The 3G iPad comes with real-time mapping, and that's actually the only thing I've used. I downloaded a free speaking GPS program called NavFree, but haven't used it. USA Today gave it a good review. Apparently it warns you of turns ("turn right in 200 ft.") but does not announce street names. Since my Blackberry only gets to stating the street name 100 ft. after the turn, I can probably live with that.
WorldMateis something every traveler should have. It organizes your planes and hotels and rental cars and, if you want, meetings, into itineraries that you can send to people or just use to keep yourself straight. Even better, it automatically parses the automatic travel emails you receive from vendors like Expedia and can even enter the information into your Outlook or smartphone calendar. It will remind you if you know anyone on LinkedIn who lives in the area. The app only comes in iPhone format* at this time (remember, you can use iPhone apps on your iPad, they are just iPhone size).
But the true value of WorldMate is in the $100/yr Gold subscription. It sends an alert to your phone if your plane is delayed. When I lived on the road, I frequently got delay notifications before the gate attendants did. It also offers you a list of alternative flights, including some clever ones that are not where everyone else is trying to go. Did I sneak into a corner and whisper with the booking agent so that 100 other (possibly higher ranked) people wouldn't follow me to my alternate plane? You bet I did!
I've already written enough about how important Evernote is to my life in general, but it is invaluable for travel. Reservation lost? Nothing is quite as effective as being able to immediately provide their confirmation documentation.
American Airlines has what is generally considered to be the best airline app. I haven't tried any others, but it is good.
I also have the Hilton and Hertz apps, but haven't really used them yet. A lot of resorts have apps these days, so check out where you are going. I was recently at the Fontainebleu in Miami (oh yes, you will be hearing about this on Friday!). Their app (only comes in an iPhone version) gives you the poolside menu so you can get your story straight before flagging down a server. It also lists the menus at all the restaurants and then links you directly to either web or telephone reservations. Ditto for the spa. If you want to come back, you can make your reservation directly from the app and if you have a mailer with a discount, no problem, it will use the camera to read the discount code.
Continuing on the food theme, check out Urbanspoon and Speak4It. Urbanspoon has a fabulous interface for finding something new and interesting with selection lists for location price and variety, or you can "spin" for a random suggestion. Speak4It gives you the more traditional map view of what you know you are looking for. Of course, I also have the Starbucks finder.
For disasters in food: I seem to remember BlimpMe doing what I wanted in the past, but today it is a disaster. The Yelp app works off of a different database from their website and is also a disaster. In Manhattan, it listed less than 20% of the restaurants in the area where I was searching.
Back to vacation, the timeshare trading organization RCIhas two apps. Many timeshares are rented on the usual suspects (Expedia, etc.), or directly from week owners on places like redweek.com or tug2.net. To be a member of RCI itself requires owning a timeshare, but some groups like government employees can get in without an ownership. In any case, anyone can use these apps. The first app "RCI" is a search database of all resorts in the RCI network. It is slow and buggy, but with some patience it makes for a fun dreambook. One note: the first set of resorts it shows you for a region (with the associated map) are not all the resorts in that region. Scroll to the end and you'll have an option to "load more results." The app provides the rating and awards for the resort, a brief overview and photos, and an option to save the resort to a favorites list.
The second free RCI app is an interactive magazine called Endless Vacations. The magazine has a couple of random travel articles and then focuses on about three vacation destinations per issue. It has beautiful pictures and provides links to restaurants, hotels and resorts other than RCI, and links to area RCI resorts inside the RCI app. More fun dreaming!
Picture: My tootsies enjoying the Fontainebleu in Miami.
*It's also available for Blackberry and several other smartphone varieties.