While Google Earth for mobile can be a little slow, it offers you much more than a map. You'll get the same features as the desktop version -- including satellite images, road maps, pictures and clickable information about popular places – which you can access anywhere that has wi-fi.
Requirements: These apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, though Android users have access to more features. However, any mobile device can access the mobile version of Google Earth or Google Maps for mobile via a web browser.
Cost: Free, but be aware these services aren't meant to be GPS.
Top app lists tend to flip flop between the Weather Channel app and AccuWeather, but most agree it's handy to know what to expect on your travels. You'll get useful information for planning outdoor activities or what to wear and pack -- and it's guaranteed to be in English while local TV and radio might not.
If you're travelling in Canada (or just planning some outdoor fun), the Weather Network app may be a better fit.
Requirements: The Weather Channel Standard app is only available for iPhone and iPad and The Weather Network app also serves Android and Blackberry devices. If you're using Windows 7, you'll have to opt for AccuWeather.
Cost: Basic services are free, but expect to pay anywhere between $.99 and $4 for premium services that include features like weather alerts and air quality maps.
Don't want to pack your mobile device and your e-reader? (Admittedly, it's a nice problem to have.) E-reading apps lets you access your library on the road. For instance, Kindle and Kobo apps let you search, buy and read e-books on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
While you may not want to read a novel on the small screen, smartphones can come in handy for storing chapters of guidebooks and foreign language phrase books. Some travel guides like Lonely Planet have free apps as an entry point to purchasing destination-specific content.
Availability: Depending on the platform, e-reading apps are available for most devices. You'll need to be online to buy books, but you can read offline.
Cost: Free for the apps, but expect to pay for books.
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