T+L Reports: Mobile Apps for Travel
Imaginative applications are making cell phones smarter—and mandatory for travel. MAP IT: Do away with awkward folding maps. Tube, by Visual IT (www.visualit.co.uk; $15 per city), supplies digital displays of metro systems in 20 cities. The software will also plot out the most efficient route, listing station-by-station itineraries. TOUR IT: Love guided tours but hate the forced pace?Phone-based audio tours from Talking Street (www.talkingstreet.com) let you relax. Print a map of New York's Lower East Side from the Web site, and dial the phone number indicated at 13 preset points for history lessons from neighborhood native Jerry Stiller. More tours are planned for Boston, San Francisco, and Paris, using local guides. FIND IT: Familiar to PDA users, Vindigo (www.vindigostudios.com; from $2.99 a month), now available for phones, will locate and provide reviews of the nearest restaurants and bars in 60 U.S. cities, as well as ATM's and clean bathrooms. ILLUMINATE IT: While camera phones are all the rage, the recently released Nokia 3200 (www.nokia.com/us; under $150) has one extra function—a flashlight, handy for those pesky blackouts.