Ten Best iPhone Apps For Hawaii Vacations

iphoneThe iPhone 3gs is incredibly useful wherever I go.  Lately I’ve been leaving my laptop at home and relying on the iPhone for email, web browsing, and so much more.

Here are Beat of Hawaii’s suggestions for ten best iPhone Hawaii travel apps:

1.  Music.  My favorite music app is  Hawaiian Rainbow Music Radio. It’s non-commercial and free.  Based on the mainland, it sounds local.  As an alternative, KWXX, a Hilo station, also has a free iPhone app, which has commercials and is well, strangely less Hawaiian sounding to my ears.

2.  Getting around.  Here are two obvious Google apps that really work for me throughout the islands.

  • Google Mobile. With its voice search, it beats the heck out of typing in what you’re looking for while driving.
  • Google Maps.  This work as well here as on the mainland.

3.  Photos.  You’ll be shooting lots of photos using the reasonable iPhone 3mp camera.  To edit them, there’s a new application called Photoshop Mobile which is free and works great.  It crops, rotates and changes photos you’ve taken with ease, then stores them without damaging the original.

4.  Weather.  I’ve tried quite a few weather apps on the iPhone but so far prefer the Weather Channel.  It’s free, but has ads.  The app uses the phone’s GPS and Google Maps for radar, clouds, temperature, precipitation and UV index.

5.  WiFi.  I prefer the free JiWire, which is useful for finding public WiFi networks here in Hawaii, or around the world. It searches for free or paid hotspots by city and zip code.  The results for each island appear accurate.

6.  News.  You won’t be finding your hometown papers here in Hawaii, and USA Today is all but gone from the islands too.  iPhone is a great place to stay in touch with news and my favorite news application is the one from CNN priced at 1.99.

6.  Storing Trip Information.

  • Notes.  This built in application is a great place to store and quickly access a plethora of useful trip information.  I use it for everything from hotel room number, to parking stall location, to trip phone numbers that I won’t need in Contacts.
  • Camera.  Photos can be used as a helpful shopping tool, among other (non-snapshot) things.  You can photograph something you see in a store to refer to later.  Perhaps you’re shopping for something in your home and take a photograph to refer to while on vacation.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions for iPhone travel uses and applications.

4 thoughts on “Ten Best iPhone Apps For Hawaii Vacations”

  1. Late in replying…

    I don’t have an iPhone but do have an iPod Touch and took it to Italy with me this summer. I found it to be very useful in so many ways.

    Air Sharing is a great app to have. It allows you to transfer documents onto your iPod Touch or iPhone. This meant I did not have to print out all the info I usually take with me on a trip. I also took a bunch of screen shots of train schedules, maps, and confirmed reservations that I was able to transfer using Air Sharing. This app was free when it first came out but now costs about 5.00 I think. It is probably one of the most useful apps I have and well worth it.

    I also found the KHON 2 app (channel 2 local news) to be very useful. I could keep up with Hawaii news while away. This app is free and would also be handy for people visiting Hawaii if they are interested in local news.

    A local weather app I like is Surf Report. It actually is not just a local surf report app but it does have most of the surf spots on the islands covered. I am not a surfer but still use it to find out the surf heights, wind info, weather reports, etc. for some of my favorite beaches around the island. You can also program in favorites. This would be a handy app to have for someone traveling to Hawaii.

    I blogged from my iPod Touch while in Italy, using both the notes app and email along with the cut and paste feature to copy my posts I did offline and paste them into my blog when wifi was available.

    I also am addicted to solitaire, which helped pass the time while in the airport and on trains.

    OH and I love the Clock app for an alarm clock. I even use it at home.

  2. I am envious of the capabilities of the iPhone, but the monthly ATT cost is just too much. Instead, we downsized the computer we carry to a Toshiba netbook, which provides several hours of continuous use, has great WiFi sensitivity, a 10″ screen, and fits in a small Case Logic e-sling bag. Sure, we can’t get WiFi everywhere, but the ability to use Skype, the large screen for display of maps and search results, and the storage space for our 10 and 12 megapixel photos and HD videos compensate.

  3. I just came back from the islands two weeks ago, and my wife and I extensively used our iPhones. I agree with all of your observations (especially Weather), save a few suggestions of my own:

    1.) Google Maps – Not quite 100% accurate, can take you on some oddly-navigated paths to some places. It’s always good to call the places you go on island to see if there are alternative directions.

    2.) Notes – My wife turned me on to a pay app called Awesome Note. This app offers the organization and flexibility that the built-in Notes app wishes it had. It will also do manual backups (and date restorations) to Google Docs, which comes in handy if your iPhone becomes a brick.

    3.) Check out an app called Where. It gives local gas station info, Starbucks & WiFi locations, and more!

    Do any of the readers out there know of a good (and reasonably-priced or free) RSS reader for iPhone? If so, Honolulu Advertiser and many major news sources offer news feeds free of charge.

    1. Hi Daniel.

      I’ve had a few minor glitches with Google Maps, like it takes you on a harrowing shortcut to my house for example, but otherwise its been pretty good.

      Awesome Note sounds useful. As for backup, I email anything critical out of Notes when I can’t synch.

      I’ve seen where, but it just didn’t seem useful enough to bother.

      Lastly, I use GoogleReader on the iPhone and am happy with it. It’s less featured, but synchs up nicely with desktop GR. I didn’t mention it because about 2/3 of our readers use email for subscriptions and don’t appear to use RSS (although I suggested it multiple times).

      Aloha, Rob

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