Rookie Wednesday: What are the TOP / BEST #Android travel “must have” APPs you need to install? #TravelTech

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

travel android best apps to have

I love my Android phone – So much!

I know a bunch of readers are iPhone and I-stuff users. Well, maybe one day you can upgrade to #Android too and be like the rest of the kool kids but for today this post is for those who have chosen the wiser path (I know, I know, I am going to get flamed for this one but I am just teasing you – mostly)! 😉

This post today is all about the top APPs I think you really should have installed on your device to create the best possible travel experience. Being primarily a Delta flyer I tend to gravitate toward APPs that help me toward that end, but at the same time I am trying to be travel neutral in this post. So, insert your airline now and then when I say Delta!

what travel APP when flying matters most

Click on any of the icons for APP links

OK this one may seem like a no-brainer but even if you just install an airlines app for the day(s) you are flying them it is well worth it. The Delta APP is a wealth of data and updates when you are flying them. From simple things like a boarding pass to even amazing things like workarounds you cannot get done any other way – airline apps are a must when flying. Period!

brightness app

This next one seems like – what – why and why so high up on your list. If you have not noticed, scanners from boarding to anything airline and TSA related does SO much better when your screen is as bright as it can be. But, the brighter your screen the faster your battery dies. So this little gem is just a quick and super simple way to bump it up to MAX and then quickly back to standard.

uber and lyft ride share apps

The next must have is ride share apps. Clearly the biggest two are UBER that is available all over including so many places worldwide. The next one that is growing fast is LYFT. Others are on the way but these two are must haves to me.

spg-and-ihg-hotel-apps-426x300 2

The next one, much like the airline one, is a no-brainer when you have any reservation at a hotel chain. Hotel apps can be amazing from simple things like learning you have been upgraded to an amazing room (yeah) to finding you have NOT been upgraded (booo) and you now need to work the front desk when you get there! Oh and other bits like directions, phone numbers of the hotel and on and on and on. Load the app, insert your award number, enjoy the app.

iFlyATL app

Maybe I am taking these all a bit out of order of importance. Either way, they area all important so just understand they all matter. Having said, that airport apps can be a total disappointment or a home run. Take the iFlyATL one I have blogged about before. It is not perfect but even a less than perfect app can help you save time and stress when you travel. Load the airport app where you are going and dump it when done. It is that simple.

TunnelBear app

This is another one that just matters so much as tech can be country specific. By being able to “trick” if you will other apps as well as browsers and more to think you are still in the USA when you are in Europe or wherever can be a life saver. Not just that, as I have found in a number of tests, running a VPN on Gogo can speed up your performance now and then. That alone makes this app a must have to me.

FoxFi app

After, or maybe I should say before VPN, is FoxFi. What an amazing app. With this app and a USB cord (or via BlueTooth) you can share your cell phone Internet connection with your laptop. Then, with programs like Connectify, you can even create a wifi hotspot to share your Internet access with other devices. I cannot tell you how many times I have had poor hotel free wifi speed and have defaulted back to my trusty Sprint 4G service and enjoyed amazing speed. FoxFi makes that work.

MyRadar app

The bane of all travel is weather. If you can check what is on the way it can impact your choices. Do you try for an earlier flight or try to change to a later flight to avoid issues. Do you order that extra drink at a restaurant to wait out the weather or go NOW to avoid an issue and maybe surge pricing on UBER due to the weather. You see my point. Weather info can save you money and time and more!

AwardWallet app

First off, before you have the app, you need to have an AwardWallet account. Just get one and insert all your programs. Then, when you need them or some number or whatever, they are all in your phone. Forget to load a hotel app (bad reader) then you at least have some info in your AwardWallet app to save you (smart reader)!

priority pass app

Let’s face it folks spending time in quality lounges like the MSP Escape lounge either before or during travel makes the journey so much better. Lounges in AMS are not bad either. There are hundreds of PP lounges worldwide and most of them take digital PP cards (just make sure you have the screen brightness app loaded as well). Oh, and make sure you have a card that provides free Priority pass as well like the Citi  BANK  Prestige card or the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card!

mobile passport app

This really is a lesser known app but if you do not have Global Entry it is a must when flying into airports that support the app (more are on the way). Oh, and unlike GE that costs you $100 every 5 years this one is FREE – just load, install and follow directions. Yeah, almost too simple right?

hertz app

Then we have another one that is whatever car rental program you are a fan of. Clearly as Delta elites we can get FREE top or almost top tier status for free and should consider Hertz because of this. But, if you don’t like Hertz, then again just load the program app you like. Having access to where the car rental location is and where your car is and if you got an upgrade is just sweet. Again, a must have app if you rent cars.

Again, today’s post focused on Android users but almost all of these apps are available for iOS as well! The point of this is that  travel with bad or no data is not fun. We want travel to be fun, relaxing and a blast. Having all these tools will help achieve that.

Do you have any other “must have” travel apps you always use that we too must know about? Please share them in the comments blow on the blog! – René

 

 

5 comments

  1. @DaninMCI For actual day of travel seatguru hasn’t been much use to me, Flightaware doesn’t really offer me much over the FlyDelta IMO day of. The weather radar is good but the myradar app seems to have so much more detail.

    @René The I find more useful than AW on travel day is actually Android Pay. I have all accounts loaded in both but the geofencing notifications that pop up the account when I’m nearby it’s point of use is really convenient on the go. Get to the RAC center and Hertz number pops up (Five star so of no use usually) for example. SO I find it more useful than scrolling through my point balances for membership numbers.

    But you saw me sing the praises of PP app QR when i left my AMEX plat card by the door last flight. No longer need to swipe AMEX…Delta that’s how you do complimentary access.

    My Radar will have to get a go because it looks pretty good. thanks.

    Lastly though, shame on your Android if it doesn’t give convenient brightness slider access in the notifications shade (good to go for me from any app without switching). Does Brightness app adjust brightness but swiping the status bar or something ultra convenient?

  2. I like the ITA On The Fly app. It has been handy to see all of the options at once in IROPS situations overseas. I’ve also used it to find flights when travelling within Asia. It shows schedules and prices for many carriers in an easy to follow format.

  3. Rene, I always like your techie-posts related to travel; I usually get a few good tips from each.

    I’d also submit Inbox by Google; it’s a “new” version of Gmail, but it has smarter organization of your emails…and in relations to travel, it will “read” your email and group it into fancy “Upcoming Trips” bundles so you can see all your trip-related emails (such as reservation emails) in one spot in your Inbox. Think of it as a less-annoying version of TripIt.

    Another app I’ve been using a lot is HERE maps. HERE maps allows you to download maps and use them offline (without a data/internet connection). Google Maps has this functionality nowadays, but HERE maps lets you use walking directions offline (Google Maps requires you to have a data connection for walking directions). The app is also incredibly simple to navigate. I used it for a four-day trip around Paris and France and it worked great…it gave me better directions using the Paris Metro than Google Maps, too.

    Lastly, I’ll add TripAdvisor to the mix of must-have travel apps. TripAdvisor also has offline use built-in: you can download cities (such as Paris, Chicago, etc.) for offline use. You can then search the city for reviews for restaurants or things-to-do near you. If you’re online with TripAdvisor, they have a newer feature that allows you to see many restaurants availability and book a table right within the app (sometimes even giving you a 20-40% discount on your bill if you book a table through the app).

    These are the most popular apps I’m using for travel nowadays.

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