Travel apps for smartwatches to help you arrive on time.
Ever had that sinking feeling that you’re at the wrong gate or that you’ve missed your flight altogether? With one giant suitcase that just won’t seem to cooperate and a laptop bag that insists on slipping from your shoulder, constantly reaching for your phone can become a task. App developers know this, and they’re working hard at adding value to the wearable world through a number of travel companion apps for your smartwatch.
What are travel apps for smartwatches?
Though market analysts dubbed 2013 'the year of the smartwatch', it’s no secret the gadget has taken its time getting off the ground. We’ve yet to see the technology’s true potential, and some apps like 2013’s TripIt for the Samsung Galaxy Gear were met with some pretty woeful user reviews (though, TripIt has come a long way since then). However, when tech giant Apple throw their hat into the ring, you know it’s time to start taking the technology seriously. But, the question needs to be asked, what can the smartwatch really offer that a smartphone doesn’t. Well, may travel-focused apps are looking to answer that question by introducing user-friendly travel companions that allow you to check your route, view travel times, flight bookings, and hotel reservations with a glance at your wrist.
But, again, what can these apps offer that your smartphone cannot. Well, a fair bit actually. Take for example the most obvious example, the Apple Watch. When taking directions from Apple’s infamous app, Apple Maps, your Apple Watch will vibrate on your wrist when a turn is approaching, negating the need to glance at your phone or turn down your music to the hear Siri’s monotonous drone. This is just one example, but one that will change how we use our smart devices for travel.
- ALSO READ: Wearables, Smartwatches & Fitness Trackers Compatibility Table.
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What are the best travel apps for your wearable?
|Travel Apps||About the App||Compatibility||Purchase|
|Travel Translator||This top-rated app is a prime example of how smartwatches can change the way we travel and break down language barriers worldwide– that’s a pretty significant wrap. Travel Translator is powered by Nuance translation services and allows you to choose from 37 different languages to translate to and from by speaking into the device on your wrist. It also has the simplistic design and streamlined controls that are essential for the smartwatch interface.||Gear S (Tizen), APK available for Android Wear|
|TripCase||TripCase has already proved itself a formidable travel companion with its smartphone app. Now, the team behind the well-received app has their sights set on the smartwatch ecosystem. TripCase for smartwatches is available for Pebble, Pebble Steel and Android Wear, but where it really shines is one the Samsung Gear S. On this particular device, you will be able to view rich-text notifications on flight delays, gate changes and much more vital information for your travel experience. And if you do happen to require the assistance the smartphone app, you can launch it directly from your watch with the press of a button.||Pebble, Android Wear, Gear S (Tizen)|
|Expedia||Airline companies like Qantas, American Airlines and Air NZ are getting in on the smartwatch action with third-party apps tailored to make your journey as stress-free as possible. If you don’t plan on flying with one of these big name airlines, Expedia has you covered.The Expedia smartwatch app notifies you about flight status, gate changes and loads more. By swiping your watch face you will stay updated on information like hotel check-in and check-out times. Couple these smartwatch features with Expedia’s comprehensive itinerary app for smartphones and what you get is one of the most comprehensive travel apps available on the market.||Apple Watch, Samsung Gear||Buy Now|
|StreetSmart||There’s a huge variety of navigation and travel apps that offer small variations on the same concept. Amadeus’ StreetSmart App focuses solely one specific user niche, cruise passengers looking to make the most out of their time at each port. Cruise passengers are often faced with two feelings when arriving at a port, the wonder of discovering new city and the stress of making it back to the ship on time. StreetSmart aggregates lists from external sites and creates a unique itinerary that’s displayed on your smartwatch. The app updates constantly by adjusting schedules in light of delays and other events like dinner reservations to ensure you get where you need to be on time, and all of this can be down with a glance at your watch– very handy for those on a tight schedule.||Apple Watch|
|Apple Maps||Apple Maps can now be conveniently accessed from your wrist. It displays directions, utilises Siri and gives you turn-by-turn directions by tapping your wrist when a turn is approaching. The only problem it is… it’s still Apple Maps and users are noticing some of the same bizarre glitches that made Apple’s proprietary navigation app notorious. Known issues aside, however, it’s hard to pass up when there are other great third party apps like Yelp! integrated into the software.||Apple Watch|
Frequently asked questions
Where do I download travel apps for my smartwatch?
Some, like Sony’s smartwatches, are more difficult than others, as you have to manually install App extensions through your android smart device. Others, like the Samsung Gear and Apple Watch have designated categories for smartwatch compatible apps such as the Gear Market and the Apple Watch app (App Store add-on coming soon).
Do I have to have my smartphone paired to use travel apps?
Most smartwatches do require a smartphone nearby to access a mobile network and pull information like flight delays and schedules from the Internet. The Samsung Gear S, however, is capable of taking its own SIM card, and can therefor access information without the aid of a smartphone.
There doesn’t seem to be many apps available for my smartwatch. Are they going to create more and when will they be available?
With Android SDK and Apple’s WatchKit, app developers have the opportunity to create new and exciting apps for the platform. Expect to see waves of new apps for every smartwatch throughout the year.