PHOTO: Views on Top app (Views on Top Facebook page)
App developers continue to innovate and surprise these days, even when so much has already been invented and discovered.
Technology is advancing at warp speed, but it’s also important to recognize that this is all because of the human brain. Some mighty intelligent and creative folks are out there, and they continue to give us practically everything we want and need.
Travelers are especially always looking for new apps to make their adventures more enjoyable, from booking information to offerings authentic to the destination.
In the latest edition of TravelPulse’s ongoing travel apps series, we look at five more travel apps that deserve recognition.
Independent We Stand (iPhone, Android, free)
Independent We Stand has not only been a gift to travelers, it’s also been a gift to local businesses.
The free app allows users to search the area for local, independent and small businesses, supporting the destination’s economy while offering more authenticity to travelers.
From scanning local stores to restaurants to finding flowers for your hot date, this app has already become a favorite among those who like to support and reward the hard-working local business owners of this world.
There are currently millions of local listings in the app, and the smooth functionality of the search tool makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Sometimes it’s hard to find an authentic store to visit in a new destination; in that sense, Independent We Stand has become a mighty valuable tool to the traveler and the local business owner.
Views on Top (iPhone, free)
Views on Top, which debuted in late April, is essentially a photo-based travel guide.
You are able to explore destinations before and during your trip, complete with panoramic photos from professional photographers and world travelers. You can scan recommendations, search by experience or simply turn on Location Services on your smartphone and let your phone identify scenic places near you.
There’s also detailed information about each sight, and you can tack places you’ve been to on your own personal map while also adding “bucket list” items.
This has already become a buzzworthy app in a limited amount of time, drawing those who want to get out and see the iconic and beautiful sites of the world or those who can’t wait to skydive in a picturesque destination.
From world-renowned sights to rooftop bars to historic monuments to alpine lookouts, Views on Top captures the famous places across the globe, as well as the lesser-known destinations.
MyAway (iPhone, Android, free)
MyAway joins the growing list of travel apps that are being presented at hotels.
The app is prominently featured on in-room TV screens at the new Courtyard Residence Inn Los Angeles L.A. Live, which I stayed at for the grand opening ceremony on July 1.
MyAway allows you to easily find attractions, stores and restaurants around the area; view flight and weather information; listen to World Radio; purchase hotel movie content; view your personal hotel portfolio and check out of your room.
Heck, you can even navigate your in-room TV’s menu and use the app as a remote control.
It’s a wonder why it’s taken so long for hotels to implement such handy apps into guestrooms, but more and more hotels are joining the movement.
MyAway has received rave reviews for its practicality and usefulness.
Quicket (iPhone, free)
First of all, Fred Finn is one of Quicket’s co-founders.
If you’re not familiar with Finn, he’s the Guinness world record holder for most air miles flown by a passenger, logging 15 million air miles so far in his lifetime.
So…chances are Finn knows a thing or two about what makes flying easier and more efficient.
That’s why he came up with Quicket, an all-in-one booking app that allows users to search for airlines and flights, view specific seating charts on airplanes and check out arrival and departure times.
The app boasts seat maps of 932 aircraft from over 170 airlines. The latest version of the app (3.1), introduced in May, added 69 new airlines with 139 new aircraft seat maps. You can also share seat maps via Twitter, Facebook and email; use frequent flyer cards on the app to get mileage credit; update flight tracking by simply shaking your phone; and buy tickets in less than a minute per the integrated Quick Pay system.
Quicket was developed by integrating an early version of the app with the former Jets app.
Fitbit (iPhone, coming soon to Android, free)
Fitbit has been around for a while, but a new feature called “MobileRun” has added even more to the wildly popular fitness app.
Now, when you go explore the great outdoors (or the great city), whether you are hiking or running, you can accurately track your activity through the app’s new GPS system.
The app tracks a wealth of handy info, including steps, miles traveled, calories burned, “active minutes,” pace, splits, time and route maps. On top of that, there are spoken distance and mile markers while you run, and you can switch between iTunes songs and playlists while never leaving the Fitbit app.
It also includes a database of more than 350,000 food entries for logging food calories. If you want to add a customized food entry, you simply scan the item’s barcode with your smartphone.
Follow me on Twitter @RyanRudnansky