App, App & Away | Our Top 5 Travel Apps

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Our editors and TV crews travel A LOT. In fact we usually log about 150,000 miles a year, which means many flights, countless hotel rooms and far too many limos, car rentals and shuttles.  And since we also have to work while we’re on the road we are obsessive about our apps.  We love the power of our smartphones. Noticed that I said smartphones, not IOS, Android or Blackberry. Arguing over which are the best travel apps on any platform, much less the platform itself, is reason enough for fisticuffs around our studios.

So to end the constant debates and potential lawsuits we decided to remove all the breakable objects from our conference room, order in Chinese food and wine and once and for all determine our team’s Top 5 Travel Apps. Just don’t ask us to agree on which is the best place to order Chinese from.

WorldMate Gold

Our hands down fav app. Simply forward all of your email confirmations from airlines, hotels and car rental agencies to WorldMate and it’ll create a smart and organized itinerary for you and then notify you of any changes. At $9.99 the price may seem steep, especially when TripIt and others are free but we think it’s worth it. In our experience the itineraries are more seamless and the experience more trustworthy and refined.

Tripilator

These guys have redefined the mobile guidebook landscape with city guides to places like New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto and more that are elegant, detailed and brilliantly curated. Their iPad app is simply a thing a beauty. There are too many features to mention so just do yourself a favor and download the main app and then load up on the city guides. As we said they’re free.

FlightAware

Get your AV geek on. We love this app. It lets you track your flight status but also shows where the inbound plane is coming from which is critical information to let you see if you’re going to be delayed. You can display your flight path in a map, see the flight log and have the app notify you of any changes. In our experience, these often come before the airline’s own apps update. As a bonus you can check airport delays and even see all the planes overhead. Yep, it uses your GPS to show all planes currently in the sky in your area.

Snapseed

The company behind Snapseed was purchased by Google last year, but don’t fear they show no signs of messing with this great image editing program. Our Camera People say it is hands down the best photography app for mobile platforms and looking at the pictures they create on smartphones, we agree. The app will let you take mobile photography past gimmicky filters and create really jaw dropping results.

Uber

Call us a sucker for the little guy. Uber is an app that allows you to book and pay for a black car, SUV limo and increasingly taxis right on your phone. We say increasingly taxis because the company has run afoul of powerful industry and licensing lobbies in trying to add taxis to their mix. Fortunately that’s changing. Also fortunately, the company is also rolling out new cities in Europe, Asia and Australia to complement their US and Canadian locations. We love the convenience, love that you can track you car’s path as it makes its’ way to you and we love hassle free way to pay.

Ok this isn’t as nearly as comprehensive as it could be. We purposely left out airlines, hotels, car rental agencies and booking engine’s own apps those are only of use to customers and we didn’t look at OS features like Apple’s Passbook, but we think this is a good start. These apps are battle-tested, useful and very worthwhile to own.

However in a crowded marketplace we know there are many more. So please tell us what your fav apps are and why.

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