20 Best BlackBerry, iPhone Apps for Summer Travel

Smartphones and summer vacation, like oil and water, simply don't mix? We beg to differ. Just because you employ your BlackBerry or iPhone for work, doesn't mean it can't play hard, as well. The following 20 applications, 10 for BlackBerry and 10 for iPhone, are guaranteed to enhance any getaway - and help you realize the full potential of your mobile device.


If you're a smartphone owner, you have few items more personal than your handheld. You take your BlackBerry, iPhone, Pre, whatever, everywhere—including your summer vacation. Here are 20 mobile apps, 10 for BlackBerry (slides 2 to 11 start here) and 10 for iPhone (slides 12 to 21 start here), perfect for your weekend excursion or weeks-long getaway. And in the spirit of vacation, these apps put the focus on your convenience and entertainment—not on the work you've left behind.

This is not just another mobile application round-up from folks who haven't spent time with the software. We use each and every one of these apps regularly, and recommend them based on actual experience.


Pandora for BlackBerry

The free Pandora for BlackBerry application brings streaming Internet radio to the palm of your hand. Create personalized "stations" based on artists, songs or composers of your choice. Pandora delivers similar content from other artists along with songs from the band/artist that you initially selected. And you can rate music with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to "teach" Pandora your personal tastes.

Creator: Pandora Media Inc.

Price: Free up to 40 hours per month, $0.99 for the rest of month after 40 hours; $36 a year for premium Pandora One account

Where to Download: Pandora.com


TeleNav Navigator

TeleNav is a smartphone-based GPS navigation application available on a variety of BlackBerry devices and other smartphones. The app offers spoken turn-by-turn driving directions, on-screen maps with trip progress metrics, real-time traffic alerts and more. If you want GPS driving directions on your smartphone, TeleNav's as good as it gets.

Creator: TeleNav Inc.

Price: Typically $9.99 per month after 30 day free trial. (Check with your wireless carrier for availability information and pricing specifics.)

Where to Download: TeleNav.com



Viigo, the ultimate "lifestyle app," delivers instant access to news and RSS feeds, weather, sports, streaming podcasts, social networks like Twitter and FriendFeed, flight and travel information and much more, all for free. And the good folks at Viigo never stop working studiously on new features, so there's always something good coming down the road.

Creator: Viigo

Price: Free

Where to Download: GetViigo.com via BlackBerry browser.



TweetGenius is one of the most full-featured—and good-looking—mobile Twitter apps on the market. Check your Friends Timeline, @ Mentions and Direct Messages with a single click from the home screen. Easily insert TwitPic images into Tweets. Share your location via Google Maps. View the Public Timeline, search all of Twitter and more. But TweetGenius's real strength is its stunning and unique UI.

Creator: TweetGenius (via BGR)

After this piece was written, TweetGenius returned to closed beta while its creators work on a new, enhanced version. Sign up here to be notified when it's available once again.


Movies by Flixster

The Movies by Flixster launcher gives BlackBerry users instant access to a wealth of movie- and theatre-related information, including current films, show times, reviews, cast and run-time info, upcoming attractions, new DVD releases and more. Flixster also locates nearby theatres based on area code and lets you purchase tickets using your BlackBerry.

Creator: Flixster Inc.

Price: Free

Where to Download: BlackBerry App World


Movela: Netflix Queue Manager

Add films to a Netflix movie queue, or rearrange its order from wherever you roam, with Movela: Netflix Queue Manager, and all of your favorite films will be waiting for you when vacation begins. Additional features include the ability to browse the Netflix collection by genre, do site-wide search, access Netflix top "rentals" lists, and get personalized recommendations.

Creator: Pyxis Mobile Inc.

Price: $2.99

Where to Download: BlackBerry App World


WorldMate Live

WorldMate Live will change the way you travel. An all around travel companion, the app organizes and stores itineraries, including flight and airline info, hotel reservations, car rentals, meeting locales and much more. You can also find hotels directly from the app, convert foreign currencies, view world clocks and weather forecasts and even get one-click access to maps and navigation apps, where available.

Creator: WorldMate Inc.

Price: Free version; Gold version, $11.95 per month; $99.95 a year

Where to Download: BlackBerry App World



The free Poynt search application is your instant connection to local people, organizations, movie theatres, retail store and events, wherever you're spending your time off. Using GPS, where available, or cell-tower triangulation, Poynt delivers location-aware search results—from SuperPages.com—along with contact and location information, when you query one of its three main sections: Business, People and Movies.

Creator: Multiplied Media Corp.

Price: Free

Where to Download: BlackBerry App World



Shazam's a music-lover's (BlackBerry's) best friend. The free application is meant to help you determine artist and song information whenever you hear a tune on the radio, television, Internet, wherever, but you can't identify it. Simply launch Shazam, make sure your device is close enough to the audio source so it can "hear" the music, and voila: Shazam delivers the song name and creator, along with options to purchase tracks or albums and share them.

Creator: Shazam Entertainment Ltd.

