The iPhone App I Can't Live Without

Last Updated Apr 14, 2011 7:29 PM EDT

As I've mentioned on this blog before, my job requires me to be on the road about 300 days out of every year. Almost every week I'm in a new city. In the last 10 days alone, I went from Knoxville to Myrtle Beach to San Antonio.

If I were less adventurous I'd just stick by my hotel and the golf course -- there really isn't any reason to venture out into the city when everything the players need is usually right there. But I'm not that kind of traveler. I like to eat at local restaurants (that is, when I don't give in to my weakness for Chick-fil-A) and I like getting to know the character of a place. If I'm going to have the privilege to travel and play golf for a living, well then, I'm going to make the most of it.

When I land in a new city, one of the first things I do is whip out my iPhone and open up my AroundMe app. I enter whatever it is I'm looking for -- a couple of days ago it was a haircut in San Antonio -- and the app uses GPS and Google maps to show me how to get there. It gives you reviews, directions, phone numbers, and links you directly to websites if you need more info. I use Yelp's app a fair amount, too, but AroundMe is more comprehensive for what I need and it has never let me down. That's how we found Dough, a great local pizza place, last night.

The only criticism I have of the app, is that the GPS function has its limitations. It can't zero in on the exact location of a place when it's in a huge shopping center. I have learned this lesson the hard way trying to find the aforementioned Chick-fil-A.

I've also tried Yahoo's Sketch-a-Search, which lets you pinpoint a geographic area by drawing on a map with your finger. It's a cool feature, but not all that useful when it then pulls up a bunch of information that's outdated.

Know of a great travel app that I need to try? Let me know in the comments.

Flickr photo courtesy of William Hook, CC 2.0