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Free apps enhance adventures

There are lots of travel applications for mobile devices. Here’s what I thought of some – all free – after my app-guided trip to Atlanta.

The Layover: Available in the iTunes store. A nice distillation of Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel series (choose which destinations you want to download). You can watch clips, build an itinerary or buy music inspired by the destination. It gets bonus points for including detailed information on restaurants and attractions, including hours. Can be used offline.

Oyster: Available in the iTunes store. You get pretty much the same information as on Oyster.com, the “hotel tell-all” site. The app makes it easy and fun to explore hotel photos, and you can use it to compare prices from multiple sites before booking a room. Plus, the funny photo fake-outs showing how properties can mislead with images are very entertaining.

Triposo: Available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Download guides for more than 8,000 destinations, which you can then use without an Internet connection (it can also provide you with real-time information if you’re online). The algorithm-based app pulls from sources such as Wikipedia and Wikitravel for a pretty comprehensive experience.

Chefs Feed: Available in the iTunes store. Recommendations from prominent chefs in various cities. Just looking at the photos will make you hungry. Doesn’t list restaurant hours, but does tell you whether a place is currently open or closed.

Afar: Available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Ideal for finding offbeat attractions. Fellow travelers’ recommendations are fun to read.

Goby: Available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. There’s potential in this search engine that can help you find things to do and places to eat and stay. But the app crashed every time I clicked on a result on my Android phone.

TripAdvisor City Guides: Available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Information-loaded app that pulls from rankings on the TripAdvisor website. Can be used offline and includes city background info and suggested itineraries. Overall a very good tool.

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