Travel - Mobile App Holiday Gift Guide 2012
Our three favorites:
CityMaps redefines location data and how we process it, leveraging live information, social media recommendations, customized filters and familiar visual cues to offer natives and tourists alike a more natural and intuitive approach to exploring the world around them. For starters, CityMaps doesn't look like other maps: Retailers, restaurants, banks and other businesses are represented by their corporate logos, enabling consumers to quickly identify what's in their immediate area. Users can also filter by verticals like restaurants, shopping, entertainment, nightlife and hotels, complete with menus, foursquare tips and OpenTable reservations. The app also maintains a real-time display of available bargains from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, Fandango movie trailers and ticketing options, and garage locations and rates.
With gasoline averaging a record $3.63 per gallon nationwide in 2012, make sure you don't leave home without Gas Guru, which compares pump prices at service stations within the user's immediate vicinity. The app presents all local stations in list view (complete with address info, driving distance, current price per gallon and most recent pricing updates) or as an interactive map view; users may also label and save stations they frequent on a regular basis or narrow their search by applying filters like fuel grade. Because Gas Guru is a Yellowpages.com product, it also contains a wealth of local business data that extends far beyond area filling stations--invaluable information whether you're close to home or hundreds of miles away from it.
SeatGuru by TripAdvisor isn't a miracle cure-all that solves everything that's wrong with air travel, but it's still a godsend. The app offers color-coded seat maps across close to different 100 airlines, bolstered by advice and insights culled from 35,000 passenger reviews--travelers can compare available legroom, determine which planes offer Wi-Fi service, and target seats with access to a nearby power outlet. SeatGuru also touts real-time travel alerts powered by FlightAware, warning passengers when their plane is delayed or canceled; its Flight Meta-Search Engine, powered by TripAdvisor Flights, uncovers the lowest airfares across online travel agencies, discount airfare consolidators, major airlines and low-cost carriers, helping passengers find the ideal flight at the ideal price. It makes the not-so-friendly skies a little bit friendlier.