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Useful Apps When Traveling Internationally

Useful Apps When Traveling Internationally

If you're headed overseas, plan on having a hefty international roaming bill if you plan to use your iPhone to make and receive calls, or use your iPhone or iPad to surfing the web and check email using the local wireless cellular network in whatever country you're visiting.

You can save a little money by contacting AT&T Wireless before your departure and adding the World Traveller calling option to your account ($5.99 per month), and/or pre-purchase a discounted international roaming data plan (starting at $24.99 per month). Visit AT&T Wireless for details about international roaming with your iPhone or iPad.

To avoid the typically exorbitant international roaming fees altogether, which can be up to $2.00 per minute for calls, and $20.00 per megabyte to access the web, consider adding the Skype app to your iPhone or iPad. This free app allows you to make calls to and from anywhere in the world for just a few pennies per minute using voice-over-IP.

To use Skype (shown in Figure 6), you'll need access to a high-speed Wi-Fi Internet connection, but most hotels, cafes, offices, convention centers, and airports, for example, have Wi-Fi available.

Once you set up a Skype account, you'll receive your own unique phone number, plus access to a wide range of traditional phone features, like voicemail and call forwarding. You can call any phone, anywhere, but your iPhone or iPad utilizes the Web, as opposed to a traditional cellular network, to make and receive the calls.

Skype works both overseas and domestically, but for business travelers it is more useful when traveling abroad due to the tremendous financial savings the Skype service offers, compared with international roaming charges.

From the App Store, you can also find a wide range of other apps useful during an international business trip. Depending on where you're headed, a currency converter and language translator app can come in extremely handy, as will an app to help you navigate the local mass transit system of the city you're visiting.

The iPhone's built-in Clock app (with the World Clock function) can help you keep track of the time in various time zones simultaneously, plus act as an alarm clock (since most business travelers have already discovered that requesting a wake up call from a hotel is often unreliable). Similar world clock and alarm apps are available for the iPad via the App Store.

Keeping up on current events is also a challenge when traveling. However, using the iPhone or iPad, you can access headlines and articles from major daily newspapers, like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today (shown in Figure 7), all of which have specialized iPhone and iPad apps available.

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