I don’t know about you, but I’m usually I’m getting alerts that my memory is full on all my devices, so I have to go through and delete all nonessential apps. By nonessential, I mean apps other than Instagram and my bank. The only games on my phone are those my friend’s kids download and play. (They act all excited to see me, but I know better. The second thing that comes out of their cute little faces when I come through the door is: “Can I play with your phone?!”)
Its been a couple of months since I looked for new apps, so I loaded up again a few weeks ago. Here are some new – or at least new to me – apps that I’m super excited about.
This app reminds me of Instagram, except focused on outdoor activities. You start out by picking different activities that you are interested in, and then your feed will feature images of people doing those things or the scenery where they are doing it. This is almost as addictive to me as Instagram – when I sign in my feed is just picture after picture of scenic vista.
Other than just giving a list of photos, There’s a map function built into the app that lets you search for Yonders in a specific area. So if you’re wandering around, looking for inspiration, you can pull up a map of the area and see if there is anything you’d like to see. Or, you can troll for adventures and create a to be explored list.
Near or far? That’s the question posed when you open Findery. This app pulls anything from historical markers to museums, past notable events or public artwork – such as the various Shepard Fairey murals around Cincinnati. The first thing that pops on my Near list is the ventriloquism museum in nearby Southgate, Ky. Findery will send you alerts of notable places in your area, a handy trick when you are travelling. Plus, their app will be on the Apple Watch, if you’re into that sort of thing. (I haven’t been won over to the whole watch thing yet. I admit, it took me a few years to get on to the whole iPad/tablet wagon, so I’m sure I’ll get won over eventually.)
Findery also has the cool map search feature – pull up a map, zoom to the area you’re interested in and explore away! I still think the coolest thing about this app is the overlapping information it provides. If I’m in an area and close to a cool point of interest, I like having a note sent to me so I can check it out while I’m close by. Plus, if I want a cup of coffee, I can find out just where the locals go.
This one isn’t new, or new to me. Its more like a rediscovered-to-me app. I have used it before for past road trips, but its been a couple of years and I forgot about it. Plus, it has changed a bit. When I used this before, I used the Roadtrippers.com website. It is a fantastic, all-around trip planner. You can use it kind of like a traditional map and get directions from Point A to Point B. But where this app really shines is the layers. Save locations to eat, sleep, shop and play, and even get tips for great scenic overlooks. One drawback that some reviewers commented on is the inability to check mileage and time between locations. But honestly, I think the pros way outweigh the cons with this one.
You can make multiple trips and they sync across devices. So if you’re like me and have too many electronics laying around, you can work on your laptop, carry that map over to your iPhone while your driving but then tweak that trip on your Android tablet while you’re eating dinner on the road. As long as you have a wireless connection, it all stays synced up. My favorite feature: It computes gas cost!
I’ve been ALL OVER this app since downloading it. As the weather warms up – and on the rare Spring days when its not raining or flooding – I’ve been hiking as much as possible. It’s fun, it gets me out of the house and it’s good exercise. I have a decent working knowledge of parks and trails in the area just from my own explorations in the last few years. So a lot of the local trails listed are places I have been to, or at the very least know about. But the feature I like about this app the most is the trail reviews.
Pre-busted lungs I didn’t care so much about getting a detailed review. Just knowing how long the trail was was enough for me. Now, I have to make sure I’m packing enough oxygen, so I need to know a little bit more about how rugged the trails are so I know I’m prepared and not stuck in the woods gasping for air. The trail reviews on this app are fantastic for getting detail. Plus, I can make wishlists of new trails to check out when I get bored with the ones close to home.
Another cool feature is the tracker. Start this when you start your hike and it will track where you are, how far you go, how long it takes you and you can save it to your maps when you’re finished. You can even add photos from your hike to your map to help remember what you saw.
I may be almost 30 years old, but I still check in with Dad almost every night when I’m away from home. Part of it is to set his mind at ease; I don’t need him having a heart attack. And part of it is so the authorities have a point of reference should I ever go missing. Part of what started this blog was daily updates for everyone back home, but Tripcast basically takes little trip updates and publishes them like a Tweet or an Instagram post.
Create an event and you’re good to go. Users can post photos, videos, or updates and any of it can be tagged to a map. Basically, it organizes your information based on location, not by chronology.