News that the EU is to cut roaming charges is good for smartphone users. It will be cheaper to use a mobile or internet-enabled device in Europe.
Under the new rules being passed, a call will cost no more than €0.29 minute to make and €0.08 per minute to receive a call. After July 2014, that figure will drop to €0.19 to call and €0.05 to receive. A text between EU countries would be no more than €0.09, and €0.06 from July 2014. Data-roaming will be capped for the first time. Download information from the web to a smartphone in another EU country and it will cost no more than €0.70 per megabyte from July and no more than €0.20 from July 2014. Those figures will stay in place until 2017.Since it will be cheaper to use your iPhone or iPad abroad in that time, the question is worth asking, what are the best apps you should be downloading now if you’re planning to go on holiday later this year?
1). XE Currency Converter: Understanding current and knowing what prices are in the local market, compared with the pound, is a useful bit of information to have at your fingertips abroad. XE Currency Converter is a handy app that is available in the App Store and gives an easy way of finding out how much things cost.
Compatibility: XE Currency is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later. Price: Free Download XE Currency
2). Google Translate: If currency is often one hurdle when travelling, language is another. Google Translate is available for both the iPhone and Android phones. Often used online to translate short phrases having the app version that you can take anywhere useful is invaluable abroad. Put simple phrases into the app and it will translate it into any one of 40 different languages. The Translation isn’t fool proof but will certainly help you get by.
Compatibility: Google Translate is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 3.0 or later. Price: Free Download Google Translate
3). TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor has revolutionised the consumer experience abroad. It has helped people search for reviews on the restaurants or hotels they are staying in. There is an app available in the App Store which can allow you to search for places to eat and visit and get real-time, honest reviews of what the place is like, from visitors just like you.
Compatibility: TripAdvisor is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 3.0 or later Price: Free Download TripAdvisor
4). Skyscanner: For those who are travelling, rather than just staying at one resort, often the information they searched for when they were at home can change by the time they are abroad, particularly if they are on the road for several weeks. For those travelling by place Skyscanner is a great app that allows users to search for the cheapest flights available between different destinations.
Compatibility: Skyscanner is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 3.1 or later Price: Free Download Skyscanner
5). Wikitude: There are myriad apps that allow you to search for places to see and explore nearby, great when you’re in a place you don’t know. Wikitude is a great app as is HG2. The latter covers 41 cities and is ideal for those going on a city-break rather than a resort holiday.
Compatibility: Wikitude is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.3 or later. Price: Free Download Wikitude
6). Packing Pro: The first step of a holiday is probably the most frustrating, that of actually packing the bag. Packing Pro is a new app that gives you a check list of things you should include in your bag for a trip abroad. You can even specify what the type of trip you’re planning and it will be personalised suggestions.
Competibility: Packing Pro is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.3 or later. Price: $2.99 Download Packing Pro
Cheaper roaming charges make it much easier for smartphone users to make the most of the internet and services at their fingertips when abroad. There are apps that are available to download, whether for a small fee or for free that just make the traveling experience that little bit easier.