Every year there is what seems like a never-ending parade of lists, blog posts and advertisements touting the hottest new mobile apps. Unfortunately, many of these applications don’t live up to the hype. The sheer online deluge of app options makes it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Take mobile travel apps, for example.
Everyday it’s as if the App Store and Google Play are churning out dozens of new travel-based releases. And while options like Gate Guru will likely be useful for the foreseeable future, they aren’t exactly bringing anything new to the table.
So in the interest of showcasing the new kids in the travel town, here are some of the best app options for those business professionals who are always on the go.
This is a great option for international travelers, as it bypasses cell roaming altogether. Viber allows the user to make calls and send texts from foreign countries, provided the recipient is also using the app. While on paper it may sound like a Skype knockoff, the real star of Viber is a contact-syncing feature second to none. Plus, the app uses the mobile number in question, so people can communicate just as they would by making a standard phone call.
One of the most recent options, this app takes a lot of the guesswork out of an initial meeting. It filters and organizes the info of anyone the user inputs into the app – from clients to blind dates – all based on social media profiles and other online info. It then spits out all the relevant data in bullet points that should, at the very least, eliminate a lot of awkward small talk.
Most business travelers operate on schedules that are more “run and gun” than “leisurely stroll.” MyCityWay is a lifesaver for scrambling travelers everywhere, as it offers mini-guides in 30+ categories for most urban areas in the United States. Once the traveler touches down in that new city, he or she can use the app to search a variety of options, from dining and nightlife to transport and pharmacy information. The content on this option is concise and to the point, which makes accessing the necessary info a breeze. No long-winded editorial reviews and tutorials here.
There are plenty of hotel and flight searchers in the app world, and Hipmunk ranks right up there with the best. It is a comprehensive search tool that allows the traveler to search flights and hotels through a number of filters, from price options to class of service. It also remembers previous searches and tailors new queries based on those past habits. More than that, its hotel search tool comes with “heat maps,” a feature that locates vacancies according to proximity to such things as restaurants and shopping areas.
For the longest time, smartphone-equipped business travelers were clamoring for a decent taxi app. Sure, there were many on the market, but most suffered from the same problem: not enough coverage. Taxi Magic has taken care of that little issue by offering service in 60 U.S. cities, with plans to include even more. Users can fire up this app and check fare estimates, make reservations, or schedule an immediate pickup – and all before exiting the terminal. Its utilization of real-time, location-based technology also allows the user to track his or her taxi while it’s en route.
Ultimately, the options listed above made the cut because of their quality and the fact they are relatively new on the scene. However, each one possesses an additional trait no smartphone user can scoff at: they’re all free.
DISCUSS: Do you have a business travel tip you can share?
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