When it comes to business and travel, there are a few things one shouldn’t be without: passport and credit cards, travel confirmations and itineraries, essential toiletries, and, of course, an iPhone or iPod touch.
In an effort to make your business trips (and really, any kind of trip) more manageable and efficient, I’ve put together a roundup of some of my favorite apps for the iPhone that can be used while on the road or in the air, and I hope that they’ll come to good use for your next trip.
Briefly mentioned in my 10 Father’s Day Apps for Your No. 1 Dad article as a companion to the application TravelTracker, I only thought it would be fair to give this genius a close-up, because it’s just so darned worthy. Think of all of the itineraries and travel confirmations you deal with such as air, hotel and car — and multiply that by however many destinations you have in one trip. That’s a lot of paper juggling that I don’t need while I’m on route. Now there’s a way to keep and organize all travel documentation in one central accessible location — TripIt for iPhone/iPod touch.
Once you book your travel and have signed up on tripit.com (membership is free), just email your itinerary to TripIt’s designated itinerary email address, and in a matter of minutes, your itinerary will be read-in, parsed and displayed into your account like magic. Once you launch the TripIt application, you’ll see your confirmations displayed and organized elegantly and so efficiently, it’ll make your trip that much more effortless.
When you sign-up, TripIt collects some basic information about you, as well as multiple email addresses you might have, so that they recognize your emailed itineraries from wherever you’re sending it. Some things I noticed while testing is that your email confirmations have to come from a TripIt-supported site. All of the major airlines and hotels are on the list, and even if yours is not (Holiday Autos was not on the list for my car rental), you can simply add the info manually, and it will be displayed along with all of the other automated confirmations you might have already sent in.
Timing: The International Clock (99 cents)
If you’re like me and on the road (or in the air) quite a bit, working with international clients and suppliers and scheduling meetings for a foreign time zone from within a different zone than I’m used to can be a bit messy — but not anymore. I’d like to introduce you to one of my new travel companions called Timing by SplashData.
We’re all aware that our iPhones come with a standard (but pretty slick) app called Clock which allows us to track the current time of multiple cities around the world; but what happens when you need to know a specific future time of city A while in city B? Among other things, Timing takes the guesswork out about calculating time zones.
Now all I have to do is launch Timing on my iPhone and choose Time Calculator. I select the current city I’m in (or the city I will be in), along with the time I need calculated, and I can then select up to four other cities to view their respective times. Sweet.
1Password Pro ($5.99)
Previously, since there wasn’t a method of sending vCards from my iPhone, I didn’t bother sending them from my desktop, either, as a quick copy and paste from my address book did the job. To that end, I was quite guilty of storing sensitive data within those vCards, such as banking info and credit card numbers. With the recent release of iPhone software 3.0, we’ve all gained (or will soon gain) the ability of MMS and also sending contacts (vCards) via MMS or email. Since then, I’ve been scrambling to clean all the sensitive data out of my vCards and immediately began my crusade to find a new home for my sensitive data.
Like many others, I’ve always been reluctant of using third-party apps to store this kind of data. Discussed in Weldon Dodd’s Password Management Roundup article, Weldon effectively covered the major features of 1Password, and since then, Agile Web Solutions has revised the app for the iPhone, which is now called 1Password Pro, and it is my new confidant. The Pro version now includes a special easy switching mode that allows you to quickly copy and paste credit card info and usernames and passwords to other apps such as Mobile Safari; and they say more features are on the way. This is in addition to their already brawny list of invaluable features such as two-way Wi-Fi synchronization with the desktop application.
You now have at your fingertips, a two-layer defense (unlock code and master password) for your most sensitive data which include your electronic wallet (for all of your banking and credit card info) as well as passwords and logins to your most frequented (and secure) web sites.
1Password Pro is $5.99 for now, and will increase to $14.99 once the anticipated features are in place.
Remember The Milk ($25 per year)
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a list nut. I keep lists for practically everything, and it was truly heaven-sent when I heard about Remember The Milk. Your business trip (or any trip) wouldn’t be efficiently organized without the best to-do list application around.
Remember The Milk is an online to-do list manager, which comes with a spiffy app for the iPhone or iPod touch. Use it as your packing list, your to-do list before trip and even your to-do list while on your trip. Remember The Milk isn’t like any other to-do application you’ve seen. You can create tasks based on locations so when you’re going about planning your day, you can easily map out each task location and follow the most practical route to complete those tasks when going from point A to point B. Among many other things, Remember The Milk also comes with your own inbox email address which you can use as a sharing point to collect tasks from other applications you might be using, so that all of your tasks are consolidated in one central location.
The best thing about Remember The Milk is that it integrates with a large number of popular online services such as Gmail, Twitter, AIM, MSN, Facebook, as well as SMS (if your mobile network is supported). What’s more, Remember The Milk now supports push notifications. With all of these reminder methods at your disposal, you would have to try really hard to miss a task.
Never again will you have to worry about being lost in translation, or having to hire an expensive personal translator — no matter where you go. The developers over at Sonico have come up with an application that allows you to translate over 42 different languages right on your iPhone.
The iTranslate engine is based off of Google Translate and is compatible with both iPhone and iPod touch. Now you can ditch the expensive and pesky human translator and travel with confidence.