Fri, April 13th, 2012 - By

Must-Have Travel Apps for your iPad

I’ve talked before about the many free travel apps for your smartphone that can prove handy while on the road, either to keep in touch at home or to help you with travel planning on the go.

The latest travel electronic sensation, as you probably know, is the iPad. With the 3rd edition of the iPad just out, it seems this piece of kit is set to be one of the biggest selling gadgets of all time. And for good reason – the iPad is the perfect size for travel, has been well engineered to have everything you need and not a pinch more.

So what are the hot apps for the iPad? Many of those smartphone apps we’ve talked about before work on the iPad, but the experience isn’t ideal, so you’ll want to focus on those apps made for the iPad’s roomier tablet display. Here are some suggestions.

Airport Reading: Flipboard and Zite

If you like your magazines, then you’ve got to download a copy of Flipboard and Zite. They’re both free, and they both revolutionise the reading experience. Flipboard pulls in feeds from your Twitter and Facebook friends, but also allows you to follow channels of a number of different publishers, like the Economist or TIME, but also some curated channels, such as travel.

Zite is similar, but instead here you choose topics you are interested in, and an algorithm engine suggests popular or on-target articles you might want to read.  I love Zite for finding new magazines, blogs and sites I want to read – perfect on a long layover.

The only downside?  Neither of these apps work offline.

Travel Planning: FlightTrack Pro

FlightTrack Pro is a little pricey (£6.99 / $9.99) but if you ever have just one mishap that requires using this app, it will be worth it. The tool pulls in your itinerary information, and also weather data, maps, and other flight details, so you have your own “cockpit” as it were of flight data. Gate changes? You’ll know before the gate agents do. Flight cancelled or weather issues mean you’ll mis-connect? The app will alert you and show you the options, which you can use to assist in fast rebookings.

The weather maps can be a little addicting for total geeks, so consider yourself forewarned!

Offline Reading: Amazon Kindle App

Did you know you can read Kindle books on your iPad? The free Amazon Kindle app provides a seamless reading experience for any and all Kindle books, and offers you simple setup to sync your Amazon account. My tip? Keep an eye out for free download days which many authors are offering. Thus you can stockpile before the trip and not break the budget!

Rather watch a movie? There are plenty of apps for that too; Roadshow is an interesting one that has a smaller selection of sources, but you can start out for free and upgrade in-app if you are liking the content available. It does offer an offline viewing option. The National Film Board (NFB Film) of Canada has a very nice free iPad app which allows you to watch their entire archive on the iPad app. You can also pull films down for offline viewing, but these expire after 48 hours so make sure to wait and do this just before you head out.

Final Tip: Location-Specific Apps

The iPad comes with a great Google Maps app, and you can easily download free apps like Tripadvisor or Yelp to find museum and restaurant recommendations. The app marketplace is so crowded these days with hundreds of apps that claim to offer complete coverage of the world, but really, my advice for you is to look for the apps that are destination-specific, written by a local author. These are usually less than £2, and you get a lot more insight than just the generic stuff.

What hot iPad apps are you using?

Photo by tian2992

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Friday, April 13th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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