Tripomatic is a slick, free app that's a must for all iPhone-owning travellers out there. Its ability to help you pinpoint the interesting places on a map is so much more useful than just a plain listing. Unfortunately, it doesnï¿½t have listings for quite a few cities, and that is something that needs to be sorted soon.
For those globetrotters out there, it must indeed be a pain to plan, maintain and follow a preset schedule when visiting another city. The need to have a travel planner app on the smartphone is quite important, if you are one of them, in particular, who likes to follow strict timelines. We recommend all iPhone-totting travellers to check out the Tripomatic app.
You can download Tripomatric from the Apple App Store free of charge, here. This is essentially an iPhone app, but will work with the iPod Touch and the iPad (in compatibility mode) as well. You can download it for free, but any data consumption during usage will be billed according to the plan you have signed up for with the mobile service provider.
Very slick, to say the least! The app opens up with an icon of a strolley, we assume to signify travel! Start using the app, and you do the one time registration process. Once that is complete, you can start setting up trips. Typical layout of an iOS app – carbon background with the options in white, and a combination of black and blue text. The layout is very simple, and getting around the app is so simple even my mum could do it! Cleanly laid out, with most of the places / activities that are on the map are accompanied by detailed descriptions and visual elements. You cannot do many tweaks to how the app looks, but we believe that is a good thing.
Usage & Performance
The first step is to ensure that the GPS on your device is active. While the app works without GPS connectivity for the most part, you will need that to see some more activities around a place you have added to the trip timeline.
The sign-up process is a one-time deal, and doesn’t prompt you for the password every time you use the app. Post that, you can start filling in the details of the trip you wish to plan out. First, you will be asked the duration of the trip, that you need to select in terms of days, along with the start date. Then you select the destination, from a huge list of cities spread globally. Searching within this list is exactly how you would in an iOS app. Interestingly, we were amazed to find quite a few cities completely missing from the list – New Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore being prime examples.
Once the destination is selected, what you will essentially see is a map of the city, with the interesting highlights / places / possible activities marked on it. These are divided across various genres here – food, theater, museums etc. Zoom in to reveal more. Clicking on any of them opens up the details of the same, with some photographs. Extremely thoughtful, appealing and helpful feature to have, to say the least! Having said that, we would love the option to be able to view / search for places in a city in a listing format, for someone who isn’t comfortable scrolling up and down on a map. Also, if it is a big city like London, you will get lost scrolling the map, partly because of the limited display area on a phone!
You can select places and activities, and then individually slot them into the trip timeline. While there isn’t a strict hour – by – hour breakdown in the trip plan, you can basically set the activities on a day-to-day basis.
To fully utilize this app, you will need to have GPS active in the background. Just keep an eye on the battery icon too, since GPS tends to drain the battery rather quickly.
This is a free to download app, and we recommend everyone have it on his or her iPhone. Even if you aren’t using it to plan a trip, it is quite useful to just whip out the app and find some info about a place. Some work needs to go in to add more cities to the list. The idea of pinning landmarks on a map is an interesting idea, but we would prefer a plain-Jane listing as well to search from. As a trip planner, this one will be a steady guide in a city unknown.