Smartphones are essential these days because almost everyone uses them for various purposes. And it is not called a “smart” phone for nothing as its uses are all encompassing. According to an infographic on smartphone usage released by Go-Gulf.com, there are 1.08 billion smartphones in the world and 91.4 million of that are in the United States. The highest market share goes to Android with 46.9% while iPhone has 28.7%. There are many useful applications available for smartphones and that’s why many people find it hard to go about their daily lives without this gadget. Even backpackers and hikers find their smartphones very handy when traveling.
Here are some of the top Android apps you can use when hiking:
This award winning Android application won during the French Android Vodafone Challenge. It is an all-in-one tool that can be used as a GPS tracker, flashlight, compass, pedometer, altimeter, map, stopwatch, emergency call, and weather forecaster. The Hi-Hiker Pro can also import and export different trips which you can save as GPX files and view using Google Earth.
Columbia GPS Pal
This is probably the simplest GPS application available on the Android market which is perfect for beginners. One of its outstanding features is its journaling capability where you can use notes, photos, and videos to put GPS tags on your favorite locations. You can also track and easily store the route, time, pace, distance and elevation. Social networking buffs can share their trips on Twitter, Facebook or through email linked to the website of Columbia.
If you want to embark on a new adventure, this application will be very useful as it helps you find the nearest trails. There are more than 40,000 trail guides available at AllTrails that are perfect for hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and even fly-fishing. Aside from finding high quality trails, you can also read trail reviews, share new trails, upload photos, and access trails even without internet.
Temple Run and other Games
Instead of watching a movie or listening to music, why not do something exciting during your break? Temple Run is quite popular in the United States and most people now resort to playing online because it is more convenient. Temple Run and other Android games may be in a different league compared to the apps mentioned earlier in this article but fascinating Android games can provide relaxation to backpackers during lulls in their travel, such as waiting for boarding or waiting for their tour guide.
Kayak and SkyRunner
Flight comparison applications are essential for travelling especially for those who do not have ample time to choose and wait for great deals. Kayak and SkyRunner are two of the most reliable flight comparison applications that can help you score the best deals. “By inputting your destination airport and the days that you want to fly on, the two applications are able to search across multiple airlines to find suitable flight combinations and the cost of those flights. Flights are arranged from cheapest to most expensive and can be filtered down to only include direct flights or flights with preferred airlines.” (Kenlo)
Using your GPS app and other apps can drain your smartphone’s battery easily so make sure to carry a solar-powered charger like the JOOS Orange charger when going outdoors. This charger can generate two hours of talk time with only an hour of charging. The JOOS Orange is compatible with Android, iPhone, iPad and other USB port gadgets.
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