travel

Arriva is a multi-national transport company operating throughout Europe. The UK division has apps available for both Android and iOS that make it super easy to purchase tickets and travel on the network of buses. Windows Phone still has no official solution, but an app is well in development, according to the Arriva website.

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Indian Railways, the state-owned enterprise operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways, is one of the world's largest railway networks and transports over 25 million passengers daily. To tap the huge scope and potential, several hobbyist developers as well as developer studios have developed mobile apps to provide a variety of functionality to train commuters.

There are a zillion such apps on the Windows Phone Store – some very useful, and some me-too solutions. In this post I pick three of my favorite Windows Phone apps that are a must have on your device if you frequently travel by trains or are travelling to India.

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If you think you can carry a pocket Hindi guide on your trip to India and cover everything, you are clearly mistaken. India is home to several regional languages, and even when I travel to other parts of the country, I often struggle with basic communication and instructions.  Enter our Windows Phone.

mTranslator is an interactive Windows Phone 8 app that allows you to translate English to nine Indian languages. The app is developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a premier R&D organization under the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) of Government of India. The app is based on their AnglaMT and Anuvadaksh Machine Translation System.

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"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page," says Augustine of Hippo. A Windows Phone 8 app that may help you read more pages from that book and help you travel is Bing Travel Beta. It has just been released at the Windows Phone Store. The travel app provides you with destination guides, user travel photos, reviews, daily trip ideas, hotel listings and much more.

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The Windows Phone ecosystem in India is flying high – literally and figuratively. After Jet Airways and SpiceJet, another Indian airline has launched their Windows Phone app.

The popular low-cost carrier, IndiGo, is India’s largest airline in terms of market share, and one of the fastest growing low-cost carriers in the world. The airline operates to about 35 destinations in India and abroad with over 400 daily flights.

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AT&T Drive is a new platform for services where partners can use the AT&T network and mobile device knowledge to get their vehicles connected and smarter.  AT&T Drive will allow automakers and developers to develop their own innovative and customized connected cars solutions.

The initiative includes leaders in the connected car industry such as Ericsson, Jasper Wireless, Amdocs (customized billing solutions), Voicebox, Synchronoss (cloud platform solutions) and Accenture.

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The Windows Phone ecosystem has been on a roll in India over the last year and the juggernaut appears to be powering on into 2014. While one of India’s leading airline, Jet Airways, released a Windows Phone exclusive app last year, competing carrier SpiceJet has joined the party by launching their mobile app, exclusively for Windows Phone devices.

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Car Starter is a dashboard app for Windows Phone 8 that places a decent amount of functionality at your fingertips while on the road.  The app was recently updated to version 2.0 that not only brings about a name change but also a few design changes.

Now known as Car Dash, the version 2.0 update adds a dial pad to the Contacts Page and a music selection feature to the Music Page.  The dial pad will allow you to dial a telephone number directly from the app.  The music selection feature lets you browse through your music collection to find what song you want to listen to.

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CarStand is a feature rich dashboard app for Windows Phone 8.  The app lays a list of basic Windows Phone functions (access to maps, weather information, speed dialing, etc.) at your fingertips for easy access while driving.

CarStand was recently updated to version 2.0 which gives the application’s user interface a new facelift which includes a new music player page and new shortcut options added to the main page of the app.  The update also adds a slightly different pricing point.

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The past few months have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Windows Phone navigation app GPS Voice Navigation.

Last month the app was recognized as the Best International App at the Mobile Excellence Awards. Then the app was pulled from the Windows Phone Store due to a dispute with Nokia Maps. And now, the app has been re-released with a few features missing and a few new ones added to the mix.

While we don't know the particulars of the issues that caused the app being de-listed, it's nice to see the developer being able to work around the restrictions and re-release a rather capable Windows Phone navigation app.

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Car Starter is a handy dashboard app for your Windows Phone 8 device that puts a handful of tasks at your fingertips.  The app is designed to make accessing key features on your Windows Phone easier while traveling down the road.

The large, touch-friendly interface lets you set two destinations for quick navigational access, have access to your music library and pulls up a small collection of contacts for speed dialing.  You also have easy access to your WiFi, Cellular and Bluetooth settings.  

Car Starter's concept has appeal and the app delivers things rather nicely.  If you're looking for handy dashboard app, this Windows Phone 8 app worth a try.

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We’re a few years from having the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But if you find yourself in Brazil before then you’ll definitely want to grab Easy Taxi for Windows Phone. You’ve probably heard of Uber here in the United States and elsewhere. Think of Easy Taxi as the same, a service that lets you use your smartphone to hail cabs. Details after the break.

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Go To is a navigation app for our Windows Phone 8 where you look up destinations and create voice commands to generate travel directions to that particular address. It makes retrieving saved destinations rather simple.

Go To was updated today to version 2.0 that includes a few new voice commands and a user interface makeover. New voice commands allows you to initiated searches by saying "Go to search" and loads all contacts into the app for voice commands.

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Hotel Finder is a Windows Phone app that is a simple way to find a hotel based on your current location or through keyword search. The app recently updated to version 3 which gives the app a name change along with a few tweaks to improve the overall performance of the app.

Hotel Finder is now Hotels 4D and while the functionality hasn't changed much you have an updated user interface, smoother graphics and optimized performance.

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While Windows Phone does have an official TripIt app (www.tripit.com), the popular travel organizer service yields some harsh reviews from users. Indeed, the app has always been “meh” in our opinion meaning when it worked, it was just an okay experience.

But we’re champions of the indie dev here at Windows Phone Central and My Trips has always filled the TripIt-gap on our platform. The app runs for $1.99 (with a free trial) but if you use TripIt and travel more than twice a year, then it’s a no-brainer to purchase.

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If you recall, all the way back at the beginning of last year, India's Jet Airways helped celebrate the release of the Lumia 800 in India by draping many of their planes in Nokia advertisements.

They have since followed up with a fantastic app for Windows Phone 7.X and 8, which came out at the beginning of May. The Jet Airways app covers you from booking, to flight status to rewards. 

We may have missed it at the beginning of the month, but here's your chance to play catchup with us!

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HERE Transit (formerly Nokia Transit), which helps you get from point A to point B using public transportation, got a nice little update today. In addition to the usual bug fixes, it also adds some handy new features.

This latest version now lets you view a list of local stations on a map. It also works nicely with HERE Maps, letting you switch between it and HERE Transit in the Journey Planner section. Got some favorite locations in HERE Maps or HERE Drive? Now you can access them through Transit too. It's great to see Nokia tying their suite of HERE applications closer together like a pretty pink bow.

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