Top Free Android Apps for Business Travellers

Hello friends! I am back after a long pause. Actually, it’s been for a few days I am not keeping well and I had to postpone all my plans by a week. Excuse me for that!

If you are a business traveller always on a mission you must know well what it takes to be ahead of your competitors. Backpacking all modern gadgets, you are so much on your toes to reach customers with exciting business proposals that organizing your own life goes for a toss. You do not have time left for yourself. You sacrifice much of your sleep to catch an early morning flight, call a cab, navigate airports, check for hotels and at the same keep tabs on expense reports to file. You want to do some research on your place of visit in advance, look for a few important contacts before you arrive and try to mitigate all sorts of woes that cross your mind to be on safer side. But you cannot spare a slice of time from your busy schedule for all these. You wonder, if there is anything to manage your life in a better way!

business-traveller-image

Image #www.flybgm.com

Whether you are a business and frequent traveller or you regularly embark on weekend trips,  I have listed some of the free and best Android apps for your benefits. Let’s quickly go through these,

1.     Seatguru:

Up with a notebook, you have not slept last night giving the final touches to your much appreciated presentation! You need a few hours of comfortable journey on your way to the destination.

  • Use This App for: Selecting the best seat on-board your next flight to catch a fast sleep.
  • Bonus: The app gives you options to select seat from where you get access to power outlets (in case you still want to work on your project) or have the best view of in-flight movie.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

2.     TripIt:

You now want a detailed itinerary including all your confirmation and schedule that you can share across several devices. You basically need a PA for doing all these for you.

  • Use This App for: Mapping out your airport experience from security check-in to departure gate. Forward all information about your hotel bookings, flight confirmations and car rentals to this app and the app takes care of the rest.
  • Bonus: Email your travel confirmations to plans@tripit.com and they are back with a detailed digital itinerary of your bookings and stays.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

3.     Mapmyindia:

You have arrived in a new place as a business traveller and need information on ATM’s, banks, restaurants and emergency services at the first place.

  • Use This App for: Locating services like ATM’s, banks, restaurants, movies, shopping, attractions, hospitals and police stations.
  • Bonus: For restaurants and shopping you can do a category search as per your choice.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

4.     Justdial:

You are in a new place and need a few location based useful contacts for some immediate service.

  • Use This App for: Finding about local businesses, hotels, restaurants, theatres, doctors, lawyers and a lot of other things.
  • Bonus: The hotkey feature gives you to quickly access results by just pressing a button
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

5.     Zomato:

When you are travelling, food becomes one of your major concerns and you start looking for good places where you can enjoy your meals.

  • Use This App for: Thousands of location and cuisine based eat-out options in your place of visit.
  • Bonus: The user ratings and feedbacks give you an opportunity to zero in on your choice easily.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

6.     Foodspotting:

This is another app on the same lines as Zomato, which will come useful while you travel abroad. If you are a foodie and are looking for good restaurants when you are not working, try this killer app.

  • Use This App for: Spotting food outlets which are placed high by user generated recommendations.
  • Bonus: Just select the type of food you like and it throws up all the places in your locality.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

7.     GetTaxi:

You do not know the lingua-franca, but you need to hire a taxi in a new place. Give rest to your arms!

  • Use This App for: Saving you from the distress of getting a taxi in a new foreign land. Using GPS system the service provider will locate you and arrive where you are standing.
  • Bonus: You can make payment from your smartphone and will have all the details of the taxi, so you will never lose anything in a taxi.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

8.     Best Parking:

You are in a new place and you are not sure about the parking.

  • Use This App for: Map-guided parking solution. The app guides you like a search engine for the best and cheapest parking in your area.
  • Bonus: The company promises to give you $5 Starbucks gift card (North America), if you ever land in trouble using this app.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free
business-traveller-apps-image

Image #www.checkintonight.asia

9.     WiFi Finder:

You cannot afford to lose connectivity with people in your itinerary or office. Worried to remain connected in a new city!

