What better way to use your Apple Watch than when you are traveling. Check flights, find transportation, and even book last-minute accommodation from the comfort of your wrist.
These helpful apps will get you going and keep you moving, but what exactly do they offer and how well do they work?
Up, Up, and Away
When thinking about airline apps, basic features come to mind. You want to see the status of your departure and arrival flights. You want to know the gate numbers and see updated departure and arrival times as well. Each of these airline apps provide those most simple features and are available for free. So, what else do they offer aside these basics that sets them apart?
Fly Delta has some great Apple Watch features including countdowns to both your departure and arrival times. Aside from gate details you can also obtain baggage information. Any eBoarding passes saved to your Passbook are available on the watch as well.
JetBlue uses the Glance feature to show your flight, gate, and terminal details. You can then view a travel countdown and your seat number. This app also provides mobile boarding pass access; you can add to Passbook simply by scanning the QR code on the watch.
The American Airlines app provides that little extra by giving you a driving estimate to the airport. You can also check in when you arrive, see where you are on a map while on the plane, and find out how much time is remaining until arrival.
United Airlines provides a reservation list and those passengers traveling with you on the watch as its added benefits. Aside from these features, you will only see the basics.
The British Airways app also includes that handy countdown to your departure time. As a bonus feature you can see the weather conditions for your destination.
What do users have to say? Reviews for JetBlue include some quirkiness in the app, for American Airlines there have been a few accuracy concerns, and the United Airlines app seems to disappoint a few users due to performance issues. While these concerns are not specific to the Apple Watch, nor will they change your mind regarding your favorite airline, we encourage you to double-check your flight information.
Transportation apps like these are usually only convenient if your destination is a major city. However, if you are a frequent traveler then chances are you will be visiting one soon enough. Since each is a little different than the other, you can see all of the features they offer. They are available for free, but obviously the costs of the actual transportation you use is separate.
Transit App is currently available in 97 metro areas and covers most transportation options such as buses, subways, Uber, car2go, and more. Check departure times on nearby routes and if you get lost just tap the Take Me Home button. The Apple Watch app allows you to quickly check your itinerary and view maps on your wrist.
The Uber app shows how long until your requested ride arrives and the car type to expect. You can even see how far the driver is from your location. Check the map while en route and review your driver’s star rating.
You can also now order a Mytaxi car with your Apple Watch. Then, check out the map for both yours and the car’s locations, pay for your ride including a tip, and rate your trip when you arrive safely at your destination.
What do users have to say? These three transportation apps have all received their fair share of praise, with many citing their ease of use and convenience as reasons to keep them on your wrist.
Get Some Shut-Eye
Similar to airline apps, you expect some basic features from hotel apps too. You want to be able to find accommodation near to your location, see existing reservations, review nightly rates, and see how many stars the hotel has earned. Each of these free hotel apps will give you those features. But, what additional extras do that have that make them different from the others?
With Booking Now you can get turn-by-turn directions and a countdown until check-in time. When you have completed your stay, you can then rate your check-in experience.
Hotel Tonight has a nice feature where you can see the distance of the hotel results from your current spot. You can then tap to open your Maps app and get directions or just view your check-in and check-out times.
Marriott International provides handy check-ins and check-outs directly from your Apple Watch. You can also receive alerts when your room is ready, which is an awesome bonus feature. If you are a Marriott Reward member, check out your reward details easily on the app.
What do users have to say? Booking Now and Hotel Tonight each enjoy high ratings and good reviews. However, the Marriott International app seems to disappoint some users who have had trouble logging in and believe important features are missing.
Plan Your Trip
These apps are complete trip planners, so the features do differ. Some have extras that are handy or helpful, while others are just really simple. But for a free, all-encompassing planner they each have their benefits, especially if you already use their services on iPhone or the Web.
After you plan your trip with Tripit, the app provides flight status, car rental details, and maps for your itineraries on the Apple Watch. Tripit also offers calendar integration and works with other apps like Tripcierge, Avis, GO Airport Shuttle, and many more, for added convenience.
Orbitz provides notifications of flight delays and cancellations, which is a great feature. You can also check gate changes, access reservation details, and check your Orbitz Rewards balance or become a member right from your wrist.
The Hotwire app provides rental car pick-up and accommodation check-in alerts along with car return and refuel reminders. You can see full trip details for your car or hotel including itinerary views with maps. Additionally, you can review upcoming, current, and past trip summaries.
With the Priceline.com app you can review your trip with details such as hotel address and check-in time. You can also look for nearby locations with hotel rates, distance, and their star rating. Review photos, look at the map, check out scores, and read about amenities all on the Apple Watch. Plus, some might enjoy the William Shatner icon!
What do users have to say? While Tripit and Hotwire have overall good reviews, those for Orbitz and Priceline appear to be mixed with some loving the apps and others disappointed with app glitches.
What To Do and Where To Eat
There is also a selection of apps that can help you find places to go and locations where you can grab a bite to eat. They each approach discovery in a different way, but they’re all free and well-integrated with watchOS.
While some may use TripAdvisor as a full planner, we moved it down to this category because it provides fun things to do on your trip, right on the Apple Watch. Check out restaurants, activities, and even hotels along with your saved places quickly. Get location details with reviews, ratings, photos, and connect directly to the Maps app with a tap, for directions.
The Gogobot app’s concept is similar to Trip Advisor providing you locations to eat, stay, and play. Based on your current location, just check your wrist for the closest places for you to do all three. Star ratings, category, price range, and distance from your current spot are on the main screen for each group. See photos, read reviews, and get directions with the direct Map app connection.
When all else fails, just give a Yelp! Restaurants, bars, coffee & tea, or hot & new are the categories Yelp helps you with on the Apple Watch. Distance, ratings, reviews, price range, and a Map app connection are all available with this app on your wrist. It may not include other types of activities, but if you are hungry or thirsty, Yelp is there for you.
What do users have to say? While most users appear to be happy with all three apps, TripAdvisor seems to have the most fans.
There you have it!
Whether it is for business or pleasure, the convenience of accessing the important details you need while traveling is what makes a tool like the Apple Watch more than a luxury item. Have you had any specific trouble with these apps? Or, do you have other travel apps that you like to use on the watch? We would love to check out some others as there are more popping up on the App Store all the time. Feel free to leave your comments below!