Go off the beaten app
Quirky time-passers to keep you amused and informed on the road
THE myth that we use only 10 per cent of our brains was debunked ages ago. But what about our second brains — or smartphones, as they are more commonly called?
The average person has about 40 apps on his or her mobile device, yet iPhone and Android users each have more than 700,000 apps available. Even if 99 per cent of this software is of no use whatsoever, that still leaves thousands of interesting apps waiting to be discovered.
The best or most popular travelrelated apps are easy to find because their virtues are regularly extolled in Top 10 lists. When digging beyond the pop charts, first consider your own personal interests, your travel needs and your destination.
Here are a few examples of the sort of quirky, clever, surprisingly practical and unquestionably silly things you might find.
THINKSTOCK and the time of day to assess potential hazard levels. In London, for instance, the app will highlight the most dangerous tube stations, high-crime areas, the location of well-known gangs and the favourite haunts of pickpockets, enabling you to plan safe routes to or from your hotel. Or to exit quick smart if you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
MAKE YOURSELF UNDERSTOOD
Apps such as Google Translate and Word Lens are extraordinary translation tools for travellers who want to communicate in foreign tongues. But if the situation calls for a specific type of message, there is also Swearport (A), which enables owners to curse in more than 60 languages (from Albanian to Vietnamese). Simply choose an appropriate insult and the app will play a high- quality audio recording of a native speaker delivering the expletive. Helpfully, the app explains the precise meaning of each phrase and rates its intensity.
A traveller consults her all-purpose, go-anywhere holiday adviser