NOTE: The apps suggested below can be found in the Apple AppStore and available for Apple devices. Some might be available for the Android. Check out your GooglePlay app store for these app names.
CityMaps2GoPro – This iPhone app is AMAZING! If you travel around the world and want a map of the city, province or region at your fingertips, I highly recommend this app. I purchased the “Pro” version so I could download the city maps and utilize off-line on my iPhone. Since Camino guide books cannot provide detailed or realistic maps of larger towns and cities on the Camino, this app is a great compliment to your navigation tools. I downloaded most of the major cities along The Way of St. James before my journey, and was able to quickly reference them when in need. Matter of fact, any time I travel to a new city, I always download before jumping on the plane.
Key features that I love about this app are:
- Maps are very detailed and accurate with great zoom-in capabilities.
- It detects where you are on the map (similar to a SatNave or GPS), however does not utilize your phone data stream (I have no clue how they do this, but believe me, I used this is Paris and saw no data fees on my mobile carrier bill).
- Provides search capabilities for hotels, food, nightlife, entertainment/arts, travel, shopping/services, health/medical, etc… and all offline!
- Think about this as an offline GoogleMaps and MORE.
Camino Places – Although I have not used this iPhone app, for it was developed after my Camino walk, it is EXACTLY what us pilgrims need and want. Ivar has provided a wonderful social tool that:
- Uses GPS to find closest lodging alternatives, places to eat, pharmacies and bus/taxi stops.
- Enables you to read and leave comments and photos on each place to help pilgrims walking behind you.
- Provides inventory of places around you can that can be viewed as a list or on a map.
- Enables you to easily search for places.
The only drawbacks are: You must be on the internet using either wifi or cell data, and you must be member of his forum; however, it’s a free membership and he does support one of the oldest Camino forums out there.
Camino Francés – A Wise Pilgrim Guide – I recently purchased this iPhone app to review the content for it has been receiving great reviews by experienced pilgrims. Think of this app as something similar to the John Brierley book, A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago or the Wise Pilgrim book, The Camino Francés – A Wise Pilgrim Guide to the Camino de Santiago, but on your phone. You will reap the benefits of this information via a mobile phone app for it saves the weight of carrying a book, and updates are frequent and immediate. The author has provided about ten apps to coincide with various other Camino paths that you can find in the AppStore. The app is easy to navigate and filled with amazing resources at your finger tips, such as:
- General information about each province you walk through for Camino Francés
- All accommodations such as alburgues, hotels, pensions, casa rurals, etc.
- Amenities at each accommodation
- Ability to book on-line
- On-line maps
- Elevation profiles and more
Booking.com – Every once in a while, if budget permits, you might want to book a hotel or private room. In most of the larger cities, and for the times I needed a better night’s sleep than the alburgues provided, I use Booking.com website or this Booking.com iPhone app. I found this as one of the best on-line sites for booking hotels and pensions internationally. If you book ahead and your walking schedule changes, you should be able to change or cancel your reservation. However, make sure to look at the cancellation policy each time you book.
SpanishDict Translator – After researching several English-Spanish translation apps, this was the one I downloaded and couldn’t have been happier. Firstly, it is available off-line! (Only audio pronunciations require on-line access). Most of the apps, like Google Translate, are only available when on-line. Off-line use was critical for me because I knew I wouldn’t always have access to wifi, and wanted to keep my international data use at a minimum. Secondly, this app is FREE! Can’t beat that price (if you want ad-free you can subscribe for $2.99 annually).
Here are some great features this app provides:
- Full Spanish-English dictionary available off-line, with examples, regional usage and contextual information
- Very fast and available for off-line use (only audio pronunciation requires internet)
- Talking Spanish Phrasebook that features over 700 common Spanish words and phrases
- Favorites so you can keep track of the Spanish words you have been learning/using
- Word Game to challenge yourself and learn Spanish words of all levels
- Word of the Day to learn a new Spanish word daily
More resources on the way…