I recently made the leap from Apple’s iPhone to an Android-based Nexus 4. (I’ll skip regaling you on all the reasons why.) I love the phone, but I think it’s no secret that sometimes, Android users come up short when it comes to the top quality apps. For travellers, though, all is not lost, and there are many awesome apps available now for Android. Since I’ve just been shopping in the Google Play store for apps, here’s some of the hot finds I found.
Tired of Instagram’s filters? Want to have a little fun with your travel photography? Try FXCamera, which offers lots of fun filters and features. I have to say I’m addicted to the “ToyCamera,” just for it’s silly name. Great for making little e-postcards to send home.
When you’re looking for a drink or meal recommendations for places nearby, check out this cool app, Where. It is a competitor to the also-popular Yelp, but I like Where’s user experience more. It also features deals and coupons, but their listings are obviously more useful in cities and larger urban areas just like Yelp.
The odd-sounding Google Goggles is actually an app that feels like it’s from the future! You simply load up the app, point it at anything, and watch it jump into action. If you take a photo of a famous painting, it will tell you all about it. Snap a shot of a sign in a foreign language and it will translate. Scan barcodes and find out product info. I haven’t done much exploring yet, but looking forward to road testing this one!
Google Currents is for those long airport layovers. The app offers curated content from a variety of publishers, from newspapers to magazines, in an easy-to-use layout. I also use Zite and Flipboard, which are my go-to content apps on my iPad, but currents exposed me to some new outlets that I wasn’t as familiar with. Handy, especially with offline reading!
Last but not least is this quirky suggestion: the Flashlight app. Maybe I’m weird in that I use the flashlight app all the time, but I keep my screen brightness low to conserve battery, but there are times when I need the extra light. The app uses the flash of the camera, which is possible to trigger on using one of the camera apps, but I just like having direct easy access via an app. It’s just so useful on a trip or at home.
That’s what I’ve found so far – but you tell me, what are your must-have Android apps? Let me know – I’d love to hear.
Posted : Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 at 11:00
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.