BlackBerry Travel Apps: 10 Must-Have Downloads

Before your next trip, check out 10 of the best travel-minded mobile applications for BlackBerry smartphones

  • Navita Translator If you have international travel in your future, you may find a friend in Navita Translator. The app's basic interface makes it simple to translate words or phrases that you type into its text field. And Navita integrates with the core BlackBerry messaging, SMS and browser apps, so you can translate text directly from these sources, as well. Its conversion isn't always perfect, but it's still a valuable tool. Navita supports English, Portuguese and Spanish interfaces, and it translates into 52 additional languages.

  • Google (GOOG) Maps for BlackBerry Google Maps is the free go-to navigation application for BlackBerry. The app's great for finding basic driving and/or walking directions from one spot to another—sayonara, Mapquest! And you can quickly locate yourself on a Google-generated map using your device's built-in GPS, if available, or cell-tower triangulation. To find directions, you simply pick a starting point, type in your destination, specify if you're driving or walking, and voila, Google Maps'll have you on your way in no time.

  • TeleNav GPS Navigator for BlackBerry If you plan to explore your destination a bit, and your adventures require automobile travel, you'll want TeleNav GPS Navigator, a.k.a., AT&T Navigator, a.k.a., Sprint (S) Navigation, on your BlackBerry. The navigation app has the majority of features you'd expect from a standalone GPS navigation unit, including spoken, turn-by-turn driving directions and thousands of points of interest. And its network-based maps mean you'll get the most up-to-date location information every time you start it up. TeleNav Navigator costs $9.99 a month, but it's well-worth the price—especially if you find yourself lost in a strange land.

  • Cortado Flight Mode for BlackBerry RIM's BlackBerry OS "condenses" e-mail messages to reduce strain on wireless networks and speed up delivery. That's all fine and good. But there's nothing more frustrating than trying to read an important e-mail in-flight only to find it was cut off mid-message. Cortado's $3 Flight Mode app for BlackBerry downloads all additional content needed to view "truncated" or shortened BlackBerry e-mail before you turn off your device for flight. Simply activate Flight Mode before your flight takes off, and the app downloads additional content, turns off wireless connections and powers down your BlackBerry. Turn it back on when the pilot gives the okay, and you're good to go.

  • Pandora for BlackBerry Pandora's just one of many Internet radio apps available for BlackBerry, but it's the one I use most. The app's easy to use—you just plug in the names of artists you're interested in and it creates custom "stations" with music from those artists along with other "similar" selections. I'm particularly fond of Pandora for BlackBerry's "Quick Mix" feature which pulls artists/songs from all of your pre-defined stations for random mixes. (Note: You need wireless connectivity to employ Pandora, so it won't work in-flight without Wi-Fi, etc.)

  • Didiom Pro for BlackBerry If jamming a media card with music or using a Web-radio app like Pandora just doesn't do it for you, you can pick up Didiom Pro for $9.99 a year for wireless access to your home audio-library on-the-go. All you need is a fast wireless connection—read: 3G or Wi-Fi, I wasn't too pleased with Didiom's performance over 2.5G EDGE—and a Windows PC. Just install Didiom's client on both your PC and handheld before you leave home, set up an account, make sure your PC stays on and then launch the service's encrypted channel whenever you're ready for near-instant access to iTunes, Windows Media audio, whatever.

  • Urbanspoon for BlackBerry I use Urbanspoon for BlackBerry every time I travel to help find whatever type of food I may be in the mood for—and I get around. The Urbanspoon app is an easy-to-use "restaurant slot-machine" of sorts that lets you specify which kind of food you desire, where you'd like to find it (neighborhood, etc.) and in what price range. And if you're indecisive, you can enter in just a neighborhood and/or price range, and the app serves up all the nearby establishments that meet your criteria.

  • Poynt for BlackBerry Poynt is an uber-local-search app for BlackBerry. Poynt not only locates nearby restaurants, bars, retailers, etc., and provides information on all of them, but also gets you there with detailed maps. It's also great-looking and easy to use. Poynt's a full-fledged movie-app, as well, so you can catch a flick during your travels. The best thing about Poynt may be how often its developers add features to enhance the app; you never know what's coming next.

  • WorldMate for BlackBerry WorldMate for BlackBerry is without a doubt my single favorite BlackBerry travel app. That's because it's a full-fledged travel assistant/directory jammed-packed into a functional and slick-looking smartphone app. Store and reference your entire travel itinerary; book hotels or reserve limos on-the-fly; monitor airline schedules in real-time and get updates whenever your flights are delayed; quickly convert international currency; communicate with LinkedIn contacts and much more, all using WorldMate for BlackBerry.

  • Amazon Kindle for BlackBerry If your trip includes a long plane, car or bus ride, plus a couple of layovers, you're probably going to need a good book or two...or five. Amazon's Kindle for BlackBerry app lets you tote your Kindle library inside your smartphone. You don't need an actual Kindle to use it; you can purchase additional books, most of which cost $10 or less, directly from the app, wherever you have wireless connectivity—sorry no Kindle magazines, newspapers or blogs. Best of all: It's free.

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