Ever missed a bus or seen the train moving from the platform only to wish that you hadn’t stopped by a shop to see a pair of shoes? Thankfully, I no longer suffer from the last minute phenomenon as I have a handy collection of apps that let me know if its ok to step inside a coffee shop or to increase my walking speed. Here is my list of must have travel apps for iPhone and Android.
Travel Apps for UK – iPhone and Android
Train journey planner
UK Train Times – Paid (iPhone only) UK train times costs £4.99 on the app store and is worth every penny. What it does is provide you with a real time journey planner for the National Rail network (means all the trains running in UK) access to live platform information (where available), give you a live look at departure boards, train arrival and departure times. Plan a journey in advance or on the spot, this app delivers. You can save frequent journeys, setup a home station and also use the app to locate your nearest stations. Unfortunately this app is only available on App Store (iPhone). National Rail Enquiries (free) If you are ok with a slightly slower app then get National Rail Enquiries, the free version is as good as any and gives you all the information you need to make the next train and plan your journey wisely.
Manage Air travel
TripIt – Travel Organizer – Paid and Free versions TripIt is a website where you signup and it monitors your email account for any travel bookings or confirmation emails. Supporting the fantastic web service, there is an equally good app that keeps all your travel itinerary in check. From alerts on flight and gate changes to notifications in fare and keeping track of your club points and miles, this is a must have app for those who travel a lot. There is a Pro membership for the additional features (club points, notifications and alerts) that costs $49/yr and is deemed to be worthy because most frequent travellers get notified of the fare change and save money on flights. CheckMyTrip – Free This is a very good website and app available for free and is given by Amadeus the largest provider serving the travel and tourism industry. All you need to do is enter your reservation and last name for each trip and it does the rest. Notifications on flight and gate changes, time between flights, terminal maps, last check-in, online check-in, weather etc. Interestingly, I used both CheckMyTrip and TripIt Pro – running a trial subscription – for the same trip and found CheckMyTrip more useful and easier to use.
Tube / Light Rail / Tram
Tube Map & Tube Map Pro The only difference between the two versions is that Pro is ad free which makes it slick and fast. It links in data from Bus London (giving you a list of nearby stops), myTrains (giving you access to live travel information in London), tripadvisor (for local reviews and advice) and Oyster services for remaining balance on your Oyster Card. You also get alerts on line delays and easily plan a journey though do not expect any functionality like the railway apps. The feature I use the most in this app is its Tube Map (which is absolutely great to plan my journey) and Oyster balance check.
London Bus Live Countdown / Bus Guru Live London Bus Times This actually saves money for the impatient and the weary by giving away the next bus information for free (data charges may apply) instead of paid text alerts. You can locate your nearest stops via the GPS / 3G location service, save stops as favorites and keep a check on bus numbers headed for each stop. Extremely useful. Citymapper – London Transport Live The Citymapper application is relatively new and is available on the App Store (iPhone) only. You enter the postcode of your destination and choose your travel options (walk, cycle, bus, tube, cabs or combination). This app is useful for one thing only, preventing you from opening multiple apps for each individual mode of travel. Once you get an idea of what your travel options are you can easily use the relevant app (bus, train, tube) to choose your best option.
Area information for everyone and Muslims
Google+ Local for iPhone This app helps you anywhere in the world. Looking for a hair salon in your area, take out, petrol station, grocery store, you name it and Google+ Local delivers the information. Powered wholly by Google+ Local business listings, you can get directions, phone numbers, addresses as well as read through the reviews for business listings. This is helpful anywhere. Interested in something for Android? Google+ Local search is already integrated within the Google Search app for Android. Typically the app is preloaded and set for automatic update on most Android devices. Zabihah for iPhone and Android This app may not be slick like the rest or may suffer from old information, yet it is still the largest Halal eating & Mosque reference database for Muslims all over the world. Categorised into three distinct categories, it detects your location (or you enter the postcode) and gives you prayer areas/mosques, halal eating places and halal meat shops within a specified radius. I use it everytime I change city or move to a new area. There are other apps available as well and they may be more frequently updated however they are generally limited to US and Canada only.