Mobile phone apps make life easy for road warriors, international jet-setters, and busy folk on-the-go. City guide apps and mapping tools just make life easier.
App developers have a finger on the pulse of common and unsolved packing challenges, and there are apps for just about every kind of traveler and traveling conundrum. App design is expensive and getting it right is tough.
Some city guide apps are far better than others, you won’t want to install them all. Apps come and go and are not always kept updated either.
There are a few exceptional city guideÂ apps that simply get you out of tough spots, save you money and keep you safe on your journeys. In other words they earn their permanent place on your smartphone or tablet. These are the apps that you need when in a rush or lost trying to find a client.
Weâ€™ve picked out 5 of the best city guide apps that we believe will be of immense value to creative professionals stuck finding their way around. Whether you want to keep up with the frantic pace of travel, or relax from it, these city guide apps are worthy of your consideration.
Mapping and City Guide Apps
Part one focuses on mapping and city guide travel apps. City guide apps and mapping tools that you will want to install on your iPhone, Windows or Android device.
1. Waze City Guide
Visiting a new city can be a little frustrating if you do not know how to get yourself from one place to another. Now, most travelers are aware that the locals know the best places in the city, but getting this kind of information from a reliable source is difficult. Luckily, with an app like Waze, you can thoroughly enjoy yourself in an unknown city and find the best of what it has to offer.
At its core, Waze is a combination of social networking service with navigation features. It offers a map which is built entirely by the community, and a GPS-featured route detecting feature that helps you make your way through the best routes in the region.
With Waze you also get useful information such as real-time traffic, road conditions and the cheapest gas stations in the area. The community can report police traps, accidents and even update the landmarks and road with an online map editor.
The intuitive interface and wealth of useful information offered has made Waze extremely popular amongst travelers and locals alike, gathering a user base upward of 36 million in more than 110 countries.
Regardless of how well a city is planned, the sheer number of landmarks, buildings and roads makes it difficult to navigate for even the most experienced traveler, as each city has a unique layout.
It is easy to be intimidated by a sprawling metropolis. Yet CityMapper makes it easy for you by providing only the most important information about roads and landmarks. The largest cities are represented by simple routes and getting around was never this easy.
If you are a traveler, chances are that you will be left without a vehicle in an alien city. CityMapper helps you in choosing the right public transit systems when you are getting around in the city.
It also offers a range of unique features, depending upon its availability in the host cities, such as the BikeShare option for New York.
CityMapper offers plenty of route options and a journey planning facility powered by a simple and clean interface, which is why it is the app of choice for places where it is available.
3. Google Maps
When it comes to comprehensive coverage, nothing can quite come close to the premiere mapping app of the world: Google Maps. Covering more than 200 countries the world over, Google Maps shows routes through the densest cities and the most sparsely populated rural regions.
In fact, most travelers prefer using Google Maps over others to navigate through rural regions, as there are very few apps that provide coverage to such areas.
Google Maps is powered by GPS and mobile data, providing everything you need to know. Right from your exact location to the route distance and estimated time of arrival. You can even store maps that you can use offline, a helpful feature for the times you cannot use mobile phone data.
The app also provides information about landmarks, services and businesses in the route upon request. Google Maps helps you navigate through the city with a voice-guided and turn-based system. It provides assistance whether you are walking, cycling, driving or using the public transit.
Although Google Maps provides much more information than other navigation apps, the interface is clean and intuitive, making it an instant hit amongst all travelers. It also provides Google Street View at certain places, which gives you an interesting way to explore an area.
4. UBER Taxis and Private Hire
Getting around the city using public transport is more often than not a very time-consuming process. But at the same time, hiring a vehicle may not work well, especially when you do not know the city well enough. The incredibly efficient and world-renowned Uber service offers cabs on demand through an app.
Uber has been met with opposition from governments and other independent taxi services. That has not stopped the service from steadily rising in popularity amongst locals and travelers.
The basic structure of the Uber app is simple: you may hail a taxi or private vehicle from wherever you are in the city. The app takes you through a choice of vehicle rates. Once you make your choice, you can connect with your driver and track the journey via a GPS powered map. You may then make your payment using a credit card, through a secure payment gateway.
The interface and booking process is extremely simple and clean. The convenience it offers makes it one of the most popular apps of its kind in the world.
Commercial travel services generally show only the best of what a place has to offer. Even if it does not quite outweigh the efforts it takes to get there. That is why a community-driven service like TripAdvisor becomes your best bet when trying to find the best attractions in and around your region of choice.Â
TripAdvisor allows users to provide reviews of restaurants, hotels and other attractions in an area. You can even upload photographs, videos and your opinions regarding the service of the place.
Now there are millions of reviews of popular areas that you can access through TripAdvisor. Each of which provide a brutally honest version of their experience of the place you want to go to. The app allows you to interact with other travelers through the forum. You can ask them specific questions about the places you want to go.
The interface of TripAdvisor is filled with high quality photographs, videos and reviews from the large user base that the service enjoys. You may even compare hotel prices, airfares and other such details on the TripAdvisor forum with other travelers.
All of these five city guide apps and mapping tools deserve a place on your smart phone and tablet. Some of theses travel apps have been around a good while and deservedly so.
They are constantly updated, adding new features and functionality. Making getting around the world and staying in touch just that little bit easier.