latest in travel apps

Whether or not you are standing the lines of iPhone Madness or hanging tight with a tried and trusted Droid the power of the palm these days is a formidable player in all walks of business and travel. But navigating the endless and mounting options for what to use and what to delete is a daily challenge in the ever-changing app world.

One tech titan of the travel industry, James Spellos, CMP, President, Meeting U, has done much of that work for people who want both computing power and travel data in the palms of their hands.

In a report that Spellos calls “Way Cool Apps,” he lists the top 45 smart phone and tablet applications to lock and load, whether iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or iPad, for power-packed productivity on the road. The list is the latest — updated in July 2012.

Travel-Intel for smartphone and iPad

App Description Platform(s) Price*
Advanced Task Killer Allows user to turn off apps not in use.  More essential with smart phones. Android Free
Airport Remote Live reader board of all inbound and outbound flights from US aiports. Android, iPad, iPhone $3.99
Angry Birds So you haven’t played it yet? Android, iPad, iPhone Freemium
Atomic Web Tabbed browser for iPhone and iPad (lite version is free) iPad, iPhone $0.99
Audio Note Note taking app that syncs live recording with your note taking. Android, iPad, iPhone $4.99
Beat the Traffic Traffic app with live camera feeds & updates of traffic problems Android Free
Bump Smart phone apps that allows sharing of virtual business cards and other info (photos, apps) Android, iPhone Free
Car Home Car navigation and communication tool, utilizes voice commands for hands-free operation. Android Free
Chrome Google’s browser, setup for mobile devices Android, iPad Free
Currents Google’s social curation service, allowing you to customize news feeds on various topics of interest Android, iPad, iPhone Free
DocScan Photograph and scan documents, allowing you to add text and effects, and output as PDF file. iPad, iPhone Freemium
DocuSign Ink Mobile app that lets you import and sign documents using your signature iPad Freemium
Dolphin Mobile browser – an improvement over the default browsers placed on your smart phones. Android, iPad, iPhone Free
Dropbox Tools which allows you to share documents across all of your devices by placing the file in a folder on your desktop. Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone Free
Evernote Syncs files across all of your devices.  Similar to Dropbox, but instead of dropping files, allows you to edit and work on them and then sync them. Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone Free
Flipboard Highly visual iPad app which provides magazine content for your device.  Not RSS-based, content based on Flipboard selection. iPad Free
Foursquare Most popular location-based social networking app. Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone Free
Goggles Google’s visual search app.  Take a photo with Goggles and it will identify it and return the website.  Works best with highly identifiable landmarks and logos (and QR codes) (iOS products call app Google Search with Google Goggles) Android, iPad, iPhone Free
Google Sky Map Want to view the sky and identify the stars and planets you see?  Then this is the app for you. Android Free
Hipmunk Flight aggregator app, with output organized by various categories, including an “agony” section Android, iPad, iPhone Free
HopStop Detailed public transit directions in dozens of cities in US, Canada and Europe Android, iPhone Free
Instacorder Record text into mobile device & it automatically emails you the info you recorded in a wav file. iPhone Free
Instagram iPhone app for sharing photos on your social media. iPhone Free


Instant Friend Instantly add a person to your Facebook page using this QR code-based app Android, iPhone Free
Layar Augmented-reality browser, using phone camera to recognize real-world objects and add enhanced layer of information on top of your screen. Android, iPhone Free
Microsoft Tag Reader App to read & scan Microsoft Tag (different from other QR codes) objects Android, Blackberry, iPhone Free
MobileTag Universal bar code (including QR code) reader Android, Blackberry, iPhone Free
Office2HD Pay app that is one of best to create, edit and read MS Word and Excel documents iPhone $9.99
Open Signal Identifies major cell phone signals and how close they are to your location.  Good to learn why you do (or don’t) have cell service Android Free
Penultimate Note taking app, create notebooks of info, easily share with others iPad $1.99
Pocket Formerly Read It Later, allows you to save articles from news & social sites to your app, so you can “read them later” Android, iPad Free
Primo Spot View free on-street parking spots, including metered spots, garages & bike racks.  Currently available for New York, Boston & Seattle. Android Free
Pulse News reader app allowing you to customize content from favorite websites. Android Free App for social curation site which allows you to read & curate your topic. Android, iPhone Free


Scvngr Social gaming/location based marketing app for smart phone devices.  Users can play on their phones, or create challenges for their customers. Android, iPhone Free
Shazam Listening to a song but can’t figure out the artist or title?  Use this app to listen to song and it’ll tell you the key details. Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone Freemium*
Shop Savvy Comparison shopping app allows you to scan bar code to identify if you can find the product cheaper.  Also offers reviews and online shopping stores. Android, iPhone Free
Super Planner Meeting planning app providing calculators for catering, room capacity, AV and other industry functions. iPad, iPhone $9.99
Speed Test Tests and measure internet speeds from wireless and cellular networks. iPad, iPhone, Android Free
Square Mobile payment service allowing you to use your mobile device to accept credit cards without merchant bank account.  Developed by creator of Twitter. iPad, iPhone, Android Free (2.75% service on transactions)
SyncPad Collaboration tool allowing user to connect phones via a whiteboard functionality.  Integrates with Dropbox as well. iPad, iPhone $4.99 (iPhone); $9.99 (iPad)
Taptu Social news reader, along with RSS feed reader. Android Free
Tweet Deck App allowing you to aggregate and manage your social media feeds in one place. Android, iPad, iPhone Free
Word Lens Translation app (currently only English – Spanish) that reads words and translates instantly. iPad, iPhone $9.99
Yelp Restaurant, shopping & entertainment community.  App-based version of their website. Android, iPad, iPhone Free


Zillow Real estate app which shows homes for sale & rent throughout US. Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone Free
Zite News aggregator (ala Flipboard) that allows customization of news and easy social sharing Android, iPad, iPhone Free


*Freemium indicates that the core functionality is at no charge, and vendor charges for certain levels of usage (dependent on the product).