I recently had the chance to borrow one of the newish T-Mobile MyTouch Android smart phones so I could test out a handful of travel apps. (Proof that, as cool as they are, you don't need an iPhone to have useful programs on your cell.) I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of the phone itself—the touch screen is not as sensitive as I would like it to be; plus, I'm an avid texter and prefer to have an actual keyboard at my disposal—but it does have some apps worth pointing out.
CarDar Lite: Driving in a strange city can be tricky. Finding your car in a strange city can be trickier. CarDar Lite let's you pinpoint your parking spot on a map, using either GPS or a manual marker, and when it's time to head home, it will point you in the right direction. The biggest downfall for me? Even if you have a good signal, you need to be outside for the phone to pinpoint where you are. (I had to manually lock down a parking spot.)
Cost: Free for the Lite version, with unobtrusive ads; $.99 without.
Fresh Power: This one is for all you avid skiers. Winter may be on the way out the door, but there's still time to plan a spring ski trip. This app gives reports from more than 100 ski resorts around the country. See how much fresh snow there is, plus resort info (open/closed, mountain height, total lifts, etc.). The app also provides external web browser links to sites that provide local information (weather, traffic, maps, etc.).
iTranslate: While it functions in much the same way as anyweb-based translator, this program lets you choose from more than 40different languages, including languages not normally found on basictranslators, like Arabic, Tagalog, Persian, and Galician. But I shouldpoint out: languages with a non-Latin-based alphabet are not displayedphonetically, but rather written using their alphabet. So if you have no workingknowledge of the language, it will be of little use to you.
cab4me: This is one app I could really use. Using the phone's GPS, this app finds nearby car services, so you don't have to spend time Googling to find someone that's available, and from there, sifting through actual car services and companies that just service or lease out taxis. This app just hooks you up with a company that can come pick you up. And if you end up using a service you really like, you can add it to your favorites.
There are tons more available for download through the phone's on-screen market, or on the T-Mobile website.
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.