10 of the best road trip apps

Essential apps to make sure your car journey is more happy trip than road to hell

Satnav – TomTom Western Europe

£53 (iOS)

Despite threats from the likes of Google’s free Maps Navigation, TomTom’s polished satnav app leaves the competition in its dust with optional HD traffic and locally stored maps that don’t blank out when there’s no data signal.

Buy it

Gaming – The Heist

59p (iOS)

Satnav has done away with the passenger’s role of chief navigator, so you can invest your time on boring motorway journeys pretending you’re in a Mini en route to Italy. The Heist, an instantly addictive safebreaking puzzler, scored five stars in our review

Buy it

Translation – Google Translate

Free (Android)

When your lingo skills give up after asking how to find the closest butcher, it’s time to bust out some Matrix-esque translation skills from Google Translate. Fire up Google Goggles and you can just point it at a menu to convert it into (sort of) English.

Buy it

Photography – Retro Camera Plus

£1.84 (Android)

Virtaul cameras, vintage vignetting and loads of processing and film scratch simulators mean you don’t have to be a photographic genius to get impressive scenery on the trip down Memory Lane.

Buy it

Video – 8mm Vintage Camera

£1.19 (iOS)

See how cool your dad’s old cine footage from Benidorm looks? Yes, a bit of retro filtering makes even horrific sixties construction sites look like paradise. Download 8mm Vintage Camera and pack your bags for Felixstowe.

Buy it

Reading – Kindle

Free (Android, iOS, BlackBerry)

Books are heavy and take up valuable suitcase space. Leave your Amazon Kindle ebook reader at home and pick up exactly where you left off in this smart app. When you get home, your Kindle will miraculously know which page you last drooled on in the back of the car.

Buy it for iOS

Buy it for Android

Social – Twitepad

£1.19 (iOS)

Kerouac would have loved Twitter. Tweeting his On The Road exploits as he drove would have gained him millions of followers. But how to keep up with his famously speedy writing? Twitepad makes light work of keeping up with the busiest feeds with thumbnail previews and an in-app browser.

Buy it

Translation – Word Lens

Free (iOS)

Another translation app, but Word Lens – for the time being, at least – only does Spanish to English (or vice versa). That doesn’t matter though – it’ll try to match the font and style of whatever you point the camera at so you can read the ‘no parking’ sign the way Madrid council intended.

Buy it

Video editing – iMovie

£2.99 (iOS)

Apple’s video editing app hasn’t got a lick on its music creation tool, Garageband (which you should probably pack as well), but as a way of getting your vids topped, tailed, glued and online, it does a better job than most. Read our full review of the app here

Buy it

Food – Michelin Guide France 2011

£5.99 (iOS)

Lunch is for wimps at work, but on a road trip it’s sustenance. If you can find it. Live it up with the iPad version of Michelin’s famous guide that’ll steer you towards the nearest gastronomic laboratory at the tap of a virtual button.

Buy it

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