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The Americans use ‘gallon’ and the British (and many other Commonwealth nations) use the ‘liter’. The United States and Great Britain may be separated by a common language, but it doesn’t always make things easier…especially for the person who is not used to crossing the Atlantic frequently. Converting units from one standard to the other is a matter of practice and mathematics. Phileas Fogg would have had a problem as he went traipsing around the world, but not you.

Why? Because these days you can easily lay your hands on unit converters and currency converters to carry around on your smartphones. Just such a travel companion is GlobeConvert that goes perfectly with your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (requires iOS 4 or later). GlobeConvert is a free application (with advertisements) that easily converts common units of measurements to the ones you are used to. More importantly for the international traveler, it handles currency conversions in real time too.

Note: You can buy the Pro (ad-free) version for $0.99.

Why (Accurate) Currency Conversion Is Important?

More than unit conversions, currency conversion in real time is the thing you should be fastidious about. Exchange rates keep on appreciating and depreciating. More so with a connected global economy. Misunderstood differences in cents or dineros mean that all your payment calculations in a local currency end up being wrong. It could also mean that you end up being fleeced. Even in the days of credit card swipe, physical money does exchange hands. Updated information on exchange rates is important for buying trinkets or brokering business deals.

Keeping GlobeConvert Close By

GlobeConvert covers 190+ currencies from around the world. That should cover the rarely used currencies too if you plan to visit out of the place spots on the world map. When it comes to the standard units, GlobeConvert has 10 types of converters and 80+ units for you to pick from. So, let’s not tax our brains anymore, but throw a few numbers at the app.

GlobeConvert opens with the default view set on currency conversion:


ios unit converter

You can set the two currencies of your choice by tapping on the arrow and choosing from the long alphabetical list of currencies. As you can see I am trying to convert from USD to Euro.

ios unit converter

Going back to the currency conversion interface, the swap button on top-tight is for the reverse exchange rate if you want to go from Euro to USD. The current exchange rate is mentioned in small type just below the amount boxes. You can click on the refresh control next to it to load it again. I couldn’t find the source from where the exchange rate is taken, so that it something the developers should look into and explicitly mention.

The Other Converter Types

Currency conversion is just one facet. Tapping the top unit box takes you to the other types as you can see in the screen below.

unit conversions iphone app

For instance, I want to check out a few conversions for volume. Gallons to Liters maybe. The process of choosing the different unit types is pretty much similar. If you are heading to the bar instead of the gas station, you can check out measures like the U.S. pint (though I don’t see an Imperial pint there).

ios unit converter

In the end, whichever measuring units and currency conversions you use more than others, you can favorite them and keep them on the Favorites list. The Favorites list gives you quick access to the measures and don’t have to hustle and bustle setting up the units.

The Measure of it

GlobeConvert can be summed up in two words – simple and intuitive. You don’t need an instruction manual for it. Just install and use. It’s beautiful design and uncomplicated functionality makes it an idea travel companion. Perhaps that’s why a few globetrotters among our readers recommended it on our Best iPhone Apps page. What about you? Which is your favorite unit converter out there?

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