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April 2012

News apps for iPhone & iPad travel

If you want to keep up to date while traveling, using various iPhone apps to do so is simple and, usually, sufficient.  I also use RSS feed readers [mainly Feedler] on my iPhone and iPad, but going to the actual source sometimes is necessary.  For direct news sources, then, I’d suggest:  BBC News, CNN, USAToday, NYTimes and NPR, and the apps such as Flipboard and FLUD which will let you aggregate sources in a visual fashion.


Apps for Travel with an iPhone or iPad

I thought I'd do a series of comments about applications for the iPhone or iPad which relate to travel, either to the places we are going or to help with getting or being there.  So this is the lst in a series of such.  All apps can be found at the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad [I would imagine there are others for Android to be found, if need be].  I'll highlight the names and you can search on those names in the search box.

Passing the Time

Downtime is one negative about traveling;  waiting impatiently to get where you’re going or to pass the time while you’re traveling.  One way to control your impatience and, possibly your temper, is to find something else to do with yourself if you can’t or don’t want to pass the time in conversation with others.  

Reading is one obvious way of passing the time and there are loads of apps for both the iPhone and iPad which will help with that goal.  All of these can be found through easy searches at the App Store in iTunes.  There are many others and you can search them out in the various magazine reviews or app review sites.

My two main reading apps, on both the iPhone and iPad, are iBooks and Kindle.  Both allow you to read downloaded/purchased or free books, magazines, and PDFs.  There are other apps as well [B&N’s Nook, and other ereaders], but I don’t use them as much.  Also, you can buy digital magazines and materials to read through and you can also read them with your Zite app.  

Another app is Stanza, but it apparently doesn’t currently work seamlessly with iOS5, so you might look for an alternative.  And if you want to convert readings and materials into an epub [rather than PDF], you can do that Calibre, which will also assist you in finding books to read in a number of locations

Suggestions for Travelers

I have just returned from Turkey and was talking recently to a friend about their upcoming visit to Europe and thought I'd pass along some ideas to get more out of your trips, stateside or overseas:

Try to find books, movies and TV shows set in or about where it is you're traveling to;  better yet, find those which are actually made in where you're going.  

Go to iTunes and check out the Podcasts, iTunes U offerings, iBooks etc.  Rick Steves has both audio and video podcasts that provide loads of helpful information, as do many others.  Put the city or country name in the search field and see what you find.

Go to the App Store part of iTunes and do the same:  find iPhone/iPad apps that are travel guides or other helpful apps about the place you're going to.  I am sure Amazon has a similar feature for Android phones.

Put your itinerary details in PDF form and upload to  your Dropbox, Evernote account, or wherever you maintain your cloud presence.  That way, if you need the details but you've lost the papers, you can find and download them whereever you are.

Go to iTunes and find the Radio selections and see if there's music from the country for you to listen to.  Then you can buy and bring back a CD of the country's music if it strikes your fancy.

I'll go thru my iPhone & iPad and see if I can suggest specific apps I've found helpful, but this is a start, perhaps.