GuidePal City Guides – ultimate travel companion app
Jul 31, 2012 7:37 AM –
GuidePal City Guides is the ultimate travel companion for any city-break or vacation. The app features in-depth tourist information for dozens of cities worldwide and wraps it all up in a beautiful and interactive user interface. From finding the perfect restaurant to using the in-built augmented reality feature when you arrive in the city, the app is rammed with cool features and useful information. If you are a frequent traveller, or about to embark on a holiday to any of the cities listed, this is a must-have app.
Tested on: HTC One X
Pros & Cons:
- Lots of useful information on each city!
- Downloadable offline maps!
- Great user interface!
- Augmented Reality viewer!
- Phrase book!
- Perhaps not as social as similar apps, there’s no way to rate, comment or share experiences via the app.
GuidePal City Guides is an app that aims to make you feel like you already know a city. There are more than 60 included and, aside from the downloadable maps, all the information is built into the app already. You can find out information about hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and shops. You can browse through local landmarks and tourist attractions, read up on local museums and local parks. All the guides have been collated by leading travel agents or people who live locally so the information is accurate, friendly and helpful.
The app has utilized Google’s slick ‘Holo’ design principals to great effect here. The app looks gorgeous and makes the very best use of stunning photography and images. It’s very easy to use and navigating is both simple and intuitive. If there is a city you are about to visit simply to go that city’s section, download the map for local offline use and scour the various headings. These include:
- Welcome to our city – a brief introduction to the city and its culture.
- Know the city – Quick facts, Useful Tips, Airports, Areas and Transportation.
- See & Do – Here you’ll find Parks & Nature, Activities, Entertainment, Sights, Museums & Galleries.
- Restaurants – A list and introduction to all the best Restaurants, Quick Bites and Cafes.
- Bars & Nightlife – A guide to all the city’s top hotspots.
- Shopping – This lists and introduces Departments Stores, Markets, Other stores, Streets and Fashion.
- Phrasebook – This includes lots of essential phrases you might need when visiting a city, including everything from greetings to reading a menu or making an emergency call.
All this handy information is written in an easy-to-read style and comes across in a friendly manner. The app is determined to make you feel almost local so it often feels like you’re being let in on a secret of some kind. This makes for interesting reading and allows you to soak up the information easily.
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While the app is filled with great information and is incredibly useful I noted that, unlike other tourist apps, there’s little opportunity to rate places or discuss experiences. You can share restaurants, hotels and points of interest via your devices usual means; SMS, Facebook, Email, etc., but this is the limit to sharing. This is unlike more community driven apps such as TripAdvisor or the ‘Local’ feature within Google Maps.
This aside, I don’t think I can recommend GuidePal City Guides strongly enough. Each location you read up on includes the address, phone number and website so you can contact the place directly or visit their webspace for yourself. Once you’re in a city you can use the app’s Augmented Reality viewer to see places around you in real time. It’s clear there has been so much thought put into the app and that really sets it apart. It does lack that community feel but it makes up for it in lots of other ways. If you like to travel, or even if you have an interest in city culture, this is an absolutely essential download.
GuidePal – Welcome
GuidePal – Navigation menu
GuidePal – City selection
GuidePal – Know the city
GuidePal – London guide
GuidePal – London map
GuidePal – Barcelona Guide
GuidePal – Barcelona Map
GuidePal – Augmented reality when you are there
GuidePal – Restaurant guide
GuidePal – Restaurant detail
GuidePal – Shopping
GuidePal – Nightclubs
GuidePal – Phrasebook
If you like taking city breaks, are interested in travel or are planning your next vacation, this is a brilliant app to explore. I really like the depth of information and the way it is presented. With extra features like augmented reality and offline map downloads, the developers have really thought about the travellers experience and the attention to detail is really telling.
Ease of Use:
It simply could not be simpler! The app is easy to explore, intuitive and very user-friendly. Menus are clear and understandable. Navigation is responsive and fast, giving you the information you want quickly.
The writing style actually makes for really interesting reading whether you plan to travel to a city or not. While the city breaks or vacations you take might be relatively few and far between, it’s an app you might find yourself exploring more frequently.
The design principals deployed make for elegant views and the use of photographs is sublime. It adopts the Holo principals Google themselves set out for developers back in January so it looks almost like a native ICS/Jelly Bean application. It also makes it easy to navigate and overall looks really slick.
Tags: Android App
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Categorised in: Travel
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