Brandon's Notepad

May 20, 2013

Android Applications: Travel

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I don’t travel a lot. My job does not call for it and we leave town on holiday once or twice a year…maybe. So, this review isn’t so much a head-to-head comparison of apps as it is a set of experiences and opinions.

[Content last updated on 5/19/2013]

Trip Planning (Generic)

Tripit. This itinerary app is extremely useful! It lets you plan your trip minute-by-minute. You can add specific types of transportation, places to stay and eat, and activities. Both the app and the website is fully functional (rare that both work equally well), and they seem to sync without issue. I think it even looked up my flight information, because I don’t remember entering in all of the details by hand.

BathroomFinder. More to come…

San Francisco 2012

Triposo San Francisco. This app came in really handy before and during the trip. The category listings (“See and do”, “Eat, drink and sleep”, etc.) are easy to browse and help you target places of interest. The map feature, however, paid real dividends! Once I knew what part of town we’d be in on a particular day, I could zoom in to reveal the local restaurants, as well as other things to see and do in the neighborhood. When our plans changed unexpectedly (e.g. “Ewww, I’m not eating there!”), this app provided alternatives.

TripAdvisor City Guide. I didn’t use this app much, and looking back at it, I’m not sure why. It’s very similar to Triposo’s offering, but this one is backed by a website I am familiar with. I will definitely keep TripAdvisor in mind for our next trip, especially since I just found a few cool things we missed in San Francisco while writing this post.

SFMTA Muni+. This app is made for locals, especially those who commute using public transportation and have tight schedules. It provides system alerts including information about current delays as well as future route changes, construction, and other events. The MUNI map is grainy, but the Trip Planner was useful in getting to know the system. It allows you to plan a trip across town, providing transfers and fee information. The CityPASS more or less eliminated the need to calculate fares and printed route maps and bus schedules provided a more comprehensive view, especially useful when more flexibility was necessary.

QuickBART. Very similar to Muni+, but much simpler. It includes a planner function and a static system map. Obviously, the rails are less susceptible to delays than buses.

San Francisco Map. This app by Bill Ray is just a hi-res copy of the system map. It was also useful, though I had the printed map on hand as well.

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