Tech review: travel apps

Our verdict on four of the most popular apps for making your working life easier on the go.

Expensify

Android and iPhone

Free

No one looks forward to doing their expenses, but whether it’s monitoring your day-to-day business costs or keeping track of a big work trip, Expensify really does make it a pain-free experience.

The app logs details such as date, cost and merchant from just a quick photo of a rec­eipt, which can be taken on the go. It also picks up receipts and invoices via email (good for online bookings), other apps such as Dropbox and Evernote, and automatically from card transactions.

The tags and categories feature is useful for assigning expenses to particular clients or projects, while the app lets you monitor billable hours and mileage.

The ability to analyse costs via a reports feature is also an invaluable productivity tool.

Citymapper

Android and iPhone

Free

First the good news – Citymapper is free. It is also a hugely useful and intuitively designed instant travel tool.

But it’s not quite, as many of its users claim, the only travel app you will need. First, it’s not much use outside London (or New York). But more importantly, the ability to plan journeys ahead is limited.

With its integrated real-time info on tubes, trains, buses and even Boris Bikes, the app is tremendously effective when used to find the quickest ways to point B from where you are standing. Where it falls down is planning more complex routes or if you need to be at point B by a certain time.

It does work as an all-in-one travel app. But separate mapping, cycling and rail apps still do a better job.

WiFi Finder

Android and iPhone

Free

This app does what it says on the tin and is simple and easy to use. Type in your location and it gives you a list or a map with nearby Wifi hotspots marked.

For the roving PR person in an unfamiliar location, or even between meetings in London, it is a digital life-saver.

Results come up even for more far-flung cities such as Nairobi, but when looking at areas you know, you are likely to notice a few missing.

However, the app does allow you to add them in when you find them. Being able to download the database for use offline is also a plus point.  

Worldmate

Android and iPhone

Free

While Citymapper helps you get around London, WorldMate helps you get your head around your upcoming business trips.

Once your flight is booked, forward the confirmation email to the WorldMate email address or enter it in the app. Do likewise with your hotel reservation, meetings and car rental, and WorldMate creates a trip diary.

Getting some useful functions requires forking out for WorldMate Gold (£6.99). This offers syncing with your work calendar and getting alerts sent to your mobile device if your flight is delayed, cancelled or diverted.

However, the free version has a generous range of features: a five-day weather forecast for the cities you are visiting is handy when you’re packing. A currency converter, tips calculator and a so-so restaurant and shopping search facility come in useful.

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.

News by email...