Smartphones are taking over the world. This is no joke. They do almost anything these days, check the weather, use GPS tracking, even talk to you! I recently got the iPhone 4G and trust me, I'm putting it to good use. I've even checked out some iPhone (and other smartphone) applications that make traveling a little easier. Southwest Airlines: this app lets you check your flight status, change reservations, get early check-in, and even rent a car with the click of a button. You don't even need tickets, they are all right on your phone. It works for Android, Blackberry and iPhone as well as having a mobile site for other smartphones. Google Translate (my personal favorite) allows you to speak directly to your phone and have the word or phrase repeated back to you in over 50 languages. Talk about useful? You can also star your most used translations for quick access later on. As of now, its only available to the iPhone and Android. Here's another, CurCon Currency Converter: Traveling out of the country is hard enough, but currency conversions are the worst. Now, CurCon, available to iPhone, quickly translates over 107 currencies and updates regularly to make sure you always have the right change, down to the last pound. The SitOrSquat app brings "emergency" solutions to a whole new level. Not only can you find the closest public bathroom at the touch of a button, but you are also supplied with information about the bathrooms' cleanliness and availability. Now that's what I call service. Urban Spoon, available to Blackberry and iPhone, gives you pictures, reviews, and locations of restaurants near your current location. It allows you to connect with friends via Facebook and see what places they recommend. And, for those of us who have trouble making decisions, Urban Spoon even has a "shuffle" option that will choose a place for you.
Ellen Studer

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