National Rail Enquiries
PLATFORM: iOS, Android
DEVELOPER: National Rail
If you're heading out on the trains in the UK, you're unequipped without this app. It taps directly into the rail network's live train data, delivering up-to-the-second info on where your train is. It helps you plan routes, buy tickets, and even lets you know which platform your train is at. And often the platform data appears on the app before it shows up on the station's display boards, so you can get ahead of the crowd.
As unimaginative as the title might be, this is one of the few navigation apps that surpasses your smartphone's built-in maps (especially the iPhone's). Turn-by-turn is provided for vehicles and pedestrians via Skobbler's own map data, which includes speed warnings, isometric viewpoints, and voice prompts. More important is that it can provide this data offline and makes use of just one world map, so you can never get lost again. Well, not very easily.
Translator with Speech
PLATFORM: iPhone, Android
DEVELOPER: Sparkling Apps
Evidently Star Trek's universal translator is a lot closer than the 24th Century, as this app ably demonstrates. It provides translation services between any of 72 different languages by typing what you want to say into the app, and then selecting the language you're trying to communicate in. Speech translation is even included for a growing number of these languages, with pronunciation help and a translation history on hand for quick and simple use.
PLATFORM: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
If you find yourself in a strange city, this could be the app that keeps you out of the greasy spoons and helps you discover the place's best kept culinary secrets. Personalised recommendations are made for places to eat, based on your preferences and similarity to other app users. You can search for nearby establishments based on cuisine type, check out other diners' reviews, and build a personal database of restaurants you've visited.
CAMRA Good Beer Guide
DEVELOPER: Greenius Mobile
You haven't really visited somewhere until you've seen its pubs and sampled its beer. Certainly if you're in the UK, anyway. Checking out the best local boozers is an essential part of travel, so equipping yourself with the Good Beer Guide app should help you hunt down the best watering holes in and around your current location. With user reviews and a vast database of the finest ales, you should always have a good time wherever you are.