Greetings, Verizon Wireless customers! Your wait is finally over. It’s been over a year since I ditched the Palm Treo 680 in favor of an Apple iPhone 3GS 16 GB. As somebody who spent 2010 earning Platinum Medallion status with Delta Airlines, I depend on my iPhone to get me where I need to be. With today’s announcement of the Apple iPhone 4 coming to Verizon on February 11, 2011, it seemed right to share my top ten iPhone applications that I recommend to fellow road warriors. All of the apps are free or have a free edition.
TripIt is a free app that integrates all of your travel reservations, regardless of where you made them, into a single itinerary tied together with Google Maps. Before I had an iPhone, I started using the TripIt web site and lugging printed itineraries to the airport. Now, I use the TripIt iPhone app to manage all of my reservations and generate maps to exotic destinations. Although the TripIt Pro service has an annual subscription fee, it monitors my flights and sends SMS notifications of delays and gate changes.
2. GateGuru by Mobility Apps
GateGuru is a free app that helps travelers find amenities in most of the larger U.S. airports. I use it primarily to find a Starbucks or something to munch on during layovers.
Evernote is a digital notebook for people who’s brain is stuck in the cloud, or should be. Their motto is “remember everything”. I usually enter notes from my laptop using the web site and read them from my iPhone. But I also use both the Mac and Windows clients, too.
Yelp is a free and favorite application to find dinner based on other Yelpers’ recommendations and ratings. The Yelp database suffers from data quality issues like redundant and missing entries, but I haven’t found an app that I like better. And by using the check-in and bookmark features, I can later remember the name of a good restaurant.
5. Weather Channel Max
The Weather Channel Max is a paid version of the free Weather Channel app. It helps me decide what to pack in my suitcase. It uses the iPhone GPS to tell me the weather at my current location. I also store active customer sites as favorites for easy access.
6. Fly Delta – by Delta Airlines
I live near the Cincinnati airport and fly Delta most frequently. I really appreciate their free app for keeping track of itineraries and checking in from anywhere. Delta did a splendid job designing the app around the frequent traveler rather than the reservation process (Yes, I’m referring to the nearly useless Avis app). Wish the Delta app was more useful during the day of travel for flight delays and gate changes.
Most of the hotels I frequent have round-the-clock coffee, but most of my mornings involve a trip to the nearest Starbucks. I prefer keeping this free app as it tends to be more up-to-date with locations than Yelp.
8. AAA Discounts by AAA
I’m a AAA member, primarily for roadside assistance for my wife. But AAA has a free app that uses the GPS to help you find nearby discounts, which quickly offset the cost of AAA membership. There are companion apps (also free) for Roadside Assistance and TripTik.
9. WordPress by Automattic
I think it’s too small for serious writing, but I use this free app it to quickly moderate comments on the road.
Like Bono, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (the perfect Twitter client), but HootSuite is a free Twitter client that allows you to schedule tweets in advance, which is useful for promoting blog posts.
These are my favorite road warrior apps. Let me know if I’ve missed anything useful.