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Smart Phone Use and Apps when traveling?

Pauline

Forums Admin
#1
In another thread @Ian Sutton recommended tracking each others smart phones when traveling with your partner. I had never bothered to look into this feature, but I have it set up now and it is great. On the iPhone it is the Find My Phone app which comes with the phone. Steve and I are set up as Family Sharing and it was pretty quick to set it so I can see where he is. It came in handy today when I was waiting for him in Dorchester after getting my hair cut, and he went for a walk. I turned on the app and it showed me that he was about 20 feet away, walking towards me.

For our upcoming trip to Israel, I thought I would bring my Garmin GPS like I usually do - but there are no maps for Israel! The guy who manages one of the places we are renting recommended WAZE so I installed it and used it today when we were driving to Dorchester. I like it! Clear maps, good voice directions, seems to have recent roadworks info (my Garmin has all that too). I wanted to practice using it before we are on the Israel roads.

Marian recommended GETT for taxis in Israel so I installed that. We don't have Uber in the hinterland where I live, so I have no experience of these apps. We'll see ...

Steve has a Hebrew language app on his phone and I got an Israel Tourist board app.

When we travel in Italy we always use Dana Facaros Italian Food Decoder - which is great.

What apps do you use when traveling?
 
#2
Very interesting, we've just been reviewing apps for our trip to France and Portugal coming up in 25 days... also learned Garmin hasn't got updated maps and we're doing the same, testing WAZE and Google maps to use both while in Europe. I'm hoping to not get separated from DH (dear husband) for more than a bathroom visit, maybe I'll try my FindMyPhone while in the powder room some time, tee ehe!
 

Roz

500+ Posts
#3
Waze is owned by Google, and the maps are pretty similar. I prefer the Google interface, but that's a matter of personal preference. Waze was created in Israel, so I wonder if that might make it better for a trip there.

If you use Google Maps when traveling, be sure to download the maps for the region where you'll be before you are out on the road. I'm not sure if you can download maps for Waze. But I found the downloaded Google maps worked quite well when I was away from a cell connection. Also, be aware that the downloaded Google maps will expire from your phone something like a month after you download them, so you'll need to refresh them if you didn't download them recently.
 

GailS

100+ Posts
#5
I’ve recently switched to Android, just before my last trip to Italy in December, so I had to install a new set of apps for travel. I would recommend having both Google Translator and Bing Translator. For Android, I find the camera translation easier in Bing. You can download language packs for offline use in both. I use both Google Maps and Here Maps (Here maps are what Garmin and some other GPS companies use) and download local maps. I also have Waze installed but use that more at home for traffic. I have XE currency for current conversion rates. For Italy specifically, Train Timetable for train schedules and track information (often available in the app prior to on the boards in the station), HiTide Venice for acqua alta forecasts, IMOB Reader to have access to the balance on my Venezia Unica card. I also took advantage when in Italy and connected to an Italian ISP to download apps only offered in the Italian Google Play store, like Quotidiani Italiani that bundles newspaper articles.
 
#6
Trainline now has an app. If you install it before you buy tickets, you'll see the tickets in the app & where available, have a page with a barcode to use as your mobile ticket. I've used it so far for my train to Amsterdam to Paris & am hoping to use it for my other tickets in France & the UK.

Gail, thanks for the idea to look for local apps while on a trip.
 

joe

100+ Posts
#7
I'd love to hear of a parking app for Italy, and actually I'm quite surprised that nothing like this has been put out. In Israel we have a couple of great apps like this that make parking a breeze (at least the part that has to do with payment). Very user friendly - but not sure there are English versions.
Still a nightmare to find a place to park, though...;)
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
#9
My daughter likes Waze, I think because it includes more traffic data than Google Maps.

A few months ago, at the recommendation of someone (must have been here!), I downloaded maps.me, but I don't remember what it was that was so appealing about the app. If it's no better than Google Maps, I'm going to un-install it! Does anyone know maps.me?
 
#10
artnbarb, maps.me used to have its place. With that app, it works by downloading the content and then can be used offline. However, Google caught on, and now offers downloadable maps. This now makes maps.me pointless.
 
#12
Trainline now has an app. If you install it before you buy tickets, you'll see the tickets in the app & where available, have a page with a barcode to use as your mobile ticket. I've used it so far for my train to Amsterdam to Paris & am hoping to use it for my other tickets in France & the UK.
Susan -- I used Trainline in the UK last year and was very happy with it.

