If you’re traveling this holiday season, your smartphone can be your best companion (well, aside from the people of course) with all the various tools available for you there. If you’re a fan of the Google ecosystem, then you can take advantage of various apps built to help you with your travel preparations and your actual trip. You can use Google Maps, Google Lens, Google Assistant, Google Photos to make your trip more convenient. And if you need a break, Digital Wellbeing features are there for you to help you disconnect.
Obviously, Maps is one of your best friends when you’re traveling to an unfamiliar place. Sometimes though, you need to ask for directions if you’re a little lost. But pronouncing names of the places you’re going to can be a challenge. Now you just have to press the speaker button next to a place on Maps and you’ll hear how it’s pronounced. If you need to continue the conversation with a local, you can go to the Google Translate app or use the recently live Interpreter Mode on your Google Assistant.
If you’re exploring a new city and want to learn more about the things you’re seeing around you, you can use Google Lens. Just point it at a landmark and find out why that is significant or important. You can also use it to translate in real-time the street signs, restaurant menus, and other written materials around you that you can’t understand. You can also find out more about the trees and flowers around you and if you’re shopping, you can find out more information about the item you point your camera at.
Google Assistant is of course very important when you’re traveling. Aside from the aforementioned Interpreter Mode where you can be able to converse across 44 languages, you can also use voice to ask questions like the weather forecast, set reminders and wake-up alarms, and convert your current currency. You don’t even have to type it out but just start with “Hey Google” or “Ok Google”.
Google Photos is where you can store all your captured memories and ask your travel companions to contribute their photos and videos to an album as well. And of course, it’s also important to disconnect when traveling so use the Digital Wellbeing tools to help you be more in the moment rather than attached to your phone. The flip to shhh silences your notifications when you flip your phone screen down, although it seems to be available on Pixel devices only for now.