Air, train or car travel all present unique challenges to the connected Android user. While the abilities of phones have dramatically improved over the last couple of years, the ability to stay connected while traveling still provide many challenges, especially for the traveler.
- Airline Ticketing, Reservation and Status – This is absolutely the first application that I use consistently. Many, if not most of the major airlines have their own Android applications which are free. If you travel on the same air carrier, then it makes sense to use one of these. Because I travel on different carriers, I use on of the general travel applications. In this way, I can reserve flight, a rental car and a hotel quickly. If I need to change a flight, I can quickly scan for alternatives. Flight status applications are equally important. Although I could download a paid Android Application for this, I find that the Dolphin browser can keep my forms data in memory and I need only to refresh the screen to check on flight status.
- There is nothing more helpful than a game or two to tide you over when you’re waiting in either the security, snack or gate area. Games are usually quick ways to keep you busy and alert when that public announcement calls for a gate change, a flight cancellation or boarding time. I like the solitaire card games for this particular reason.
- If you know your wait will be an hour or more, then an entertainment application will help. The most functional for me is NetFlix. It appears to have the lowest bandwidth constraint and has one of the best “remember-my-place” I have ever seen. If I’m interrupted for one reasonor another, I can quickly return to the exact place I left. A constraint I have noticed, though, is that 3G/4G networks can get busy in an airport and thus throughput is a challenge. Interestingly, if you’re a passenger in a taxi and get stuck in traffic, the NetFlix application will beautifully in most large cities.
- Map/navigation software has been very helpful for me while travelling by car, taxi or by foot. I just cannot remember the many times that this software has guided me safely and carefully to my destination on time. Both Google and your phone carrier will have their own versions of navigation software. I have used one of the dedicated GPS devices and found them equally useful, although not necessarily the most practical if one is trying to minimize the number of devices being carried.
- When I’m in an unfamiliar location, I have also found one of the location applications very helpful. These kind of application will use your GPS to locate or list points of interest, nearby coffee shops or fine or video arts that you can quickly and easily visit.
In summary, the astute Android phone user on business or personal travel will reduce their anxiety scientifically with special purpose applications. They wile away the time, keep you on course and keep you connected to the rest of the world.