travels.
No vacation is complete without a barrage of photographs of setting suns, beaches or mountain tops. While panoramic photos give us a larger canvas to capture the glory of a destination, it doesn’t come close to the reality of what our eyes witness.
Photosynth by Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is a powerful app that allows users to take digital 360 degree panoramic images which are then converted into 3D models. Using its built in 3D modeling and panoramic stitching techniques, the app allows users to not only capture panoramas from left to right but also in an upward and downward direction, creating a full 360 degree sphere.
The captured images can be shared with the online social community or with your friends and family. The images can be viewed from any angle, giving a full perspective of the subject.
Users can also follow other users of the app and share the excitement of travelling with those across the world.
The app will make your vacation photos stand out, with the dynamic photos refreshing your most memorable memories with each viewing.