Twitter iconFacebook iconRSS icon

Top Android App: Yelp!

Posted on Mar 5, 2010 in Top Rated Apps, Travel | comment

The Yelp! Android app has recently been updated to version 1.4 and has come a long way from the initial release which lacked many interactive features that many of us were hoping for.  You’ll be pleased with the utility Yelp! has now brought to your Android phone.

Version: 1.4
Size: 530KB
Category: Travel
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.8/5

User Interface: 5/5
Ease of Use: 5/5
Customizability: 4.5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Indispensability: 5/5

The point of Yelp! is to share information with others to aid in making informed decisions, and when is this more important than when you’re on the go?  Exactly why Yelp! is such a useful app that you should definitely have on your Android phone.

The main page of the app offers you main categories like Restaurants, Bars, Banks, and more.  This is ideal for finding something quickly.  Clicking on a category lists the leading businesses based on your location.  You’ll be able to view the picture, rating, # of reviews, address, price range, and distance for the specific entry.  If you want to see exactly where each business is, click Map in the top right corner to display them all.  You can also refresh the Map’s area if you decide you want to venture a little further away.

When you select a specific business, you’ll receive full detailed information like you would expect on Yelp’s official website.  The address and phone number are in prominent locations for one-click access.  Also, read full reviews and view pictures from other users.

There are also a couple great new additions in version 1.4.  First, you can now draft your own reviews and assign ratings.  Unfortunately, the keyword here is “draft.” Your draft will be waiting for you at Yelp.com for you to officially publish it.  I’m not exactly sure why they have set it up this way, but it’s better than nothing!  Second, you can now Bookmark specific businesses for later.  This is nice if you want to keep a list of restaurants to try for example.

If you haven’t used Yelp! yet to help you make decisions, you definitely should. Yelp! will have you hooked in no time.

Read More

Top Android App: TripIt – Travel Organizer

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 in Top Rated Apps, Travel | 3 comments

“TripIt for Android is a free travel app that keeps your TripIt itineraries at the ready. Get instant access to all the trip planning information you might need while you’re traveling, even when you can’t connect to the internet.” An intro description doesn’t get any clearer than that!

Version: 1.0.4
Size: 1.42MB
Category: Travel
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.5/5

User Interface: 5/5
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
Customizability: 4/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Indispensability: 4.5/5

TripIt for Android brings you instant access to all your travel plans in one place. No matter where or when you booked travel, it’ll all be organized for you here.  As a plus, the user interface is extremely streamlined and easy on the eyes.

First an foremost, you must either have a TripIt account or signup for one before using this app.  Signing up is very quick and easy and shouldn’t turn you away. Once you’re setup, the easiest way to use this app is to forward your travel plan info (i.e. confirmation emails) to plans@bestandroidappsreview.com.  TripIt will take it from there and build your itinerary!

When you’ve added trip information, you can then access it in the app.  For example, if you’ve got a flight coming up, TripIt provides you with the departure and arrival time, details like distance traveled and type of aircraft, as well as links to your flight’s status.  Similarly, you have access to local maps, restaurants, hotels, etc. at the touch of your finger.

One thing to know about this app is that it doesn’t allow you to actually plan trips within the app.  You can do this at the official TripIt website which will then sync to the app.  Additionally, if you want flight alerts like real-time delay info and gate changes, you’ll have to pay for TripIt Pro on their website.  Also, many links take you to the Browser, so while they are helpful, it’d be nice to see them integrated into the native app.

Overall, TripIt is a great organizational tool if you’re a busy traveler.  The fact that it offers offline access to itineraries is a nice feature that you’ll appreciate when you really need it (even though you probably have internet access almost anywhere).  If you’ve got a vacation or business trip coming up, try out this app. Download from the Android Market below.

Read More

Top Android App: BART Rider

Posted on Dec 26, 2009 in Top Rated Apps, Travel | comment

Bart Rider is a must have app for anyone located in the Bay Area who rides BART.  Now when traveling on BART you can quickly get real-time updates for each station.  Since you’ll know when your train will arrive at the station, you won’t waste time sitting around.


Application: BART Rider
Version: 1.1.0
Size: 242KB
Category: Travel
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.5/5

User Interface: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
Customizability: 4/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Indispensability: 5/5*


* Disclaimer: This app review is targeted for Android users based in the Bay Area.


The app is built for easy use and functionality.  The home page has three options: Find Nearest Station (which uses your current GPS location), System Map, and Select Station.



