TechNewsWorld’s All Things Appy looks at the best apps for our mobile devices today. This week, our focus is on transportation apps for iOS.
The travel experience has been enhanced by the portability of the iPhone and its apps.Travel planning, making reservations, and getting information while on the road are all easier with the top five free transportation-oriented apps available for the iOS platform.
Apps can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store. Browse to it using your mobile device, and then search for the app you’d like to download.
No. 1: Orbitz Flights, Hotels, Cars for iPhone
The Orbitz travel reservations app is rated 3+ out of a possible five by 2,298 reviewers usingall versions, and 4+ out of a possible five by 125 reviewers using the latest version inthe App Store. An iPad-specific version is also available.
Orbitz provides strong sort-and-filter functionality — flight durations make choosingflights easy.
Rapidly search for flights from within the app, then reserve. It includes flight status search too.
This app also provides car rental and hotel booking.
Map-based hotelresults let you see exactly where the hotel is located.
Orbitz was launched in 1999 by an American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta AirLines, Northwest Airlines and United Air Lines consortium with corresponding accessto industry-wide computer systems.
It was the first of the airline pricing intelligenceaggregators geared toward the consumer.
TechNewsWorld reckons it’s still the best.
No. 2: Taxi Magic
Ride Charge’s taxi booking app is rated three out of a possible five by 9,623 reviewersusing all versions, and 4+ out of a possible five by 20 reviewers using the latest version in theApp Store.
Book taxis with a couple of screen taps.
Taxi magic has automated access to 75 taxi fleetsin 40 U.S. cities. Set up a bank card option at US$1.50 a trip. Then just add a tip to your fare, and toucha Pay button when exiting the cab. Expenses-friendly receipts are delivered by email.
TechNewsWorld likes this app for the dispatched cab tracking functionality — the peace of mind that it provides by letting you know through the animated map-drawn icon that your taxi is en route.
Includes tap-to-call numbers for fleets not tied into its automated dispatch system.
No. 3: Zipcar
Zipcar’s car rental app is rated 3+ out of a possible five by 17,992 reviewers using all versions, and 4+ out of a possible five by 2,905 reviewers using the latest version in theApp Store.
This app reserves, unlocks and locks Zipcar doors.
Street-located Zipcars arean alternative to car ownership and public transportation. Reserve the car with the app,drive away, return the car to the same parking spot, and Zipcar bills you for hours driven.
The app lets you view available cars on a map, sort cars by time available, locate the car by sounding its horn, and extend your reservation.
Zipcars are in 15 U.S. cities and at some universities. They’re also dotted around parts of Europe, making this app great for traveling too.
Zipcar uses a fee-based membership system.
No. 4: Tripadvisor Hotels Flights Restaurants
Tripadvisor’s planning app is rated four out of a possible five by 29,155 reviewers using all versions, and 4+ out of a possible five by 716 reviewers using the latest version in the App Store. An iPad-specific version is also available.
Plan trips using overmore than 75 million reviews from fellow travelers. This app includesrestaurants in addition to the usual flights and hotels.
Associated apps also worthdownloading include professionally edited offline city guides with geolocating reviewsof nearby restaurants and attractions.
No. 5: GateGuru
GateGuru’s itinerary planning app is rated three out of a possible five by 3,357 reviewersusing all versions, and 1+ out of a possible five by 48 reviewers using the latest version in theApp Store.
GateGuru is not all that great for the crowd-sourced TSA security wait times, because not enoughpeople are participating.
However, this app is a lifesaver for accessing basic airport information likethe nearest ATM shown on a map.
It’s useful too if you want to plan restaurants in advancewhen connecting.
Plus, it provides real-time gate and flight status. The latest version is something of a letdown due todisappointing feature-bloat.