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Travel Apps

With so many of us reliant on smartphones and tablets we thought listing the best travel related apps might just make your life that bit easier!

Before You Go:

  • Sky+ App: Never miss your favourite shows again with the Sky+ app, which lets you view listings and programme your Sky box from anywhere in the world.Free; iPhone, iPad, Android.
  • Accuweather: Shows up-to-the-minute forecasts for cities around the world. Rather than the free apps on most phones, it also provides hour-by-hour forecasts. Free (ad-free version 59p); iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry.
  • Lonely Planet: Guidebooks transfer well to the small screen, and the Lonely Planet range is among the best. Hundreds of major cities are covered, and the apps include tips on what to do and see, offline maps, high-quality images, and listings.£3.49 per city; iPhone, iPad.
  • XE Currency App: This lists more than 180 currencies and is updated live with the latest exchange rates. It will also work offline, so you can check rates without racking up a huge bill for using your mobile abroad.Free; iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry.

Airport:

  • Heathrow Airport Guide Pro App: Includes live flight tracking, retail & restaurant info plus news feed via Twitter and terminal maps, security information, weather forecasts for 220 destinations around the world, and airline contact details. Free; iPhone,iPad, Android & Blackberry
  • iChangi App: The world's best airport in Singapore deserves an equally highly regarded mobile app. Flight times, gate information, real-time push updates, shopping and dining listings, airline contacts and a special offer section make this app world class. Free; iPhone, iPad, Android.
  • Priority Pass App: Enables you to find a quiet corner in the airport by searching its network of 600-plus lounges in more than 300 airports. It uses GPS technology to locate the nearest one to you, and you can search offline to save on roaming fees. Free; iPhone, iPad (Blackberry/Android versions in development)

Airlines:

  • Air Canada App: As well as flight tracking, check-in and mobile boarding, the Air Canada app offers last-minute upgrades to the airline’s Executive cabin and same-day flight changes where available.Free; iPhone, iPad, Blackberry.
  • Air New Zealand Mpass App: This app enables you to manage your booking, download your boarding pass and get up-to-date flight information. Frequent flyers who use the Airpoints system can view bookings.Free; iPhone, iPad, Android.
  • British Airways App: Get arrival and departure details, and check in to your flight with the British Airways app. Executive Club members can view tier points and BA miles, plus use their e-pass to board the plane on select routes.Free; iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry.
  • Virgin Atlantic Flight Tracker App: The spinnable globe on this app shows the near real-time location of all the carrier’s aircraft – tap on a plane to get departure and arrival information. You can also check in and select your seat. Flying Club members can view their points. Play the “Where’s Richard?” game if you’re bored.Free; iPhone, iPad
  • Cathay Pacific Mobile App: As well as providing check-in, flight schedules and updates, Cathay Pacific’s CX Mobile provides city guides for 70 destinations and even invites you to “Meet the Team”. Marco Polo members can access their account. Flight booking is only available on the iPad.Free; iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Windows Mobile, Nokia. 

Time Saving:

  • Instapaper: Instapaper is the frequent traveller’s best friend, allowing you to mark web pages to read later, then download them all in one go to read on a long flight. It’s simple, and brilliant.£2.99; iPhone, iPad, Kindle
  • Evernote: If you’re constantly forgetting things you’ve seen online, then Evernote is for you. It’s a kind of electronic scrapbook that lets you collect text, pictures and web pages, then read and view them on your PC or phone – a good way of getting through that long-haul flight. Free; iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm.
  • Google Places App: This is a clever offering from the search engine giant, letting you find nearby restaurants, coffee shops, ATMs and useful services. It’s linked to thousands of user reviews, and integrates with Google’s brilliant Maps app to get you there.Free; iPhone, iPad, Android

Hotels:

  • Top Guest App: A godsend for points-obsessed frequent flyers, Top Guest allows you to earn 20-25 real points each time you “check in” electronically to locations around the world. It has already signed up many of the big reward schemes, such as Intercontinental’s Priority Club and Hilton’s HHonors.Free; iPhone, Android.
  • Intercontinental Insider Concierge Guides: iPad owners can benefit from tips on restaurants, attractions and local culture are provided by the group’s concierges at more than 120 destinations. Video tours hosted by each concierge add a personal touch. Free; iPad.

