I’m one of those people who thinks that when you travel to another country you should leave your home life behind for a while and totally immerse yourself in the new place. So I'm not a big fan of excessive smartphone usage while traveling.
But sometimes you want to buy a pair of pants. And you don’t know what size pants you wear in this strange country with its strange size measurements. It’s times like these when the smartphone can be your friend, as this list of mobile apps shows.
The list has all kinds of useful things, including the clothing conversion app. I also like the Foodict Food Dictionary, which translates hundreds of cooking terms. Don’t Eat That is a good one for all you food allergy folks out there. And then there’s the one that still blows my mind (I think I’ve blogged about it before) that translates signs just by holding your phone up to it—so far it just does Spanish-English, but more languages are on the way. Other useful ones include a good old-fashioned phrase book dictionary, a currency converter, and a bathroom/toilet locator.
The nice thing about most if not all of these apps is that they can be downloaded before you go. So you don’t need to worry about getting data abroad, which can be expensive.
In conclusion, while I still support keeping the phone in your pocket and keeping your eyes on all the amazing things around you, I can’t fully deny a technology that tells you where you can go pee.