With Android OS-based phones commanding 85 percent of the smartphone market, there’s a good chance you’re using one. As the word 'smart' in the word implies, this little device can aid you greatly, not just in daily life, but also when traveling.
Regardless of which brand or type you have, there are at least six features or applications that, besides being free, are also useful when it comes to traveling.
If you are using a phone or tablet with Android 4.1 OS and up, chances are you know how to use this one. But you may have this feature disabled, out of ignorance or sheer laziness. It’s well worth the hassle to get it up and running, however, as it opens up access to tons of information.
For example, when you get the travel itinerary from a travel agent in your inbox, Google Now will scan it and present it to you in an easy-to-read card. It can also give you weather updates on city’s you plan to visit.
Contrary to popular belief, Google Goggles is not just a fancy QR Code reader app; this one can even able to help you solve Sudoku puzzles.
The app translates images scanned, making it perfect for traveling to foreign lands.
With its built-in scanner mode, you can also scan the barcodes of goods or products to compare their prices; a useful trick to prevent you from having to pay extra.
If you think this is just a basic picture-viewer, think again. This one is integrated with Google Drive, so in case you forget to do manual uploads, this one will do it for you.
One might think that auto-uploading pictures and videos while traveling abroad would be expensive due to the roaming charges, but this app can be used when connected to Wi-Fi.
So just leave it charged and connected to Wi-Fi signal and let it do its work overnight.
Google Translate can translate your words, phrases, questions or statements in more than 80 languages. And not just in written words, the app can read the words back to you so you can hear what they sound like.
This can be handy when you get separated from your local guide.
Hangouts + Hangouts Dialer
Whenever enjoying the new atmosphere and scenery abroad, sometimes there is at least one person that you can’t go without contacting. For those averse to paying exorbitant roaming charges or reluctant to get a local SIM, Hangouts comes to the rescue.
Compared to other VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, Hangouts Dialer is competitively priced. Calls to most numbers in the US and Canada are free, and for an 25 additional countries, there is a “first-minute-free” system in place.
Google Maps + Street View
The race to become the best mapping service is still wide open, but Google Maps, it is on the right track.
Installed on every Android device out there, Google Maps can save you from that tricky taxi driver that knows you are a tourist.
In some countries, the app can even be viewed offline and in most places, it’s easy to pull up “Street View” to check out the location before even visiting.
So there you have it: Six of the most useful OS features to use on an Android device while traveling. Fear not, iOS-users, some of the features discussed here are also available at the App Store.