Monday, May 14, 2012

If you have your Android smartphone with you when traveling, it can make your life considerably easier: tracking flights or finding restaurants and places of interest nearby will take only a couple of minutes, and even speaking with the locals in a foreign city will become possible.

On Google Play you can find many great apps that are really useful when traveling, and they work on all Android devices – it doesn’t matter if those are Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG or Sony smartphones.


1. City guides by TripAdvisor
If you’re going to travel to a city you’ve never been before, you can need some city guides to help you navigate better. The guides by TripAdvisor could be a nice choice – they’ll inform you where you can find good restaurants, what key attractions you should visit when you have free time, and so on. The guides include huge and famous cities all over the world like Paris, London, Rome, Las Vegas, Amsterdam and others, but we hope the developer will add new cities soon enough.

2. Places
Places is a great app that has much in common with the previous one. It uses your Android phone’s GPS to locate you on the map, and then you can search for different places nearby (like restaurants, parks or local businesses), and the app will even show you the route to the place you choose. So it’s really important for navigating in a foreign city.
By the way, Places comes as a built-in feature of the Maps app on many modern Android devices (like HTC’s One X, for example).

3. Google Translate
Unfortunately, there isn’t any program now that can translate as accurately as a human translator, but if you’re alone in a foreign city and have to ask something in the local language, you can use the Google Translate app and its “Conversation Mode”. Of course, it won’t be a great translation, but it’s better than nothing – at least you’ll get the chance to express your thoughts in 63 languages, and the locals will understand what you want to say, even if you make mistakes.

4. Skype
Sometimes you need to make calls while you’re in a foreign country. Such calls, if you use the mobile network, can be rather expensive, so it’s usually a better idea to use the Skype app that will give you the opportunity to make calls, send messages or even video chat using the Wi-Fi or 3G connections – it will cost you much less than usual phone calls.

5. Kindle
Many travelers have to spend hours in airplanes or buses, or just waiting for something. Whenever you have free time and don’t know what to do, you can read books. Of course, you can’t take several or even a single book everywhere with you, but your smartphone is always near at hand, and with the help of Kindle – one of the best ebook reading apps – you can read many books right from your phone.

Google Play holds a huge number of travel apps – above I described only those I regularly use and like a lot, but I’ll later try to review others, too. By the way, if you have a favorite travel app that is absent from my list, do let me know!

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