Wednesday, June 12

4 useful Google Apps For Your Travels

If you have a smartphone, you probably have at least one Google app on your phone. Up until this summer, Android phones came preloaded with bundled Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail, which consistently rank among the most popular in Apple’s App Store store as well.

What you may not know is that Google has dozens of other, lesser-known apps. If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season, here are a few that could prove useful while you’re on the go.


  • Google Trips

Google Trips shows your upcoming trips and reservations, and suggests local attractions and restaurants.

Give this app access to your Google account, and it will list the dates of your upcoming trips based on your Gmail messages and calendar entries. If you click on a trip, it shows you all your flights and hotel reservations, nearby places you’ve bookmarked on Google Maps, and information on attractions, restaurants, and transportation. There’s also an option to download all this information so that you can access it even when offline—perfect for places with spotty reception or international travel. If you can get over how creepy it is that Google has known your plans all along, the app is a great way to make sure you’ve got all your trip details in one place.


  • Google Opinion Rewards

Google Opinion Rewards pings users to fill out market research surveys in exchange for Google Play credits.

If you’re willing to trade your opinions (and some basic personal info) for Google Play credits, Rewards could be a boon for you. Market researchers partner with Google to create short surveys, which each pay up to a dollar’s worth of Play credit. The app pings users when surveys become available, and many surveys are tied to your location—for instance, the app might ask you to review your hotel stay


  • Android Auto

Android Auto uses voice control so you can ask for directions or select music hands-free.

There is no safe way to use a phone while you’re driving, but if you absolutely must, this app simplifies your phone’s interface for bare-bones, hands-free usage. If you’ll be road-tripping by car this holiday season, you can ask your phone to direct you to your next destination, to make a call, or to ask it to stream music.


  • Google Arts & Culture

Google’s Arts and Culture app allows users to explore artwork and exhibits from around the world.

Scrolling through this app is like wandering through exhibits in a virtual museum: You can explore famous works of art, national parks, and other cultural attractions. Google’s current curated features include profiles of women who worked on NASA’s Discovery space shuttle, an inside view of the British Library’s exhibit on the Harry Potter series, and a primer on Maya hieroglyphic writing. Or if you’d rather explore in person, the app also shows museums and exhibits near you.

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