The problem I tend to have with most travel guides is they attempt to cover “everything,” and in the end only scratch the surface. The key to a travel app you’ll really get good use out of is to find one specific to your needs, both in location and in what you’re looking for on your travels.
If you’re a nature enthusiast and a photographer, Mobile42‘s series of Travel Photo Guides offer just that – a travel guide for a few of the U.S.’s gorgeous national parks with advice and tips on capturing great photos. There are guides for three parks, with a fourth on the way:
While the app is free to download and try (with limitations) for 30 days, the cost for the full app is $5.99 via in-app purchasing. The trial is a great way to check out how the app works and decide whether or not it’s something you’re interested in purchasing (in fact, I kind of wish more apps were set up this way).
The amount of detail put into the app is extremely impressive. The photography itself is stunning – browse through tons of photos, each labeled with a brief description and relevant photography info (time of day, camera settings info, etc). You can also tap to map the exact location, or share a photo via email or Facebook.
The compass icon at the bottom lists the landmarks and areas in the park closest to you, and while you’re viewing photos, you can add places to your list of areas to see on your trip. And in the “Tools” section is the information photographers will really find useful. Under the “Depth of Field” section, you can choose your camera by make and model and play with everything from exposure to lens focal strength.
For those getting serious about photography, particularly with a good SLR camera, this app is filled with advice on distance, time of day, shade and everything else you need to get a high-quality shot. In particular, I can see travel writers who are trying to capture photos to sell along with their articles getting more than their money’s worth from these apps.
Travel Photo Guides requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.