—My City Way USA (free; iOS)
What it is: Travel-related apps covering 37 cities, each city with its own collection of restaurant finder, tour info, transit schedules, crime reports, dog park locators and more.
How it works: Choose a city, from Atlanta to Washington, and up pop three screenfuls of icons that give you quick access to things travelers want to know about the chosen city. Where’s the nearest salon? Tap the Beauty & Spa icon. What movies will start 30 minutes from now? Hit the Movies icon. Dozens of helpful apps are at your fingertips.
Why it’s great: You have guides to 37 cities in one well-organized app that looks and feels like your phone’s desktop, so swiping, tapping and scrolling come easily, and navigating is a breeze. Without My City Way, you would have to find and download many different apps — say, a restaurant finder and a taxi locator, for starters — then flip among the apps as you need them. By collecting a ton of useful apps, My City Way makes it easy to find and use just what you need.
Why you might hesitate: Not all the included travel sub-apps are useful or as robust as a stand-alone app. (Do you really need a still image from a nearby traffic camera? Wouldn’t it be more useful to use a map app with traffic display instead?) The app works best when you turn on your phone’s location function, but that drains the phone’s battery, which is important to know when you’re out and about without a charger and electrical outlet nearby. (To prolong battery life, turn on your phone’s location only when you need it; turn it off when you don’t.)
Who it’s for: Travel junkies and road warriors who prize ease of use.
—Klip video sharer (free; iOS)
What it is: A quick way to share your on-the-spot travel videos with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can limit who sees your videos or share them with the world.
How it works: Sign in with an email address or use your Twitter or Facebook credentials (so Klip can access the names of people you want to send clips to), then record a video, tap the names of the people you want to send the clip to and you’re off.
Why it’s great: You can easily send your clip to many friends in one go. Make them jealous as they see you sip coffee at a sunny street cafe or swoosh down a mountainside. Sure, you can use your phone to email your video to friends, but you’d have to type in each friend’s address one by one. Klip also shows you videos of users who have shared their clips with the world, so you can find and follow posters whose stuff you like, Twitter-style. You can search other people’s clips by subject, YouTube-style, if you want to find, say, clips about skiing (and you can leave comments for the folks who posted the video).
Why you might hesitate: You’re not the sharing kind.
Whom it’s for: Anyone with friends who want to see, not just read, what you’re up to.
©2012 the Chicago Tribune
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