If you’re looking to hop on BART but aren’t quite sure where the closest station is, the “Find Nearest Station” will definitely help you out.


If you’ve found a station and need to determine which train you need to catch to get to your destination, the System Map is your answer.  The map also includes information about transfer stations and the like to help you if you’re new to BART.



Lastly, my most often used part of this app is the “Select Station.”  With this page you choose a station and it will return real-time results of when the next trains will be arriving.  Since some trains only run every 20 minutes or so, now you won’t have to go in the station early and waste time waiting.




You also have 4 more options after you select a particular station.  You can favorite the station for easy access later (great if you are always leaving from one station), look for BART advisories like delays, check the map (in Google maps) to see your surroundings, or refresh to get the latest information.


The one addition to this app that would raise its rating and make it even more useful would be a trip planner.  With a trip planner you could put in your starting and ending location and get information about trip length, cost of the trip, departure and arrival times, etc.  Right now the app is great for when your train will arrive but doesn’t give you much more information than that.  Hopefully a trip planner will be added in the future.


If you live in the Bay Area and use BART, try BART Rider to make your trip easier.


Here’s the barcode you can scan with Barcode Scanner or click the QR code (if you’re on your Android phone) if you’d like to give it a try.


Read More

Top Android App: Where

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 in Top Rated Apps, Travel | comment

If there is one Android app I would always travel with, it’s Where.  Where gives you one app, one stop access to restaurant reviews, movies, local news, gas prices, weather, etc.  Where is based on your location and gives you all sorts of information about your surroundings.

Application: Where

Version: 1.8.4
Size: 2.00MB
Category: Travel
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.6/5
User Interface: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
Customizability: 4.5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Indispensability: 5/5
Where is built like Android itself, with multiple landing pages with their own icons and applications built in.  Here are some examples of what you can expect when you use Where:
One very cool and original feature of Where is the “Pulse” of your location.  This pulls Twitter posts that are from users within a certain distance of your location.  This is an interesting idea and a fun one at that.  I’m not sure how useful it truly is, but if nothing else you can get a glimpse of what is happening around you at any point in time.  It might prove to be useful for finding the local hotspots on a Friday night.
Overall, Where is a great idea and a good app that is consistently being updated and worked on.  The developers seem interested in feedback and the app is always improving.  When you take your next vacation or go somewhere new, let Where help you.

Scan the barcode with Barcode Scanner for a direct link to Where in the Android Market.

Read More

Top Android App: Google Maps (Labs Update)

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 in App News, Top Rated Apps, Travel | comment

Application: Google Maps
Version: 3.3.1
Size: 2.70MB
Category: Travel
Price: Free
Overall Score: 5/5
User Interface: 5/5
Ease of Use: 5/5
Customizability: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Indispensability: 5/5
I’m giving a short review/tutorial to the newly updated Google Maps so you’ll know how to access the new features on your Android phone.
The newly added Google Maps Labs allows you to access new features that include:
·         Scale bar: Shows a scale bar on the map with distances in meters and feet.
·         Terrain layer: Adds terrain layer to the layers menu.  This layer adds elevation shading to your map.
·         Popular catergories: Shows a list of category searches when you use the search menu button.
·         Layer button: Adds an on-screen button for easy access to layers (don’t need to hit menu first anymore).
·         Compass arrow: Uses the digital compass to indicate the direction you are facing.
These new options can be enabled or disabled depending on what is useful to you.  The addition of Google Maps Lab definitely adds more functionality to the Google Maps app.  I’m also figuring that Google will likely add more useful Labs options to the app in the future.
What I think is the coolest addition to Google Maps is the new “What’s Nearby” option.  In order to access this feature, long press on the map in a location you are interested in.  This could be where you currently are or where you’re going to be.  This will bring a popup window with that location.
Next, click on the window to open more options about that particular location on the map.  You will notice that there is a new option in this drop down menu, “What’s Nearby?”  Selecting this will show you a list of the 10 closest places, including restaurants, shops, and other points of interest.
Choosing one of the items in the list brings up the normal Google Maps options like Show on map, Get directions, Navigate, Call, Street view, etc.
Now you can answer the question of “what’s nearby” and find some new and interesting places to visit/enjoy.  The great thing is, now you can do this on the fly with as little effort as possible.  Android and Google making things easier as always.
I’m sure everyone already has and uses this app pretty much on a daily basis.  For the few of you who do not, here’s the barcode you can scan with Barcode Scanner to take you directly there in the Android Market.
Read More
Page 3 of 4« First234