  • Use This App for: Finding WiFi hotspots to use if your cell phone network fails.
  • Bonus: Save WiFi locations in your smartphone for later use.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

10.XE Currency:

You have gone abroad for a business trip and you are confused with the complex currency conversion rates there.

  • Use This App for: Knowing the live currency rates of the country you are currently in.
  • Bonus: This app gives you accurate, minutely detailed currency conversion tables.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

11.AwardWallet:

This time you want all loyalty bonus points you have collected on the go to show up in one place.

  • Use This App for: Managing your credit card points, frequent flier miles and hotel loyalty programs from a single hub.
  • Bonus: You do not need internet connection.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

12.AroundMe:

Damn! You have gone for a longer business trip and you are badly missing the life you are used to back at home.

  • Use This App for: Finding out the best hotels to stay, best nearby restaurants to dine, useful stores, banks, ATM’s, theatres, bars or supermarkets in your vicinity.
  • Bonus: It also gives you information on places of interest, in case you have the time to visit!
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

13.ngpay:

You are now looking for a way to book your flight or railway ticket to come home soon.

  • Use This App for: Booking railway tickets from IRCTC, flight tickets from IndiGo, Jet Airways, GoAir and SpiceJet; even movie tickets from INOX, PVR Cinemas, Fame, Cinemax and more from your smartphone.
  • Bonus: You can send gifts, shop from thousands of outlets and recharge prepaid mobile connections.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

14.ixigo:

You have stayed longer in a place for your business and now you want to resort to some budget hotel and plan for traveling by train or bus.

  • Use This App for: Pocket-friendly travel options by flights, trains or bus and for cheap hotel stay choices.
  • Bonus: The app allows you to track information on flight status, delays, airport information and contact numbers. You can also have a map-guided road-trip using this app and check your PNR status.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

15.Skyscanner:

Just in case you have travelled abroad and have stayed there longer for business assignments. Your pocket has drained out and now you are looking for some cheaper flight options to come back home.

  • Use This App for: Locating thousands of budget flight operations across the world.
  • Bonus: This app gives the cheapest flight information on your smartphone
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

16.Expensify:

Luckily you have loaded this one on your device before starting the journey! Now you are wrapping up your trip and want this app to categorically report all your expenses throughout the stay.

Done! This app keeps track of all your expenses on the move.

  • Use This App for: Maintaining records of all your credit and debit card expenses by allowing it to sync the details.
  • Bonus: Generates report easily on expense heads and allows you to email in PDF format.
  • Availability: Android
  • Price: Free

I am signing off today with a note that, Android apps market is a fast growing one. This is my effort to bring out few of the best apps from business and travel categories. I might miss out some more deserving and better ones, but you know, this is a highly competitive place where more than 7,00,000 apps are already vying for your attention! I hope the list provides you some value.

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Browser: Chrome, IE or Firefox, who’s the champ?

The Browser domain was once ruled by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but recently Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox took the battle to a new level. So much so that during this time last year it was predicted based on several parameters that Google Chrome would uproot Microsoft IE to take the pole position in global market share.  This chart is an indicator,

browser market share prediction 2013

Mozilla Firefox is also there at a sniffing distance.  It’s very interesting from a user’s point of view that they have a handful of choice. There is a global paradigm shift happening and visibly there are scores of people migrating to tablets, smartphones and laptops. For all however, browsers still remain the main entry point to the web and at least that is how the web architecture is designed. Globally, therefore the key players are in loggerheads in this arena and are steadily upgrading their offerings to improve their users’ experience. Be it Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox, today all of them are pretty slick in appearance and amazingly fast in presenting requested websites to the end user, a notable departure from their predecessors. Each one of these has its own brownie points over the other for which they retain their fans but at the same time they are working to incorporate features of their competitors to win more customers. Here I present a comparative analysis of the three major browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Check it out!

