The usual necessity when traveling abroad is the use of your cellphone. However, the traveler often receives displeasing roaming charges, as data roaming remains expensive for app-use in many countries.
There is a solution: Travel apps without Internet. Some apps work well without an Internet connection. Even after your cellphone is switched off for travel, you don’t need to be flying blind.
One of the most important, and most applied utility when traveling, is a map. A few useful guide apps work entirely offline. When you use preloaded maps on your cellphone, they locate using GPS with no data needed. Finding the bar, hotel, or restaurant you require can be done free. We suggest using the map service on the app prior to traveling, making sure it is already downloaded, as some apps will need this to work. Check that this has occurred before traveling by switching on airplane mode and using it before you step on the plane.
Online services such as Google Maps need a data connection to work at full capacity. Here is an alternative choice: When driving, CoPilot (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) works well when you are in the United States, UK, and parts of Europe. You are able to install a country map from a long list, free of charge. After which, you expand your collection via in-app purchases. Windows Phone devices have offline navigation courtesy of the HERE app.
Many travel utilities often rely on a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. An example would be Google Translate, which is less powerful without Internet. Our recommended substitute is visual translator word lens (Android, iOS, Google Glass), a language app that works seamlessly offline. Simply point your smartphone camera at foreign words, and an English translation will appear on your screen. Word Lens can handle simple blocks of text, such as menus and road signs, in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. Google recently purchased the app developer in May 2013. Expect more integration with the enormous translation capabilities of Google.
With maps and translations now ticked off the list. Another utility that should not be overlooked when traveling is the use of a currency converter. Currency converter XE (Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Firefox OS) uses data to determine the precise conversion at live mid-market rates. However, the app also stores the last rates used, therefor working offline. Unless there is a market crash during the time you are offline, the exchanges should be extremely close to accurate.