I've been using CityMaps2Go for five years and am happy with it. I suppose downloading Google Maps may be similar.

In Paris, I rely on Next Stop Paris for the metro and buses.

I have the Larousse French/English dictionary on my iPhone.
 

Mark

100+ Posts
#13
I have used Citymapper in Paris and other citys and it worked well, walking direction, has public transportation and lets you know when the next bus is arriving. I like food and restaurant apps and used Katie Parla for Rome. Reviews as well as bars and wine shops etc. also make my own maps in Google maps of all of the places I plan to visit. It works across all devices.
 
#14
.......also make my own maps in Google maps of all of the places I plan to visit. It works across all devices.
I know this should be something I can do, but I've never been able to get Google maps to do anything I wanted it to, other than basic directions. OTOH< maybe I've never bothered because I hate walking around with my phone in my hand! I'm too clumsy, plus I have to take off my sunglasses, and then the sun KILLS my eyes - AND - I can't read the screen because of glare. I guess I'm not as hip as I thought - I just realized that I actually prefer a paper map!
 
#15
All I need is Google map though. However, I have never travelled to the Middle East or Africa, I don't know if Google can still provide the exact info in those regions
 
#17
I know this should be something I can do, but I've never been able to get Google maps to do anything I wanted it to, other than basic directions. OTOH< maybe I've never bothered because I hate walking around with my phone in my hand! I'm too clumsy, plus I have to take off my sunglasses, and then the sun KILLS my eyes - AND - I can't read the screen because of glare. I guess I'm not as hip as I thought - I just realized that I actually prefer a paper map!
Barb, try searching for "my google maps" This will take you to the link you need for creating your own maps. I use this more for planning & making notes for places/restaurants, etc. I don't use it during the day when I'm out but use it as a reference in my hotel room the evening before when I'm planning out the next day. You do need to be logged into google to use this.
 
#18
I highly recommend Google Fi cell phone service if you travel overseas. The service is $20 per month and $10 per gig of data with full reimbursement for data you do not use. When travelling oveseas, there is no additional fee for text or data and a per minute fee for calls. The rates are even cheaper for calls if you use their Google Hangouts Dialer app for calls through Google Voice.

The only downside is that you have to buy one of their phones that is compatible with their service.

https://fi.google.com/about/rates/
https://www.google.com/voice/rates
 
#19
In another thread @Ian Sutton recommended tracking each others smart phones when traveling with your partner. I had never bothered to look into this feature, but I have it set up now and it is great. On the iPhone it is the Find My Phone app which comes with the phone. Steve and I are set up as Family Sharing and it was pretty quick to set it so I can see where he is. It came in handy today when I was waiting for him in Dorchester after getting my hair cut, and he went for a walk. I turned on the app and it showed me that he was about 20 feet away, walking towards me.

For our upcoming trip to Israel, I thought I would bring my Garmin GPS like I usually do - but there are no maps for Israel! The guy who manages one of the places we are renting recommended WAZE so I installed it and used it today when we were driving to Dorchester. I like it! Clear maps, good voice directions, seems to have recent roadworks info (my Garmin has all that too). I wanted to practice using it before we are on the Israel roads.

Marian recommended GETT for taxis in Israel so I installed that. We don't have Uber in the hinterland where I live, so I have no experience of these apps. We'll see ...

Steve has a Hebrew language app on his phone and I got an Israel Tourist board app.

When we travel in Italy we always use Dana Facaros Italian Food Decoder - which is great.

What apps do you use when traveling?
Waze is an Israeli invented app that is now part of Google. It is particularly useful in Israel as it will make sure you avoid certain territories and neighborhoods where your life might be at risk for passing though...
 
#20
I was introduced to Waze while in Atlanta, GA - couldn't have survived getting around the metro area without it! Waze is interactive and responds to other users and their situation. For example if traffic is backed up and there is an alternative route Waze will automatically give the alternative. I have used Google and GPS and Waze here in southern Italy and Waze is the best of the three.

I have used it on routes I know to see how it works and it has always been correct, Google has frequently given bad directions. I have also noticed some of the auto manufacturers are touting Waze as included in their tech package.
 

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