Find local eats by “shaking” your device and watching near-by restaurants slide up and down your screen like a slot machine. Urbanspoon uses GPS to pick popular restaurants local to your neighborhood throughout the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia.
2. iTalk Recorder
Sound recordings of your destination are cheaper than trinkets, longer-lived than food, and second only to photographs for the ability to make past moments seem almost tangible. Touch iTalk’s big, red button to record Big Ben’s gong, birdcalls in Costa Rica, or street musicians in Barcelona. The quality is much better than you might expect—you can usually hear things clearly, even at a distance, and you can leave it on for minutes on end without making much of a dent in your memory. Once you get home, run iTalk Sync (also free) on your computer and it will sense your iPhone in Wi-Fi and instantly transfer your soundscapes to your system.
3. 360 Panorama
Whether you’re standing at the base of Machu Picchu or flying down the slopes in Zermatt, 360 Panorama Interactive Panorama Capture and Sharing makes the best of your camera by stitching together your photos to create panoramic images. Send 360-degree views to friends and family while you’re abroad – prepare to be amazed.
Visiting a city that has a complicated subway system? Punch your origin and destination, as well as the day of the week and time you’re traveling, into 17 MetrO and it will find the shortest ride. Say you’re taking the London Tube from your hotel near Kensington High Street to St. Pancras Station. There are several ways to do it, but MetrO will tell you that the shortest is to change at Paddington for an eight-stop, 25-minute ride (iPad, iPhone; free).
Next time you’re passing through a place you know little about, open up Wikipedia and you’ll get a ton of information, culled from Wikipedia entries, about the place’s noteworthy sights, culture, history, beaches, parks, university, famous people, and more (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free).
6. FlightAware Flight Tracker
This is the easiest, no-frills app to track your flight; just provide your airline and flight number and let FlightAware do the rest. Accept the push notification feature for updates on flight delays, gate changes or cancellations.
7. Postagram Postcards
Forget about sending touristy postcards to friends and loved ones – take a photo with the Postagram app and send your very own postcard to anyone in the world. Postagram takes your photo and prints it for you for a mere 99 cents. You provide the mailing address from your device, and Postagram will send your travel photography through the mail.
8. AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Run
This GPS app will guide you on an easy-to-read map as you walk, providing street names, a compass, audio guides, POI’s, and details of your average speed, elevation and duration. Travelers all over the world track their journeys and excursions with AllTrails– over 400,000 to date – and use the app to share spots worth seeing.
9. lastminute.com – Travel Deals
An invitation-only hotel and travel mecca, Jetsetter features flash travel sales and clear, professional photography of exotic destinations all over the world. The app features every kind of hotel you can think of – luxury properties, trendy hang-outs, or eco-conscious resorts – for discounts as high as 50% off. Scroll through once-in-a-lifetime hotel deals and get inspired to jet set with dreamy deals you never thought your money could buy.
10. The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel app tells you what to expect hourly throughout the day as well as for the next ten days. I used it in Paris to determine when to go to museums (on rainy days), when to reserve a Seine cruise (on a sunny day), and when to hit the Eiffel Tower (when visibility would be good). Talk about time management (Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone; free).