Price: Free

Where to Download: BlackBerry App World



Ka-Glom, a "high-pressure game of falling blocks" for BlackBerry users, resembles the classic video game, Tetris, but with a twist. (Check out BlackBerry Tetris here.) Players attempt to combine Ka-Glom "jelly" to blast blocks and create a chain reaction, racking up points in the process. Play in Survival or Puzzle mode for additional challenges.

Creator: Magmic Inc.

Price: Free

Where to Download: BlackBerry App World


MLB.com At Bat 2009

MLB.com's At Bat 2009 is a must-have iPhone application for all baseball fanatics. With real-time dashboards for every single Major League Baseball game played during the 2009 season, including live pitch counts, game stats, individual at-bat breakdowns and "home and away audio"—broadcasts from both the home and visiting teams' local markets—you can keep tabs on all of baseball. The app's crown jewel: The ability to watch select live games on your iPhone.

Creator: MLB.com

Price: $9.99

Where to Download: iTunes App Store



Amazon's Kindle for iPhone lets iPhone and iPod touch users purchase and read digital books, magazines, website-content and more, right on their Apple devices. If you haven't joined the e-reader craze yet, there's no better way than Kindle for iPhone because it doesn't require a separate—and often expensive—reader. Users can buy and instantly download books from Amazon via iPhone and then sync the content over so it's available almost immediately.

Creator: Amazon.com

Price: Free

Where to Download: iTunes App Store



One of the best aspects of social networking service Twitter is sharing interesting experiences with all of your "followers" while you're on the move. Tweetie, one of the many Twitter apps for iPhone and iPod touch, lets you do just that, offering all the basic Twitter features and more, such as yfrog and TwitPic image support and location sharing. But like TweetGenius, mentioned in the BlackBerry section of this post, Tweetie's real strength is its "clean" and intuitive user interface.

Creator: atebits LLC

Price: $2.99

Where to Download: iTunes App Store



Like its desktop counterpart, the free Fandango for iPhone app is a movie-goer's theatre and ticketing companion. Fandango offers instant access to local movie and theatre listings, trailers, user ratings, coming attractions, a location-based "theatre-finder" function and much more. Best of all, you can easily purchase tickets for shows using a payment card.

Creator: Fandango

Price: Free

Where to Download: iTunes App Store



If you've ever needed to drown out some annoying racket on a plane—think: Bratty kids and/or inebriated adults—or anywhere else, Ambiance, dubbed an "environment enhancer" is the app for you. Simply pop in your earbuds, download any of Ambiances 500+ soothing sounds, like thunderstorms, rolling rivers, French cafes, farm sounds and many more, and let yourself drift away. And you can set a timer so you don't drain excess battery life.

Creator: Matt Coneybeare

Price: $4.99

Where to Download: iTunes App Store


WorldMate Gold

I like WorldMate Gold so much I included it in both the iPhone and BlackBerry sections of this piece. An all around travel companion, the app organizes and stores itineraries, including flight and airline info, hotel reservations, car rentals, meeting locales and much more. You can also find hotels directly from the app, convert foreign currencies, view world clocks and weather forecasts and even get one-click access to maps and navigation apps, where available.

Price: "Lite" version free; Full "Gold" Version $24.99

Where to Download: iTunes App Store



WHERE for iPhone is a full-featured local search application that uses your location to find nearby restaurants—along with Yelp reviews—local businesses, such as Starbucks, movie and theatre information, gas stations, the cheapest gas prices and much more. You can also keep tabs on friends who also use WHERE via the app's Buddy Beacon feature. And it integrates with the iPhone's native maps apps, so it's simple to find places of interest.

Creator: uLocate Communications Inc.

Price: Free

Where to Download: iTunes App Store


Flickr Sendr

The Flickr Sendr for iPhone and iPod touch lets users of Yahoo's Flickr photo sharing service snap and post picture to the site while on the go. And the app couldn't be simpler to use. After logging into your Flickr account, just choose whether or not you'd like to snap a new image or use one already stored on your phone, upload the file and you're ready to share.

Creator: Concept Cache LCC

Price: Free

Where to Download: iTunes App Store


Free Wi-Fi

The Free Wi-Fi application doesn't actually provide free Internet access, but it offers the next best thing: A way to locate the nearest free Internet hotspot, which can be invaluable when you're traveling. The app finds your location based on GPS, if allowed, or zip code, but you can also choose to search for Wi-Fi by city. And you can tap any search result for location information and directions via the native iPhone/iPod Maps app. (Note: This app only works in the United States.)

Creator: YOUniversal Ideas

Price: Free

Where to Download: iTunes App Store


Parachute Panic

Not actually skydiving this summer? Check out a simple strategy game for the iPhone, Parachute Panic, which tasks users with ensuring that parachuting stick figures land safely on passing ships instead of in the ocean, where they'll become shark food. You simply guide falling parachutists with a finger or two, open up chutes when necessary and avoid or destroy obstacles. The goal is to save as many stick figures as possible, racking up points in the mix.

Creator: FDG Entertainment

Price: $0.99

Where to Download: iTunes App Store

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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