I’m not somebody who frequently travels, but when I do there’s nothing more exotic to me. Living now, traveling can be such a different experience. Namely because of mobile apps such as Yahoo! Time Traveler.
Whenever you’re visiting a new area on vacation or for any reason, you’ll often find yourself with extra time to kill. But when you’re not familiar with a city how do you know where to go? Time Traveler is your mobile companion to guide you through local museums, galleries, food shops and similar tourist attractions.
After launching the app you can select any of the predetermined cities from their list, or use GPS location to detect where you are. Then you enter how much time you have and choose a location you want to end up near.
Yahoo! Time Traveler will automatically list some local places you can go to visit. There are so many different attractions listed in their glossary. You’ll be surprised at the large net of locations in this app!
Their style of door-to-door tourism is great because you’re never left hanging. There is always somewhere else to visit and something new on your list. Don’t like a specific place you’ve visited? Just delete it from the suggestions and you’ll never see it again. It’s such a convenient way to learn about new places.
Planning your Trip
The coolest part about Time Traveler is that you don’t need to put in much effort at all. You can give a rough estimate for how much time you have and the rest is automated.
Many of the suggested locations are popular to visitors from all over the world. Yahoo! can pick up which areas you may enjoy visiting vs others you would hate. And let’s say you’re hungry and trying to kill time with a good meal. Well, you can specifically search for restaurants and limit results to local eateries.
This feature is also available for hotels and motels along your tour. It’s not very often that you book a trip without anywhere to sleep. But in such a situation Time Traveler can recommend the best results, give you the location and even provide a phone number you can call. Talk about serious travel convenience.
Full Location Details
In the list of suggested attractions you’ll be given some explicit details about your guide. How long it’ll take to reach, hours of operation and how long you may consider staying. All of these metrics factor into the timeline of your guided tour.
If you tap on any of the locations it’ll open up a new details view. This contains all the metadata you would ever need to know about a location. The phone number and address are obviously crucial, but you can also open the maps view or photo gallery to check out the attractions beforehand.
To make things easier you can also view the tour as a map pinpoint. Go back to your tour list overview and find the circular map pin icon towards the bottom. If you tap this button the whole view will flip over and display a map. Your current location is tagged as well as each of the marked destinations(numbered by #2, #3, etc).
By tapping the top-right eye button you can include local results for restaurants, hotels and other attractions. This is probably the most useful way of determining where you would want to eat. Plus, you can learn about some nearby attractions you’ve never even heard of before.
Scoring the Ranks
As you open up the restaurants and hotels view you’ll immediately trigger a bunch of new location pins. Tapping on each one will display a tooltip with the venue name and a right detail arrow. Tap to display more information.
You can gather each restaurant’s location and phone number to see if they require reservations or additional seating. Also you’ll notice that hotels and restaurants can pull user rating data on a 1-5 star scale. This may be a good way to gauge the popularity of any given attraction, but if you need additional info, you can always read the description in the Details pane.
Ideally, you want to enhance your visit by using this application. Thus don’t just settle for your first selection! Read into some of the closest venues and determine which you’d like to try. Time Traveler makes finding a fancy sit-down eatery failure proof.
Editing the Tour
Notice in your tour list view there is a small wrench button in the top right corner. Tap this to open up a whole menu of new options. From here you can quickly search for more information or bring up additional venues.
Also the right-side Edit link brings you back to the original setup page. Here you can tweak the final destination and change your total hours required for the tour. Time Travel quickly updates and you can see the changes take place within seconds. This is such a brilliant feature since you’ll obviously find spare time to go back and rearrange your locations.
I have to admit the user interface is lacking in some regards. It’s super simple to locate your origin and even flick through the list of suggested cities. But after this step I feel it’s easy to get lost having no idea what you’re doing.
You can go to the app FAQ/guide page which explains how to use the different features. But the link is hidden away — not everybody will think to tap and read through everything.
But even the maps location setup is also somewhat strange. You have to tap and hold moving the pin marker along to your required destination. But this interface can be laggy at times, and moving the pin is bizarrely difficult. Overall the app is fantastic and fills an interesting void – but I would love to see some updates to the interface in a future release.
Yahoo! has done such an excellent job building Time Traveler. It’s totally free to download and offers a unique experience when visiting any foreign cities. Not everybody will find this useful, in fact many people don’t travel enough to even bother. However, if you are moving around and often find yourself with time to kill, definitely give this app a try.