Getting the most out of your iPhone when travelling

Photographer Wu Swee Ong shares his favourite apps and tricks when on the road with the iPhone

They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Photographer Wu Swee Ong may have his own working kit but he still gets a lot of mileage from his iPhone, and not just for taking photos. Ahead, his tips on how to get the most out of your own device.

The prep process

[Photos taken by Wu in Hokkaido with the iPhone 8 Plus]

Wu offers this advice for travelling and iPhone photography:

  1. Do your research and prepare for whatever scenarios you might encounter. This includes checking bus/train schedules, packing dry food and always having a reliable power source on hand.
  2. Make the most of apps. With so many of them on hand, the smart thing to do is use them to make your travel easier and have information at your fingertips.
  3. Capture fleeting moments by accessing the Camera mode without having to unlock your phone. Just swipe left to access it while in lockscreen mode. Don't forget that a single tap of the 2x zoom button will help you zoom in fast, too.
  4. The Portrait mode is great for people but Wu says it’s also a great way to isolate non-human subjects and achieve a nice blurred background. What better way to get artsy photos of your food?

Apps, apps, apps

[Photos taken by Wu in Singapore with the iPhone X]

Speaking of apps, here are Wu's top app recommendations: MAPS.ME and Google Translate. MAPS. ME allows users to download the entire country's map into their iPhone before you travel, so you can navigate to a destination without using data. It also features important points of interest.

Google Translate lets you download the appropriate language dictionary so you can translate menus and signs also without using data. Wu notes that sometimes, in off-the-beaten-path destinations, the best source of info are the locals - so having access to quick translations is very useful.

Other apps you might find useful on your own trips:


Use Clips to create personal video messages, slideshows and mini-movies of your travels with amazing features like Live Titles that automatically generates animated captions from a user’s voice and 360-degree immersive Selfie Scenes on the iPhone X.


Optimised for the iPhone X and using AR, Memrise will help you learn the local language as you travel.


Book flights, hotels and car hire on the go with Skyscanner. Instantly search, compare and buy cheap flights, hotels and car hire anytime, anywhere.


Browse through millions of traveler reviews, photos, and maps to get the best out of your holiday. TripAdvisor makes it easy to find the lowest airfare, best hotels, great restaurants and fun things to do, wherever you go. And booking options for hotels, restaurants and flights are just a tap away.

Singapore Airlines

With a faster and more full-featured interface and the convenience of Apple Pay, it’s much easier to book your next adventure or view details on your upcoming and past trips. You can also get inspired to travel with the airline's new city guides on Singapore Airlines destinations. Apple Watch compatibility also allows you to get trip reminders and up-to-date information at the flick of a wrist.

Elk Travel Currency Converter

From local Singaporean developers, Elk is the fastest way to convert currencies on your trips and features a handy and interactive rates table. Also optimised for Apple Watch, it launches instantly, and is ready to perform a conversion whenever you raise your wrist.

Follow Wu's adventures on his blog Roving Light and his Instagram account if you need more inspiration on your own iPhone photography journey.