Windows 8 is the first version of Windows to feature support for an app store. Although Microsoft’s app store has been criticized for lacking content, there are still plenty of useful and innovative apps available for download.
Whether you’re using a Windows 8 tablet computer or a regular Windows 8 PC, here are the best 5 travel apps for your new operating system:
5) XE Currency
Some people have trouble understanding the conversion rates between two different currencies. Even when looking at a currency paring, it can be difficult to see which one is more valuable. Fortunately, for those who don’t like to do math in their heads, an app called XE Currency will deliver accurate exchange rate information for all major currency pairings. This is a great app to put on your Windows 8 tablet PC if you’re traveling. You can avoid being duped by the airport currency exchange services and you can check how much things cost in your own currency as you walk around a foreign store.
4) Kayak for Windows 8
Kayak is one of the world’s most popular travel booking websites. At Kayak.com, visitors can book flights, hotels, car rentals, vacations, cruises, and all of the other fun stuff you need when traveling. The Kayak app for Windows 8 brings the low-cost online travel agent to your Windows 8 device. Kayak is also one of a handful of online flight booking agencies that doesn’t inflate the cost of travel by an absurd amount – so it’s a great way to view cheap flights.
3) gMaps (it’s just like Google Maps!)
At first glance, you might think ‘gMaps’ is just an abbreviated way of saying Google Maps. But you’d be wrong. Thus far, there is no Google Maps app for Windows 8. Instead, users can download the gMaps app which has almost all the same features as Google Maps while looking suspiciously similar to it. Yes, we know Windows 8 has a Bing map app pre-installed, but if it’s not quite at the same godly level as Google Maps – especially when it comes to public transit routes, walking, biking, or traffic information.
WorldMate is one of the most useful travel apps on Windows 8. It’s basically like having a free travel guide located directly on your computer. Users send relevant travel information to WorldMate, including flight confirmations and hotel reservations, using their email. Then, WorldMate interprets this data and uses it to build an itinerary for you. That itinerary includes maps to your destinations and – if there are any blank holes in your itinerary – WorldMate can suggest hotels, flights, or other modes of transportation.
1) Translator Free
A few years ago, traveling to a non-English speaking country generally required you to learn some basic words and phrases from the native tongue. Today, apps like Translator Free toss that requirement out the window. This app instantly translates sentences from one language into another language. Unfortunately, it’s all done through text-based communication, so you can’t just hold your Windows 8 tablet up to someone’s mouth and demand they speak into it. But you shouldn’t do that anyway.
Unfortunately, the Windows App Store is missing some heavy hitting travel apps. Here are some popular iOS and Android apps that have been excluded from the Windows Store:
-TripAdvisor app for checking out the most popular sights to see in a city
-OnTheFly App for easy and cheap flight booking
-HotelTonight to find luxury hotel selling empty rooms at heavily discounted prices
-SeatGuru, an app that lets you choose the best seats on the plane
The good news is that the Windows Store is growing every day. And the number of people using Windows 8 is also growing every day. Eventually, app developers will realize there’s a market – albeit a small one – for Windows 8 apps. And that means apps like TripAdvisor and OnTheFly shouldn’t be too far away.