World traveling has become more pervasive as the years go by – nowadays individuals from many varied walks of life are joining in. Subsequently, handheld devices are becoming much more commonplace as well – with almost everyone having a tablet, smartphone or both. So, fittingly enough, let us take a look at 8 of the most beneficial Android apps that World Travelers can make use of.
An important point to consider is to try to utilize apps that have offline capabilities, you should also try to find the best fit for your style and personality. Do you prefer a way to contact people or an on the go way to translate what the locals are saying? Here’s a look at the best the Google Play Store has for world travelers.
As it stands today on the market there are two main apps that should be mentioned.
Google Translate will be the first app that we mention – based purely on the fact that it is usually the go to choice for most people. One of the best features of Google Translate lies in its offline capabilities. Google Translate gives you the ability to have offline translation for when you are traveling and/or don’t have a stable connection. However, if you plan to take advantage of the offline features you will first have to download your preferred language packs (click the pin beside the language). Google Translate also gives you the ability to speak into your device’s microphone and have an on screen translation take place.
On the other hand, Word Lens is a bit different. It is an example of what is called an augmented reality translation app. What this means is that all you have to do is bring up the app; point your device at the text that is to be translated; and “magically” have said text translated and shown on screen. What this means for you is that you will spend far less time typing lengthy difficult sentences. This means you can read things like signs; restaurant menus; and labels on the fly – therefore you can make informed decisions faster. Similarly to Google Translate, Word Lens also has offline capabilities; however, it only supports 7 languages which is dwarfed by Google Translate and its 80 languages. Word Lens supports English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian – if you are looking for other languages then you are out of luck.
It was recently confirmed that Google has actually purchased Word Lens; this means that Google Translate may soon be seeing some Word Lens’ features added to it.
Packing and Organizing
Even before your travels get underway you will obviously have a hefty to-do list. The tickets for your plane ride won’t buy themselves and your hotel won’t just be magically booked when you arrive. To manage every task and relevant information you will have to be vigilant and organized.
One of the best ways to do this is to utilize Tripit Travel Organizer. This useful app gives you the ability to not only compile lists for various purposes, it also provides you with a means of forwarding emails that you find relevant and add them to your itinerary. If you use Gmail then as an added bonus, your Tripit listings will be automatically updated with the details from forwarded emails.
In this category there is really only one app that we should really talk about – that app is XECurrency. It is the most popular currency converter for Android – as showcased by its over 20 million unique downloads.
XECurrency give you the freedom of performing virtual conversions between an extensive listing of global currencies. This means you can be more frugal with managing your limited travel funds while paying your taxi driver or leaving your waitress a tip.
XE Currency is another app that also boasts the asset of having offline capabilities for its conversions. You can also make a catalogue of favorites that you can observe concurrently for maximum efficiency. Another useful addition is the historic rates mode which you can use to view currency trends over prolonged periods of time.
Be it after a few weeks, days, or hours at some time or another while traveling we may all feel the need to contact our loved ones. However, unlike other categories of apps that can make use of offline capabilities, this category has no apps with this ability.
Apps like WhatsApp and Skype are recommended; however, they will most likely be on your device already. Another name worth looking into – while not as popular – is Tango. Tango is often times referred to as an alternative to Skype (or less flatteringly a “Skype clone”) but it has its own flair to make it worthwhile. It allows free voice calls, texts and also voice calls – standard fare for an app like this. However, it also has the inclusion of “channels” that let you listen to news, music, and sports and also share music with Spotify. The only real visible disadvantage that you have to face with Tango is that it is not as widely used by individuals compared to more popular names, so you may have to forgo using it to talk to certain people.
Sooner or later you will either need to continue your travels elsewhere or find your way back home safely. When you need to do either of these things a flight app can be a blessing.
There are two main types of flight apps available for download, online travel agents and meta search services. For online travel agent apps you have choices such as Travelocity, eDreams and Expedia; meta search apps consist of options such as Kayak, Seatguru and Momondo.
One of the most important factors to be considered when booking a flight is the overall price. While many apps will claim to have the lowest prices and best deals, one app outshines the competition, Skyscanner. Studies have shown that the average user can make use of deals that have been averaged to be, at the very least, one percent cheaper that the competition.
Meta search services all have one problem in common, they all eventually have to redirect you to an online travel agent or an airline website so that you can fully complete your booking. The best online travel agent for thrifty users is Cheapoair; while it is not as popular as the competition, it is averaged at being four percent cheaper that the competition. However, the app is not as functional as the more well-known apps on the market like Expedia.
The memories that you make on your travels are often times the best things about the actual travels themselves. However, once time begins to go by, our mental recollections will start to fade a bit – thankfully there are ways that you can organize all of your videos, photos, feelings, and thoughts. Apps like Evernote are an okay enough way to accomplish this, even Facebook has its uses as well. However, if you are a traveler who is serious about your memory keeping, it would do you well to make use of the Vacation and Travel Journal. This app gives you the power to record your travels with audio recordings, video, text, and pictures; after you are done you can then sync your collection on a website so that it can be shared with your loved ones. While the expected information, such as the time and date of each entry are recorded, there are other things as well. Among these are the altitude, latitude, longitude, and the weather – there is also an option to create shared trips that can be edited and used by multiple travelers.
So do you like our selection of Android apps for travelers? Maybe you know an app that we forgot to mention or didn’t add to our list. Let us hear about it in the comments, and finally happy travels.