I'm winging my way to San Francisco in a couple weeks, so I've been rounding up apps that'll make my trip easier and more enjoyable.
Obviously I'll stock up on e-books and movies for the flight (Wondershare's DVD Ripper Platinum is proving a great choice for copying my DVDs to my iPhone), and I've already got old standbys like Urbanspoon and Yelp for finding local grub and businesses.
But there's more to a trip than just food and in-flight movies. Here's a list of the iPhone apps I've decided to pack:
- HazelMail Postcards Sure, you can always e-mail photos of your trip, but doesn't grandma deserve a good old-fashioned postcard? HazelMail turns any iPhone snapshot into the real deal, then mails it (along with your custom wish-you-were-here message) to any address. First one's free; after that, each card costs $1.50 (or get 12 for $12).
- TravelTracker Pro A bit more robust than competitors SplashTravel and Travel Assistant, TravelTracker Pro helps you keep tabs on every aspect of your trip: flights, car/hotel reservations, weather, and even currency exchange rates. Plus, it integrates with the excellent TripIt service to automatically import/update your travel plans, and provides live flight tracking via FlightStats. Only gripe: It's a little pricey at $12.99.
- GadgetTrak A stolen iPhone could put a major damper on your trip. Free app , and while it's not quite as effective as MobileMe, it can't hurt to install it before leaving.
- AroundMe A longtime favorite, AroundMe helps you find all manner of nearby businesses and services: banks, coffee shops, hospitals, movie theaters, and so on. A tap of the Nearby button reveals Wikipedia entries for nearby places of interest. Best of all, AroundMe is free!
- HearPlanet Like a tour guide in your pocket, HearPlanet delivers spoken-word information about 250,000 locations worldwide. At the Golden Gate Bridge, for instance, I'll enjoy a 10-minute historical overview. Not bad for an app that's currently on sale for a buck. A good companion to this is WikiMe, which is like a more robust version of the aforementioned local-Wikipedia-entries feature in AroundMe.
I also recommend browsing the iTunes podcast library for anything pertaining to the city you're visiting. In short order I found all kinds of cool stuff on San Francisco, including half a dozen free Stroll San Francisco Audio Tours.
OK, your turn: What apps do you take when you take a trip? Hit the comments and nominate your must-haves.