Car & Rail:

  • Forever Map by Skobbler: By far the best cheap satnav software out there, Forever Map may not have the bells and whistles of its more expensive rivals, but it works very well for occasional drivers or those lost in a new country. It downloads maps so you don’t have to pay roaming charges, and is great for walking directions.59p; iPhone, iPad, Android.
  • Heathrow Express App: With this you can book and pay for your journey and the ticket will be sent to your handset with a 2D barcode – staff will then scan it on board to validate travel. Live service updates are also available.Free; iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android and Java-enabled devices.
  • The Trainline: Download thetrainline to plan journeys and buy tickets for collection at UK stations. The neat “next train home” feature can find your best route.Free; iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Android, Samsung, Sony Ericsson. 

Technology:

  • Skype: Already hugely popular on desktop PCs, Skype has now made the move to mobile with text, voice and video calls (depending on your phone). Not only can it help you to stay in touch with family, but it could also save your firm a small fortune.Free; iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Nokia.
  • Dragon Dictation: Typing on your phone can be tricky, but Dragon Dictation automatically turns your speech intotext. It’s surprisingly good, and you can even train it to recognise your voice. Your text can then be cut andpasted into SMSs, emails and apps.Free; iPhone, iPad. 
  • Documents To Go: While editing a huge spreadsheet or Powerpoint file on a mobile phone isn’t ideal, Documents to Go makes it bearable, allowing you to take the office with you. You can copy files easily, it works with all major formats (PDF, Xls, Powerpoint and Doc), and it is simple to sync documents when you get back home.£5.99; iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm.
  • Jiwire Wi-Fi Finder: Great for anyone looking to avoid data roaming charges when travelling abroad. The appwill tell you where to find free wireless hotspots in 340,000 locations in 140 countries by using GPS, and can be downloaded in advance for offline access. Free; iPhone, iPad.
  • Google Translate: An astonishing demonstration of how far technology has come, this app lets you translate text between 57 languages, and spoken word into 15. Options include Japanese, Russian, Polish, Arabic, German, Spanish and Dutch. Free; iPhone, iPad, Android.

Social Media:

  • Facebook App: Facebook has gradually expanded into an amazing resource for those on the move. Not only can you wow your friends by boasting about your location, the Places feature is handy for finding your way around. Free; iPhone, Android, Blackberry.
  • Twitter: It’s taken the web by storm but the Twitter app is also an incredibly polished, easy-to-use service. You can see all of your tweets, lists and mentions, and it constantly updates.Free; iPhone, Android, Blackberry.
  • Flipboard: One of the most impressive apps for the iPad, Flipboard takes your Twitter, Facebook and web feeds and turns them into a gorgeous personalised magazine that even works offline, so you can use those long flights to catch up.Free; iPad.
  • Hootsuite: If keeping up with all your social networking sites is getting too much, Hootsuite could be the answer. It brings them all together in one app and is easy to customise. Free; iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android. 

Eating Out:

  • Urbanspoon: Finding somewhere decent to eat in a new place can be hard, but Urbanspoon makes the process easier. With databases spanning most major cities, it can recommend and help you book, all from a single app.Free; iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry.
  • Toptable: Great for securing last-minute bookings at restaurants around the UK and Europe, Toptable is a well thought-out, user-friendly app with a vast database of eateries behind it. It’s great for finding the best-reviewed places, and frequently has online-only offers.Free; iPhone, iPad.
  • Foursquare: This has become really useful for travellers, showing recommendations and special offers for nearby places to eat and drink. If you’re competitive, you can even take on your colleagues by earning points when youelectronically check in at locations.Free; iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Palm, Nokia. 

Entertainment:

  • Spotify: The best way to get music on a mobile device, Spotify allows you to you stream from a ten-million track database, and download playlists to your device for offline playing.£9.99 per month; iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia, Palm.
  • Slingplayer Mobile: This lets you watch your home TV wherever there is a decent internet connection. You’ll need a special box at home, but it works brilliantly, and you can even control your Sky box remotely, causing no end of annoyance to the family back home.£17.99; iPhone, iPad, Nokia, Blackberry, Android, Palm.