Here’s a geeky version of my What’s in my Bag series. Since getting my iPod Touch last year, we’ve been inseparable. I love that it can keep me occupied during long plane, bus, train or ferry rides, while serving as a mobile mini-computer. Of course, it does not have the full functionality that a netbook or laptop has, but it helps me track my expenses, write and publish a blog and most importantly, it lets me connect to the Internet.
I’m an idiot who uses two different apps for two different Twitter accounts. Yes, I know I can use one for both. It’s just easier this way. Or so I tell myself.
I’ve gone through several apps throughout the year, but these are the ones that have stuck with me:
This is actually a relatively new addition to my App list. The makers of My Vacation, Jasper Apps, sent me a coupon to try out their app. I have been content with using the Notes app on the iPod, so I was keen to check out if the app can make preparing and blogging the trip easier.
Turns out, it did! Before the trip, I typed in our flight information and contact numbers in the notes section so I can easily refer to it when needed. What I liked in particular though is the built-in packing list. It has a list of suggested item, at the same time lets you add your own. As I looked through it, I realized I forgot about certain things, and I was able to buy them before leaving. They also have a to-do check list, where I wrote down the places we can visit in our destination.
The app has a presentation thing that lets you view the photos taken during the trip while the journal scrolls through the next panel. You can also view the destination on Google Maps. My Vacation allows you to keep your trip journal and photos by date so you can easily recall and find specific pictures or notes.
I found myself tapping on the keyboard writing on the journal while waiting for delayed flight or for food. I love that I can just write and post it to my blog or Facebook, send it as e-mail or to my Dropbox. I can even send it to other devices that has My Vacation installed. My two Back to Bicol posts were written and posted through My Vacation. I really liked that function, and found myself wishing for the new iPod with a camera. Still, I love how it was able to integrate the photos cleanly within the post. I have some issues with how the post was formatted, but that can be fixed within WordPress (though it would be great to be able to do without that). Overall, it’s a pretty nice app for keeping your trip notes, photos and journal organized.
You’ve seen my travel budget posts (which really should be called travel expenses). You know how anal I get with keeping tabs at every single peso that comes out of my wallet. I decided to track all my expenses, not just during my travels so I know just how much damage I’m doing to my non-existent pile of gold. I first tried out the free lite version of Spending, but quickly upgraded and bought the full app, if only for the passcode lock (there are probably other features that the full version has that the lite doesn’t but this is the one that matter most to me).
I love how I can categorize my expenses and income so I can easily see which ones I need to work on and which expense I have to cut back on. It also made me see just how money I’m wasting. Boy, was that an eye-opener. What I really really love about the app is its ability to upload to Google Docs. Gone were the days that I would have to type down each expense from my notebook unto my spreadsheet and compute each one to fit the category. This app just made it so much easier that I merely do minor edits on Excel before I publish and upload on my blog.
Technology can be seen as both good and bad. Good, because it lets you quickly convert foreign currency to your own currency, bad because it kills your brain cells. Now I can hardly do math in my head. Still, I’m grateful to this handy app for making it easy to know exactly how much 4,000,000 Vietnamese dong costs.
The app lets you convert to several foreign currencies. Just tap one currency and key in the amount. It will automatically convert to all the currency you set the app to convert to. Very very handy.
The iPod and iPhone has its built-in weather app, but I love how paranoid Accuweather is. Apart from the daily forecast, it has an hourly weather forecast, which is great so you know when to wrap up your sightseeing and head indoors.
Here’s an app that I’ve had in my iPod for a while but haven’t really used. It basically lets you search through HotelWorld’s extensive database of budget accommodations, book or mark as favorite for future reference. I haven’t used this yet (haven’t had the chance to), but I’m hoping I’d get to use it at least once this year. It’s great to have this as a research tool when you’re still in the planning phase of your trip. Which I’m doing at the moment 😉
Here’s another app that haven’t been used much. Not that I don’t want to use it. It’s just that the places I’ve been to lately haven’t been properly mapped yet. What made me download this app is its integration with Google My Maps. Basically, you can create your map on Google Maps, put in your notes and everything then sync it with the app. Presto, instant customized map for your trip! What’s even better is that it lets you download the maps so you can view it offline. It also helps that the app is pretty. Watch the video that sold me on the app. So looking forward to using this on an upcoming trip!
Ever had to rush out to a trip without having the time to really read up on your destination? That happened to me a couple of times. This app helped me learn about the important stuff: the local customs and culture. There’s nothing worse than a cultural faux pas, and though some local might laugh it off since you’re the clueless tourist, it’s still better not to commit them in the first place. While it doesn’t have all the countries in the world, it does have most of them. It has entries on greetings, communication style, personal space & touching (very important!), eye contact, views of time, gender issues, gestures, taboos and law & order.
Fring is an all in one communication app that logs you in to Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ (people still use ICQ?), Twitter and Facebook. I use it mainly for chatting on Y!M and GTalk, though if I have a headset with a mic, I can also make calls using the app. I have this installed on my Nokia and I’ve been able to make Fring to Fring calls to my brother in Singapore over wi-fi.
HeyWire also lets you login to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, but I use it mainly to send SMS to friends. When I was phone-less earlier this year, this app came in handy for sending messages to friends. This can help you cut down on international roaming costs, as you only need to connect to the wi-fi to send messages to friends and family back home (if they don’t know how to use Facebook or have an e-mail address, that is). If you’re using an iPhone though, make sure you’re connecting via wi-fi, not through the local mobile network as data charges while roaming are very expensive. (I was billed Php 1,700+ for a 1.3MB data transfer. OUCH.)
Of course, I can’t not have WordPress in my iPod! The app lets me draft and publish posts, but more importantly, it lets me approve and reply to comments. If typing on the iPod isn’t such a bitch, I would be blogging more through this app.
Got this word right when I was in the midst of my Dramione fandom.
The most important tool that ALL bloggers must have: a dictionary. It’s basically Dictionary.com, but there’s no need to go online to look up words. So you have no excuse to misuse words in your blog!
I can’t write about iPod apps without including Angry Birds! This is certainly one of the best value games, not to mention addicting! It kept me entertained during the bus ride from Hoi An to Hue, the 8-hour ferry ride from Mandalay to Bagan and in between activities while traveling through Bicol earlier this month. I have all the variants (Original, Seasons, Rio), and it’s the best $0.99 app you can buy.
The free version has very limited boards, but the fortune that comes upon completion of each game is priceless.
The classic word search puzzle has gone digital! There are several word categories available: English words, food & drink, colors, body parts, world countries, etc. The game is timed, so you can easily be baited to keep on beating your own record.
This is another puzzle game. You start from the upper left corner and you fill in the space with colors until you have one solid board. But you have to do it in 22 steps or less! This is app is free and is also available on Android.
Ah, my latest addiction. I used to have different Tong-its app that lets you play with other players, but that requires an Internet connection. This one lets you play against the computer (err, iPod), so no need to go online. I downloaded this just a couple of days ago and I haven’t stopped playing it since.
What are the apps on your iPod/iPhone?