Like most people I use my smart phone as both a communications tool and mini computer while traveling or on the road. My Apple iPhone is my primary device, because I like its exhaustive selection of applications. However, for those times when I need to travel with a second handset (to save on data roaming costs or to access local networks), I use my Android OS phone, which also offers a great range of apps.
- 1. International SOS TravelsAugust 2010Top 10 Travel apps for iPhone and AndroidAs International SOS Director of Security Services for the Asia Pacific region, Tony Ridley knows travel. Hehimself spends more than 120 days out of the year on the road, and he supports the traveling workforces ofinternational companies every day. So how does Tony stay connected? Here, he offers his thoughts on the bestapps for both the Apple iPhone and HTC Android smart phones critical tools for helping him stay in touch and ontop of things while traveling.Like most people I use my smart phone as both a communications tool and mini computer while traveling or onthe road. My Apple iPhone is my primary device, because I like its exhaustive selection of applications. However,for those times when I need to travel with a second handset (to save on data roaming costs or to access localnetworks), I use my Android OS phone, which also offers a great range of apps.I am constantly testing and sampling new apps to meet both my own requirements as well as those of our clients.Below is a list of my favorite travel apps those that I find indispensible to helping me stay engaged even as Icross time zones. I selected them based on three criteria:1. Provision of knowledge or data that I dont possess myself2. Backed up by expertise and a richer web-based content version3. Ease, speed and functionality of the application versionHere are the key travel applications that I would recommend for iPhone users: WorldMate (Gold) This application is the powerhouse of all my travel management requirements. I can centralize and view all my relevant travel information from flights, accommodation, meetings and various other travel support options. WorldMate (Gold) is the portable version of the online (cloud-based) application. WorldMate even helps me visually map out locations, distances and travel requirements between airports, hotels and meetings in Google maps. TripIt This application has some overlap with WorldMate. However, I use TripIt because it primarily allows me to share my travel location and dates with colleagues, clients and even family. My itinerary can then be synchronised to prevent conflicts, or keep select contacts informed of my travels. This application works great with social networks such as LinkedIn. It also tracks my cumulative trips, countries visited, cities, miles and nights spent on the road. Lastly, it links me to the International SOS travel group so we can see where our fellow team members are traveling or have been.XpenseTrkrAn inevitable part of traveling is accounting for expenditure on expenses. Therefore, I findthis tool excellent for keeping independent and accurate tabs on all my spending, expensesand other reimbursables. The cumulative archive of all my trips also helps in planning andfuture budgeting. Tungle I have a lot of meetings. It seems everyone in every company has a slightly different platform for managing e-mail and scheduling calendars. Additionally, I loathe endless e-mails and text messages back and forth purely to determine availability and the best time to meet. Setting a meeting time can be complicated enough with just one person but is further compounded when multiple parties are involved! Tungle is the perfect tool, centralizing all of my meeting appointments and quickly and simply determining both my availability and that of the client, colleague or other parties. This tool is fantastic as it synchronizes my desktop calendar, mobile device and web-based applications.
2. FlightTrack Pro Before I even commit to a trip or a meeting I like to know if there are compatible flights forthe time and location required. I find FlightTrack Pro an outstanding tool to determine thereliability and flight options to and from specific locations. In addition this tool also gives methe probability of departure and arrival running according to schedule. This application isgreat not only for my own travel, but also for being able to track the arrival and departureflights of friends and family. Evernote This is an excellent productivity tool that I find invaluable for travel also. Evernote enables me to cut & paste, capture, drop or simply add all the information relating to a particular trip or multiple trips. This application synchronizes between desktop applications (Outlook, Word, Internet Explorer, clipboard, etc). This ensures that all the information such as itineraries, hotel bookings, restaurants, navigation guides to client offices, local or translated phrases, maps and anything else I synchronized is available in electronic format whenever I might need it. I create separate folders for each location or activity, enabling me to quickly and efficiently access the information without opening my laptop or carrying around lots of printed or duplicated sheets of paper. Foyage Because Im constantly bouncing around from one location to another, I often find myself in locations that I may not very familiar with. It is important to me than I make informed decisions or find locations quickly and efficiently. I therefore use this application to help me find other people in my network, ATMs, restaurants, supermarkets or anything else I may need quickly and simply Dropbox Im constantly working on projects, information, issues or hobbies between multiple computers or formats. I use this daily to quickly share files and content between computers, colleagues, clients and myself. I can even review presentations and notes from my iPhone just before a walk on stage without having to print or open my laptop. Worldcard