New apps make your phone your best travel guide

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The Independent Online

Travel planning site NileGuide and the world's most popular travel community, Trip Advisor, announced the release of a "Game-Changing" travel application and mobile travel site on March 23.

Location-based mobile applications are turning the traditional paperback travel guide world on its head, making it easier than ever for people to find hidden gems in cities they have never been to before with the help of a mobile phone.

NileGuide added a paid location-based travel planning app called "What's Next" to the app store, adding to its existing free travel application offering, "Guide To Go."

"Designed for spontaneity, travelers can arrive at a destination, turn on their device, touch the "Near Me" button, and find recommendations for nearby activities, restaurants, nightlife, hotels and more," said NileGuide's Nicole Lerner on March 23.

Also catering to the on-the-go user, TripAdvisor announced that consumers could now take the millions of reviews, suggestions and location guides available on the TripAdvisor.com website with them when they travel with their new mobile website.

"Our mobile website offering underscores TripAdvisor's strategy to revolutionize how consumers get travel advice," said Steve Kaufer, founder and CEO of TripAdvisor.

"We are continually investigating additional options for users to access our millions of reviews and opinions from fellow travelers. Whether it's finding the best surf shop in Maui, the nearest bookshop cafe in Paris, or the most opulent temple in India, users now have a way to get the most travel trusted advice when they are on the go."

The mobile TripAdvisor site is available in 17 countries and 11 languages. It can be accessed by tapping http://www.tripadvisor.com into your cell phone's mobile browser.

Additional location-based applications that will help you find your way around the city of your choice include: Urbanspoon, an app that recommends restaurants in your area; Gowalla, a location-based travel game that rewards you for being adventurous; Around Me, an app that will help you find banks, bars, hospitals hotels and cinemas in your vicinity; and Yelp, a location-based restaurant and bar recommendation application.

NileGuide What's Next is available in the US App Store for $2.99: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whats-next/id352142307?mt=8

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