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Summer Travel

Summer Travel 2014: Apps and Books for Every Traveler

An App for Any Trip

If You’re Flying: FlightBoard ($4)

This app provides the status of any flight originating at 4,000 airports worldwide. Designed to resemble the clicking info board at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, it shows departures, arrivals, gates, and aircraft models. You can also filter results to see only the airline you’re flying. In some cases, users reported getting updated gate and departure details before other people in the terminal knew a change had been made.

If You’re Walking: The Converted ($3)

It quickly converts distances, weights, currencies, and almost anything else. All this happens on an elegant sliding interface that shows the relationship between, say, dollars and yuan. It’s useful, beautiful, and educational.

If You’re Driving: Waze (Free)

The navigation program adds a vital layer on top of the usual map: traffic. Congestion patterns are gleaned from more than 50 million users; the narrator constantly updates you with the fastest route to your destination. The path will change, for instance, if the right lane’s blocked 3 miles up, a cop is nearby, or there’s a huge collision.

If You’re on a Train: Device 6 ($4)

Part game, part book, this is a great way to pass the time when you have a long ride ahead. It’s basically a multimedia riddle, relying on text, graphics, photos, and videos to help you piece together the story of an amnesiac who’s awakened on a tropical island. Expect to solve the puzzle in five or six hours.

If You’re on a Boat: Dark Sky ($4)

The only weather app that pinpoints exactly how long rain will last and when daily temperatures will peak. Set it to notify you just before precipitation starts, saving your hair the trouble. —Sam Grobart

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