'There's probably an app for that' is a phrase we hear all too often, largely because it is right. Apps are making their mark on our lives and how we do business. Travel is just one industry that is seeing a range of apps geared towards making the customer experience as streamlined as possible.
The travel-related apps we are all familiar with include those for weather, converting currency, specifying time zones and giving us directions (aka maps!). But these are just the most basic apps for the mobile traveller.
The proliferation of apps is so widespread that there is almost always an app to solve any challenge we might face in life (or on our travels). If you want to check traffic conditions between you and the airport – there's an app that will give you the details.
Once at the airport, you want to know where to find the nearest toilet – there's an app that will point you in the right direction. Or, if you are having trouble understanding the signs when abroad – there's an app that will translate them for you.
The most popular app in the world (and no surprises here) is from TripAdvisor, with more than 100 million downloads. Add to that the thousands of apps that offer information about destinations, restaurants, public transport, airport services, accommodation, taxis and more, and it is clear that the savvy mobile traveller can get far more out of their trip than they have done in the past. But what are the apps that are truly revolutionising the world of travel?
Passbook is one of a number of apps that allow travellers to carry all their documents on their phones. These apps negate the need for printed boarding passes and accommodation bookings and are giving travellers an idea of the paper- and cash-less travel experience that lies ahead.
The android version of Passbook is PassWallet, which displays other items such as loyalty cards and cinema tickets as well as travel documents. This means that businesses can share data to offer the traveller a discounted coffee or sandwich while they are waiting at the airport. Plus, smart watches make the process even more convenient – all you need to do is glance at your wrist.
Meanwhile, Gate Guru (part of the TripAdvisor empire) is an app that offers travellers instant, real-time travel information. It is again one of many apps that allow travellers to access details about gate locations, security and services within specific airports.
The more we realise what is already out there, the more obvious it is that apps are only going get more joined-up. The race is now on for developers to create an app that serves travellers as a mobile travel assistant – catering for all their travel needs.