Contacts The management of information and in particular contacts is becoming increasingly challenging. To help me with this process I use this application to make an immediate copy or store a contact business card. The information is scanned directly into my contacts list, but I can also reference this directly on my iPhone. Built-in functions allow me to call, text, email, or navigate to a particular address directly from the electronic copy of the business card. This application has saved me hours of heartache and provided timely access to valuable contacts and details. Convert Everything Part of the excitement of travel is often from the challenges foreign environments bring. Everywhere is different. Different measurements, different currencies, different languages and so on. This application can help with converting pretty much anything I want transferred from one unit of measure/language into something else. International SOS Travels | April 2010Here are the key travel applications that I would recommend for Android OS users:Oanda currency converter When you travel a lot, or youre a first-time traveler, its important to keep updated on the latestcurrency conversion rates. I like the Oanda Currency Converter because its quick and simple touse for single or multiple trips. 3. Wi-Fi Finder Connectivity and communications remain a constant concern to business travelers, even in developing countries. Therefore I like to know of any paid or free Wi-Fi spots within vicinity of my accommodation or current location should I need access information or send receive files. Wi-Fi Finder is a great tool for preplanning and ongoing travel information regarding Wi-Fi hotspots. Talk To Me Classic If youre traveling to locations where you dont speak or understand the local language or writing, it is vitally important to be able to communicate, even if its just the basics. Talk to me gives you the option is to translate your native tongue into a variety of written and spoken languages so you can share and communicate more effectively. This is a great one speaking with hotel staff and taxi drivers. Places Directory Whether youre a first timer or even a frequent traveler, Places Directory can always give you tips and advice and guidance on the nearest ATM, restaurant, entertainment facility or even just shopping. This application is constantly being updated and I find it great to getting my bearings and reducing the amount of time I spend wasted looking to somewhere eat in the life while traveling.Call Log CalendarEasily track phone calls and conversations when youre on the road or focused on other businesstasks. This application enables you to export all of your phone log information into your calendarso you can keep track of times dates, conversations for follow-up, or even info for billing purposes.Kayak Hotel and Flight Search Again, I like to spend some time planning before I commit or confirm any trips. The kayakapplication gives you great data and information for budget planning, hotel/flight selection andother journey management requirements quickly and efficiently from a phone. Not only do I usethis as part of my preplanning regiment but its also excellent on the road or when plans change.My TracksWhile this application primarily targets the fitness and exercise market its a great tool for businesstravelers too. I use this if a traveling to a new location or following directions that are unclear, so Iknow where Ive been and where Im headed to. Its also an excellent tool for planners whenconsidering emergency/evacuation routes or simply the shortest rout between two points.Footprints (HTC)The HTC Android device comes preloaded with HTC Footprints, which enables people topermanently chronicle their chosen location and events by capturing a digital postcard on theirphone. Once captured, Footprints provides the ability to take notes and an audio clip of thatfavorite restaurant or special place while identifying its specific geographical location. In addition toidentifying each postcard with its specific GPS coordinates, Footprints also auto-names eachpostcard with its general location or area. This one is great for revisiting or remembering clientlocations, accommodation or places to eat.WaveSecure Mobile SecurityMobile phones are an attractive item and easily misplaced when traveling. It is therefore importantto protect both your own personal information and any relevant information relating to yourcompany or job function. The WaveSecure Mobile Security application enables you to remotelylock down your device and generally preserve the information you wish to protect. You can also benotified should someone attempt to install another or SIM card.PdaNetIt seems theres always an urgent requirement to communicate. This application is great forcommunicating with your laptop and other devices via your mobile. It enables you to tether one ormore devices in order to send and receive e-mails or access cloud computing sites. I always keep 4. in mind costs when doing this but its a great alternative that gives immediate and easy access at airports, hotels or even client locations.In addition, for any professional who manages other travelers, I recommend that they arm themselves with traveltracking technology such as our TravelTracker product that is accessible both on mobile devices and online.Programs such as these help monitor, locate and contact globally-mobile employees and, when offered in mobileversions, allow you to do so from virtually anywhere. In addition, some including TravelTracker offer pushnotifications that alert users when their travelers have potentially been exposed to incidents or serious events suchas natural disasters, airline strikes or even terrorist attacks. This can be indispensible when situations ariseabroad.About the Author: As the Director of Security Services Asia Pacific, Tony is responsible for International SOSCorporate and Commercial Security Services to clients around the world. In addition