As a global business executive, I know first hand the demands of travel. I spent more than 120 days out of the year on the road, and have supported the traveling workforces of clients every day. So how do I stay connected? Here are my thoughts on the best apps for Android smart phones – a critical tool for helping me stay in touch and on top of things while traveling.
“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.
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 indispensable to helping me stay engaged even as I cross time zones. I selected them based on three criteria:
1. Provision of knowledge or data that I don’t possess myself
2. Backed up by expertise and a richer web-based content version
3. Ease, speed and functionality of the application version
Here are the key travel applications that I would recommend for Android OS users:
Oanda currency converter
When you travel a lot, or you’re a first-time traveler, it’s important to keep updated on the latest currency conversion rates. I like the Oanda Currency Converter because it’s quick and simple to use for single or multiple trips.
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 you’re traveling to locations where you don’t speak or understand the local language or writing, it is vitally important to be able to communicate, even if it’s 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 you’re 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 Calendar-Easily track phone calls and conversations when you’re on the road or focused on other business tasks. This application enables you to export all of your phone log information into your calendar so 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 kayak application gives you great data and information for budget planning, hotel/flight selection and other journey management requirements quickly and efficiently from a phone. Not only do I use this as part of my preplanning regiment but it’s also excellent on the road or when plans change.
My Tracks-While this application primarily targets the fitness and exercise market it’s a great tool for business travelers too. I use this if a traveling to a new location or following directions that are unclear, so I know where I’ve been and where I’m headed to. It’s also an excellent tool for planners when considering 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 to permanently chronicle their chosen location and events by capturing a digital postcard on their phone. Once captured, Footprints provides the ability to take notes and an audio clip of that favorite restaurant or special place while identifying its specific geographical location. In addition to identifying each postcard with its specific GPS coordinates, Footprints also auto-names each postcard with its general location or area. This one is great for revisiting or remembering client locations, accommodation or places to eat.
WaveSecure Mobile Security-Mobile phones are an attractive item and easily misplaced when traveling. It is therefore important to protect both your own personal information and any relevant information relating to your company or job function. The WaveSecure Mobile Security application enables you to remotely lock down your device and generally preserve the information you wish to protect. You can also be notified should someone attempt to install another or SIM card.
PdaNet-It seems there’s always an urgent requirement to communicate. This application is great for communicating with your laptop and other devices via your mobile. It enables you to tether one or more devices in order to send and receive e-mails or access cloud computing sites. I always keep in mind costs when doing this but it’s a great alternative that gives immediate and easy access at airports, hotels or even client locations.