22 Dec Travelling with Mobile Apps
Technology has been that one seemingly quixotic umbrella that has enabled humans to harness their energies in all the right directions, over many epochs. The convergence of wallets, wearable sensors, and translators with phones have definitely made some jobs and devices obsolete, but it’s not like as if technologists don’t leave clues of what’s to come via avenues like movies and television shows.
Apps have made the world smaller, admonished boundaries, and encouraged empathy like never before. Their home, the mobile phone, has come a long way in becoming a lot less clunky, more mobile, and more capable of becoming a universal remote in recent times.Nearly everyone who has Google as their homepage and checked out currency conversions at some point for holidays, will be familiar with XE Currency. With it being the go-to site for currency conversions, it makes sense that it has an accompanying app to take along in one’s pockets. Even if mobile data is lost on your mobile phone, it seems the app has figured out how to function offline, simply by saving the last updated rates at your convenience.
The bane of every man’s existence: demanding that their credit card gets to the top of the pile for the piteous waiter. The chivalry could be saved for many other occasions, or at least that’s what apps like Splittr, Tipulator, and Splitwise feel with their offerings. When simple things like splitting costs in a different currency can be quite the hassle, Splittr for example, offers a fairly intuitive platform for a group of amicable friends to enter their expenses as they go, with all currencies supported, and negating the need to even make niggling currency conversions after a hefty meal.
While languages like Sanskrit are eerily similar to languages like Greek and Latin with their numerous parallels, one might find it difficult to grasp other languages that are made of characters, like the Chinese language is. Thankfully, Google has it in its magnanimous troves to accommodate the seamless translation from 90+ languages into your native tongue. While its use is on a more practical level, for words that you come across on road signs that could alleviate the stress found with certain mapping apps, its instantaneous translations will no doubt be crucial in getting from point A to B with lesser fuss.
Also important to a traveller, is of course not just getting from point to point, but also interacting with fellow human beings. With over 70 million people around the globe tethered to the effervescent app that is Duolingo, the free and intuitively-designed language learning app isn’t exactly rooted in being a replacement for proper language coaching, but for the simple one-liners we sometimes find hard to muster on the streets of an unknown city.
The universe was borne out of vibrations, and vibrations produce sound, ergo the human being is a sentient being and is hardwired for treats like music. Any traveller who isn’t curious about the cacophony of sounds they engage with on any holiday is lying to himself, and apps like Shazam. At some point, that particular tune being played in a dingy bar will have piqued your interest, just like the millions of other people who have Shazam to thank for advancing their musicology.
While we used to be tethered to a desk or a library just for research, apps have allowed research to tag along on your trips with you. On the other hand, mobile apps have made it possible to travel very light these days, with more room for sunscreen and toiletries – especially since the ozone layer is being toyed with more and more these days.