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Old 01-21-2014, 12:10 PM   #1
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Posts: 4,591
Useful Smartphone apps

I have resisted changing to a "smart phone" cellphone for some time now but my old dumb one was getting tired and a new one was $75 - $150 vs. one cent for a last year's iphone 4s. So reluctantly I switched, even knowing there is a slightly higher monthly bill for the data part of the new phone.

I am pleased I did. Besides a very good camera built in, and internet access at any location, some of the Apps are pretty amazing and useful. The hard part is finding them and realizing how useful they can be for Airstreamers.

So, I thought I would start a thread on smartphone apps that may be useful to us, and why. Understand my iphone is Apple, and apps are available via the itunes store, but the Android system has many of the same things available under slight variants of the name. Most ipads use the same apps, and other tablets running Android will also share apps as I understand it.

Here are some of my favorite apps and why you might like them:

1. My phone came with a Utilities app which has these useful items. A) full access to your address book with all names, addresses, phone numbers and so on that you may already have on your computer. Mine syncs automatically so any changes on one are transferred to the other. Great when traveling. B) a calculator… self explanatory C) voice memos.. push the button and make verbal notes to yourself, quick and dirty. D) a compass, always there when needed, but I just found that it also has a built in level which is really useful when leveling your Airstream. Play with the compass to find it, it is hidden a little.

2. All Stays Camp and RV: This app costs a few bucks, I think I paid $5 for mine when I got my ipad, but it may be more now. At any rate, it is a great resource to find campgrounds, and especially good for those of us who boondocks a lot in National Forest, National Park and State Park locations. Very easy to use, has all kinds of information on the campgrounds, including seasons and even phone numbers for the park or park operator in case you want to call them to find out more. I love it.

3. dB Meter Pro. Ever interested in how loud things are? Great app to find out sound levels.

4. Gas Buddy. Gas prices close to your location.

5. Free wi fi. Self explanatory, locates wi fi locations.

6. Light meter. I had to look a bit for this and paid $2 for it, but it gives you a built in light meter if you want to measure light levels. In Lux, divide by 10 for foot-candles.

Other light meter apps are good for cameras, but most cameras today have built in meters.

7. If you don't have your Airstream with you, a great app to find local hotels and prices fast.

8. White and Yellow pages. Very useful phone directory.

9. Google maps. Maps anywhere, any time.

10. Quick Scan. Bar code reader. Take a photo of a bar code, learn about the product. Similar apps for the little square squiggles popping up now everywhere. Take a picture of them, get more information.

11. Airforms. For your Airstream forum fix. I like my big laptop version better, but if you are stuck at a car dealership waiting, it gives you something to look at.

These are ones I have found useful to me so far. Add yours to the list.

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Old 01-21-2014, 12:21 PM   #2
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2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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Gas Buddy is unfortunately going to disappear as we know it as another company is taking it over and all your data will be "shared" with the world. I am not happy about that.

I have not found a suitable replacement.

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2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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I forgot "Beat The Traffic" which is a great phone app. Call it up and see what speeds traffic is running in your area, especially good in city driving. It also has traffic accidents shown which would slow you down.

I winter in the Phoenix area, and last week I had to be in the far North of the city. My winter home is in the far SE of the metro mess. Barrett Jackson auto auction fever was last week, causing a lot of extra traffic. The app showed me 3 serious accidents slowing traffic on 101 on the Phoenix east side. I was able to take a different route home, and I am sure it saved me not only a lot of time but a lot of frustration. It also allows me to see any of the traffic cameras around Phoenix, all built into the app.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:36 PM   #4
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Toronto , Ontario
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Waze is fantastic for traffic prediction and avoidance.

Needs constant data to work, but doesn't eat huge amounts of bandwidth and has saved me countless hours by directing me past traffic jams.

google bought the company last year, so expect the technology to appear in google maps soon.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:46 AM   #5
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1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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In our general possession we have two android phones and iPhone, an iPad and two android tablets.

I have a large range of apps

A few of my favorites are MapFactor Navigator it allows you to navigate even if you don't have a data connection, FoxFi to create a wifi hotspot and droid skyview are a couple of more.

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Old 01-22-2014, 06:58 AM   #6
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Mooresville , Indiana
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If your hungry download 'urbanspoon' find the great places to eat, and the places to avoid. App for both Android and Iphone. And once you have eaten vote and post comments about your meal.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:57 AM   #7
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
West Dummerston , Vermont
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I find an ap called iExit very helpful and worth checking out. It will identify all services at Interstate exits and how far to get to them.
I also use an ap(free) called Keyring- store scanned images of all your rewards cards. Cuts down on what you have to carry and easier to find.
Splash ID to securely store website links, usernames, and passwords.
Evernote for storing digital documents
Rick, Mary, Molly(Boston Terrier)
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:48 AM   #8
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Erie , Colorado
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Switz, GasBuddy was purchased in March 2013 by Oil Price Information Service. Why do you think they are going to share all of your data?

I looked through their privacy page and my read is that if all you do is search the site, no direct participation, that other than cookies there isn't any data that they can capture since you are only 'viewing'. Did I miss something?
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:58 AM   #9
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iPhone 4s here.

We use CityMaps2Go often when travelling, as it doesn't require a data connection. We download the maps for the area we will be in, at the city/county/etc level. Good search capability.

SkyMap for a map of the stars. Hold the phone up to the night sky, and it gives you star names, constellations, etc. We have significant light pollution where we live in the city, so this is a dark sky pastime.

PCalc Lite to replace the calculator that came with the phone. Much more capable and user friendly.

Clinometer for levelling, grade percentages.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:15 AM   #10
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Austin , Texas
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TorquePro which allows you to read (with the purchase of a $15 adapter on Ebay) the data for your vehicle (most vehicles anyway), create a custom heads up display for distance driving and even reset the fault indicators on your dash.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:03 PM   #11
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Lake Placid , Florida
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We enjoy "yelp" - dining options, ratings and menus, "leaf snap" - identifies different plant species, "around me" - locates bank, stores, bars, coffee shops, gas stations, hospitals, etc. that are near you.
Let the good times roll!! Laura
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:46 PM   #12
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Little Rock , Arkansas
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iexit lets you see what is available at an interstate exit before it's too late to react to signs.

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