Posted June 14th, 2016, 06:23 AM
Hello to anyone who might still be subscribed to this thread. I posted the text below on the Princess board in response to a question and I thought I'd make it available here for anyone who might be interested. Some favorite apps we discussed here just a few years ago have been replaced while others are still going strong.
Below are a few iOS apps I find essential for travel abroad. Many are available for Android also...
HERE...For online and offline navigation:
HERE is a great GPS Maps app. You can download the maps you’ll need before you leave and then use the app in offline mode so you don’t use cellular data. Put your app in offline mode, your iPhone in Airplane mode and you’re good to go.
Set up an account at HERE.com. Save favorite locations to Collections…hotel, Vatican, Pantheon, restaurants, etc….then login on the iPhone app and your locations will sync to your iPhone. Great app!!
NancyR2 introduced me to WhatsApp Messenger. It will allow you to make phone calls and text over Wi-Fi for free to others who have the app. I haven’t used it in Europe yet, but I’ve been told it works great. Be sure people back home install the app also.
Rick Steves' Audio Europe:
Is this the one you use? Download audio tours to your iPhone after you install the app. Excellent audio tours allow you to explore and learn about various important sites on your own…no need for a guide. Be sure you have your earbuds with you.
Rome and Barcelona both have subway service. Be sure to download the data for whatever city you're visiting before you leave home. We used it extensively in Paris a few years ago...fantastic app!
Citymapper works a lot like HERE in that it has a website where you can enter favorite locations and then sync them over to your iPhone. It’ll get you from point A to B using walking, public transportation and taxis…or a combination.. Unfortunately, full use requires a data connection for accurate bus schedules, etc. However, you could map your route at the hotel before you leave using Wi-Fi then take a screen shot to refer to after you leave.
Google Translate now does translation offline. Be sure to download the language data files you'll need before you leave for Europe.
TextGrabber is another very good translation app. I got it when it was free...I believe there is a nominal charge for it now.
I know Uber operates in many European cities...but not Barcelona. If you use the app in North America, you should have it available to use in Europe.
FlightView / Tripit:
I use both FlightView and Tripit for flight tracking. Both have websites for syncing flight info with their app on your phone. FlightView does a much better job with tracking and notifying you of flight changes; Tripit also handles hotels, transfers, tours or anything else you might want to input.
With both apps you can forward your flight itinerary from the airline to them and the data will automatically be input into the app once you sync.
I couldn't function without Evernote. I use it for storing all kinds of documents, but it really shines for travel documents...confirmations, itineraries, etc. Evernote will work on all computers and devices and keep everything in sync everywhere.
It's free with limited syncing and very reasonable for unlimited syncing.
A word about using GPS apps on an iPhone. I have an iPhone 6 on which GPS functions properly when in Airplane Mode. With some older iPhones GPS will not work when in airplane Mode. If you're planning to use GPS apps on an iPhone, try it out before leaving home. Put your iPhone in Airplane Mode then trying using your apps.