CAUTION- Do this BEFORE upgrading  iOS or before getting a new iPhone
September 12, 2016 – 9:37 pm | No Comment

(Note, this article was originally published September 17, 2013 when the iPhone 5 was released.  It has been updated for newest iOS 10–steps haven’t changed since iOS7)
Whether you are buying an iPhone 7 or 7+ or upgrading to …

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The Best (Must-Have) Apps for Road Trips

Submitted by on August 29, 2010 – 8:38 pmNo Comment

How did I ever do road trips before my iPhone?  After a greasy spoon breakfast, we returned to the road from Seattle to Bend, Oregon (about 6 hours to go).  Not an hour later, we both felt the effects of this sub-par dining experience.  Did we have to settle for the disgusting facilities at the next groady gas station?  How far was the next rest stop?

A quick check of “iExit” revealed the next rest stop was less than 7 miles down the road.  We could have clean comfort!

Road trips have gotten easier using the iPhone travel apps. My other gig is as a travel photographer so I’m on the road a lot. While I like the experience of exploration, when it comes to finding what I need in an unfamiliar place, I just want to find it fast and easy.  I like to let my touchpad do the walking and enjoy the journey on my way there.

I have a page of apps for travel, but 3 or 4 stand out as necessary, how-did-I-live-without-them apps.

Best apps While on the Road:

First, let me issue the warning–pull over or have a co-pilot navigate your iPhone when using these apps! While driving, it’s probably more dangerous to look through these apps than it is to text while driving.

iExit

On most highways today, exits are marked with the businesses that can be found there.  Gas stations, lodging, and restaurants are advertised on signs before the actual exit.  Still, it doesn’t tell you what’s coming up.  Do you have to settle for Carl’s Jr. when you really feel like Taco Bell, or a sit down restaurant?

Or maybe you need an iPhone adaptor and want to know if there’s a Best Buy nearby (you get the idea anyway).

Or, “I’m getting tired, is there a decent hotel coming up?”

iExit is your friend that knows the area so you can see the whole picture before making your choice (rather than seeing only all the fast food places and missing the local good restaurant) or stopping at one exit only to find that what you really wanted was just another mile down the road.

You can use iExit by viewing a list of all exits coming up on the road, or by doing a search on a map or by a list of exits along a particular highway.

Cheap Gas: (On long trips it adds up to big savings)

With gas prices so high and prices differing at each station, don’t you hate seeing that gas is 10 cents (or more) cheaper per gallon just ahead? Cheap Gas lists the gas prices and how far it is to that station.  You can get it in a list or use the “cyborg” button to display what prices are ahead of you as you look down the road, or point your iphone east or west. Cyborg was particularly helpful since Cheap Gas can list stations that are behind you because it doesn’t take into account your direction of travel.

Be sure to click on the map to see where the gas station is located. It turned out that one cheap gas station was 3 miles off the highway!

On our recent trip, we wanted to get gas before driving into Canada where it would be much more expensive.  Cheap Gas showed us a station that was just another 2 miles down the road saving us 25 cents a gallon!

Getting the Most from the Included Map App

The iPhone’s included map app is incredibly handy. Not only can you get directions to where you are going, it can help you find where you want to go. While there are plenty of apps that list types of businesses, sometimes it’s just as easy to use the map app.

Certainly you have discovered that you can enter the name of a business or address and get directions to there from your current location (anyone need tips on that?).  You can also search for a type of business,– from “pharmacy” to “Mexican Restaurant” — or the name of a business–from 7 Eleven to Neiman Marcus. Little red pins will show you where to find that type of business nearby. Click on the red pin and the address and phone number are displayed. Click on “Directions to Here” and you get step-by-step directions.

And, it can tell you how to get to the type of business you need whether you are walking, driving, or using public transportation.

We also used the map app it to find comic book stores near where we were driving so my son could pick up the last volume of the “Scott Pilgrim” graphic novel on the day it came out.  We found one as we passed through Sacramento, and got directions to the store.

Sure there are lots of other travel apps…what have you used, what’s your favorite? Why?  Got any good travel stories to tell?

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