I’ve been a big fan of TripIt for the last year or so. Whenever you receive an email confirmation of a flight, a hotel booking, hire car, even a train ticket reservation, you can forward this email to TripIt and they will convert it into a travel itinerary for you. This puts all your travel information into one single location. As they support iCal and RSS feeds, you can then get this information into other sources, such as your Calendar or other services.
About a month ago, TripIt announced a developer API program, which allows other companies (with your approval) to access this data, and the fruits of this are already starting to show with 2 iPhone applications now offering TripIt integration to enhance your travelling…
FlightTrack Pro (shown above, currently £5.99) is the first such app, which is designed to track all your flight details for you, with the ability to not only access the flight information, but also live weather, flight route maps, real-time flight status updates, airport time difference information, airport delays and closures, and will, in their latest version, also support importing the flight information from TripIt. Some of these features, including the TripIt support only come with the Pro version, so this is likely to be more useful to the regular traveller.
Now, most of this information is already available, but this app brings together a whole raft of different websites to bring that information onto a single screen, and that’s key to us; that little extra effort in integrating all that information can be so useful to some people. FlightTrack Pro should be able to link your TripIt information to airport information, thereby providing additional information such as last minute gate changes etc. It even features an offline mode to work whilst you are travelling at 30,000 feet and want to check the details of the airport you are arriving at, or even your next flight (although you won’t have information to the real-time updates).
If your travel plans don’t always revolve around flights, then TravelTracker (below, currently £11.99) may be a better app…
This covers all type of travel, allowing you to enter information on flights, trains, hotels, car rentals, meetings and driving, but again, offers that ability to integrate with TripIt to collect the data. Given that TripIt can pretty much handle all of those types of travel, it seems a nice combination to provide easy access to your trip data. It’s not as polished in some areas, eg accessing real time flight status takes you to a web page, whereas FlightTrack Pro builds the information into the application itself, but it does support some simple expense management, and even will track your frequent traveller cards and programs. As well as supporting the iPhone, they also support the iPod Touch.
Which one would we choose; well that’s the nice thing; use TripIt to automatically process the emails you are sent when you book the travel in the first place (they also support the major travel agents which are commonly used by corporate travellers), and then get the data fed seamlessly into both application; given you the best of both worlds; FlightTrack Pro for the best handling of the flights, with TravelTracker handling the rest of the travel.
What about once you’ve arrived, and you want to make notes and record information about where you have been, and what you have seen; well, maybe Geotags for iPhone is a good solution for you…
Geotags for iPhone is a free map-based application for the iPhone, allowing you to keep a record of places and things you have seen of interest, by marking on the map where you found them. As well as written notes, it supports photos and short audio files. Once you have collected the information, it can be viewed in Google Earth. Of course, you can achieve similar things with other services, such as Brightkite, which also offers a wider variety of method of locating yourself, and offers more of an overall social networking experience via their Brightkite for iPhone client, which is also free.
Finally, if geocaching is your thing (and if not, why not?!) then we’ve covered geocaching for the iPhone before here.
This level of integration with services such as TripIt, potentially resulting in not having to enter the information by hand on any system appeals to me, and I hope that over the next few months, we start seeing similar TripIt integration into Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile applications for non-iPhone using travellers.
Some content about Geotags for iPhone from TUAW; thanks to Mark at Automated Home for the link.