Lonely Planet iPhone guides
Anyone that has done even a little overseas traveling knows that the Lonely Planet guides are considered the best. Easy to use, nice design, full of great advice and excellent recommendations. The one drawback is they can get pretty heavy, especially if you are carrying everything on your back. But apparently Lonely Planet has figured out a way to keep all their great features and get rid of their one bad one. Lonely Planet for your iPhone!
In addition to it’s already excellent content, the iPhone (also iTouch) version includes interactive, personalised and fully searchable mobile access. You can mark your favorite locations for easy access or locate them by keywords (no address search function as of yet though). It also includes GPS so you can see your current location and any interesting spots near you. And it is completely stand alone so you don’t need a signal in order for the guide to work. Also (and this may be the best part), you don’t have to look like a tourist scouring your Lonely Planet book while on the street corner or in a coffee shop. For all anybody knows you are just checking your email.
There are a few limitations with the current version though. For instance you can’t access the restaurant and bar listings through the actual sections of the book. You have to use the map. Though hopefully that will change in the near future.
Also, you can’t leave your iPhone guide behind when you leave the country for someone else to use. But for all the paper and transportation energy that is not being wasted I think I can overlook this one.
The iPhone guide is $15.99 on the iTunes app store. There are currently 20 titles with more on the way, and the San Fransisco guide is free during the WWDC! That was nice of them:-)