Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2009

Maximize Your iPhone

Before you go buying a mess of travel gear for your next big trip, take a closer look at your iPhone. It's a multipurpose guide:

1. Before you leave home, e-mail yourself your itinerary, as well as all confirmation e-mails for hotel, attraction, rental-car and other bookings.
2. Use the GPS and the Google Maps app to find your way around.
3. Take photos of anything you might be held accountable for (such as a torn carpet in a hotel room or a dent on a rental car) so you have proof it was there before you, as well as information such as parking levels and trail maps.
4. Text-message home instead of calling, or download the free Facebook and Twitter apps.
5. Add your destination's weather to the weather app. Download the Weather Channel's free app, which has far more detailed forecasts than the one that comes preloaded on the iPhone.
6. Download audiobooks to listen to on your iPod. At Librivox.org, you can even get public-domain works for free.
7. The iPhone's clock function allows you to have other time zones at your fingertips. And the alarm clock is far more reliable than a hotel wake-up call.
8. See if your destination's newspaper has a free app, and download it to stay abreast of local news.
9. Check out the app store for other travel apps, like Lonely Planet's travel guides, KICKMap for subway maps or OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations. Currency Exchange Rates can convert local prices. And iLINGUA has foreign-language phrasebooks (with audio pronunciations and photos you can point at if words fail).
10. Download games — not just cutting-edge ones but also old favorites like Yahtzee, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit — for when you just can't bear to read your book anymore.