Google Chrome 31

Pros:

Design:

  • Minimalist
  • Monochromatic buttons are not pain for the eyes
  • Tab browsing like all its competitors
  • Browser blends well with the surroundings and hardly visible
  • Unified address and search bar minimizes the space occupied by the browser
  • The two layer navigation layout houses all the essential options
  • The single click bookmarking feature presented with a star button on the right side of the address bar is hassle-free. Simply superb 1-2-3 steps and done!

Speed:

  • Excellent, most of the websites load faster than that was with its predecessors
  • A good hardware acceleration adds even more speed

Other Features:

  • Supports HTML5, which means it is future ready
  • Voice Search is integrated and that is quite unique
  • Security features are well implemented
  • Instant site prediction and loading is a very good additional feature
  • Extensions or application available from WebApp store is a refreshing feature that tries to erase the line between local and cloud application
  • Syncing is an absolute delight for all Google fans as that efficiently integrates everything from Google’s stable
  • Built-in Flash player and PDF reader are available
  • Spell checking is a tiny little detail they have focused upon
  • Quick and automatic updates are constantly keeping the pace

Cons:

Do Not Track Privacy feature is turned off by default

KEY NOTES

The competition is fierce but Google Chrome draws the attention and it is actually the Web browser to beat in terms of speed, features and philosophy

Microsoft Internet Explorer 11

Pros:

Design:

  • Slimmer than its predecessor
  • Excellent tab implementation
  • Unified address bar and search features
  • Two layer navigation layout
  • Bookmarking is quite similar to Chrome
  • Users are able to drag and separate a tab to make it a full-fledged browsing window
  • Users also can customize, drag and pin a tab on the taskbar which sits there with the website’s favicon like another pinned application. The interesting part is that when a user right clicks on that icon he gets option to go to different sections of that particular website and the browser morphs itself by replacing its own icons with the sites favicon and colored front, back buttons. Really unique!

Speed:

  • Fast and at par with competitors on various benchmarks
  • Hardware acceleration is better

Other Features:

  • Decent HTML5 support
  • Top security features
  • Do Not Track Privacy is enabled by default

Cons:

No built in Flash and PDF reader

KEY NOTES

Now it’s good news for Windows 7 users as they can enjoy the speed, features and compatibility of Internet Explorer 11, which was earlier available only with Windows 8. Nevertheless, Microsoft have come out of slumber and ramped up their offering in every possible way to retain its old customers as well as to generate enough interest.

Mozilla Firefox 26

Pros:

Design:

  • Lean in appearance
  • Tab browsing is quite similar to its competitors
  • Tabs are kept above address bar and separate search box takes up a little more screen space and makes it a bit bulky
  • Similar Chrome like single click bookmarking option is there
  • But the robust customization options, the extensions and host of developer tools are its USP

Speed:

Fast but not up to that mark to compete with its rivals on this parameter

Other Features:

  • Good HTML5 support
  • Cross platform
  • Built in PDF viewer
  • Speed, memory usage and security features are pretty good
  • Hardware acceleration is decent
  • Small and frequent update packets are quite in thing these days and Firefox have paid full attention to this, although these updates are not anything massive to ramp up the performance of the browser. The full pack updates what they used to release earlier were better in this sense

Cons:

  • Slower than its competitors on some benchmarks
  • Less HTML5 support
  • No built-in Flash player 

KEY NOTES

Firefox is quite popular for its customization/extensions and professional users loyally stick with this for the add-ons they get to use with this cleanly designed, fast, cross-platform browser.

So the question now is which browser is better. Each one of them have their own set of loyal fans. But a large section including some from the fan-bases keep trying different things. They are the deciding factors who can tilt the scale in favor of one or the other if they are won away by the niceties of a particular brand. Currently Google’s Chrome is holding the carrot and luring us with its modern features and design. But others too are not far behind and the war is going to get more interesting to follow.