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Travel Apps for the BlackBerry

Everyone and their brother seems to have an iPhone these days, and the number of articles dedicated to iPhone apps is more than a little overwhelming. We’ve even contributed our own list of the best iPhone apps for business travel. But not everyone has an iPhone.

No, really, it’s true.

In fact, many business travelers still rely on other kinds of smartphone technology rather than iPhones, and one of the stalwarts that remains quite popular is the BlackBerry. It’s not nearly as sexy as the iPhone, but it’s extremely useful for more than just its phone and email capabilities.

Here are some travel apps you can download from the BlackBerry App World that may help make your life as a business traveler easier.

Travel Apps for the BlackBerry

  • TripIt – Any frequent traveler who’s not already using TripIt might just be crazy. It’s that useful. And you can take it with you thanks to the TripIt app for your BlackBerry (free). It will pull up all the details of any saved reservation online, so you can make notes on the trip from your computer and have them with you on your BlackBerry.
  • Ultimate Travel Guide – This may not be the “ultimate” guide the title promises, but it’s awfully handy. The Ultimate Travel Guide app (currently $5.99) includes travel information for 35,000 places, including things to do and see in each of them, and 200 phrase books.
  • TripCase – TripCase is another app (free) that organizes your travel plans in one place, and this one even includes the ability to send an itinerary from within the app to whoever’s picking you up at the airport so they know when you’re landing.
  • Kayak – Everyone’s favorite search engine for hunting down cheap tickets is Kayak, and with the Kayak app for BlackBerry (free) you can get all of the great search results right on your phone. Not only that, the Kayak app lets you check on your flight status from within the app, too.
  • Sit or Squat – In an unfamiliar city and looking for the nearest bathroom? Then the Sit or Squat app (free) will be just the thing for you. You can add bathrooms if you find one that’s not listed, and add your own ratings for the bathrooms in the system.
  • Google Maps – Your BlackBerry might have come with a mapping app from your cell provider, but Google Maps (free) is almost certainly better. The app won’t give you turn-by-turn directions aloud (see the GPS navigator apps below), but if you’re on foot or you have a co-pilot navigating, it’s an excellent app to have.
  • FlightTrack – For all your flight tracking needs, whether it’s your own flights or just watching other flights as entertainment, there’s the FlightTrack app (currently $4.99)
  • Yelp – Yelp is a good way of finding local places to eat when you’re in a new place, but if you don’t have your computer handy you can pull up local Yelp listings right on your BlackBerry with their app (free). What’s more, with the app it’ll pinpoint your location and give you results for what’s nearby.
  • Pandora – We’ve all played the game where we cycle through the radio dial three or four times hoping something new will pop up. For more variety than just an iPod or MP3 player (that’s still portable), there’s the Pandora app (free). You do need a wireless connection to make it work, and you’ll want to be sure you’ve got a data plan that allows for this amount of usage, but it’s an excellent way to bring your music with you just about anywhere.
  • WorldMate – WorldMate for BlackBerry (free for basic version, WorldMate Gold currently costs $99.95 per year) is a one-stop-shop for travelers. Using this one app you can manage your itineraries, search for accommodation, check on weather or the time around the world, convert currencies, and search Yelp (and that’s just in the free version). With WorldMate Gold you’ll also get real-time flight tracking, and you won’t have to look at ads within the app.
  • WeatherEye – Keeping track of the weather for all the places you’ll be stopping on your trip is easy with the WeatherEye app for BlackBerry (free). You can enter multiple destinations and flip between them as you need to.
  • Kindle for BlackBerry – Sure, having a larger screen on which to read a book is nice, but if you want to read a little while you’re killing time between meetings and you don’t have your Kindle with you there’s the Kindle app for your BlackBerry (free). You can also purchase books right from the Kindle app.
  • Cortado Flight Mode – This app (currently $1.99) is for those of you who are furiously typing emails on your BlackBerry up until the flight attendant physically forces you to shut off your phone. The app automatically shuts down the phone’s wireless connections as soon as it downloads emails. Then you can read and reply to complete (not truncated) emails during the flight, sending anything you wrote immediately upon landing.
  • GPS Navigator – There are a couple apps you can download to turn your BlackBerry into a GPS unit, giving you turn by turn directions to help you get where you need to be. There’s TeleNav GPS Navigator (currently $9.99 per month), Gokivo Navigator (currently $4.99 per month), and GPS Guru (currently $3.99 one-time payment) – among others.
  • Translator – There are a few translation apps that will help you out if you’re visiting places where they don’t speak your language (or you don’t speak theirs as well as you’d like). Some of the more popular are Navita Translator (free, translates into more than 50 languages), Interlecta (free version or paid version, currently $2.99), and EmailTranslator (free, translates into 40 languages). There are also specific phrasebooks for different languages, too.
  • XE Currency – If you’ve ever searched online for currency conversions, chances are you’ve come across the site. This app from the folks at XE (free) gives you up-to-the-minute conversion rates on more than 180 currencies around the world.

There are also destination-specific apps for various parts of the world in the BlackBerry App World, so be sure to search for the location names of any place you’re visiting to see what’s out there.

photo by BritishAirways