15 Awesome Free Apps for Your Gap Year
Photos, communication, calendars and Darth Vader voices all included
We've all got Google Maps, Whatsapp and Instagram right guys? If you’re going on a once in a lifetime gap year trip you’ll want to have the most awesome apps loaded up on your phone ready to record, share and shout about your gap year to all your mates and to yourself in the future.
Here are the top 15 as voted for by the gapyear.com team...
An obvious choice, but a must for keeping in touch with friends and family back home. You can instant message, voice or video call them totally free, saving you an absolute shed load. The Skype App works just like the desktop version, but a bit smaller.
Gapyear.com COO Cormac Scanlan is a big fan of Feedly. He says "When Google announced they were shutting down Reader a lot of people got upset, but I'd already made the move to Feedly. It does a lot more than Reader, and the interface is much prettier. Load in all of your favourite news, blogs and articles RSS feeds and it delivers content suited to you. You can store stuff offline to read later and share to social channels directly from the app. Slick, simple and effective."
3. Vader Voice
Find people on your level with the Darth Vader voice app, if that’s the level you’re on. Simply speak into it and it’ll transform your voice to sound like Darth Vader’s. Now, I feel the need to warn you, some people will find this awesome, others will just think you’re a little odd. There’s a certain type of person who’ll be attracted to this App and if that’s not you, don’t even go near it.
4. Jorte Calendar
Syncs with your Google Calendar to keep you on track with your mum’s birthday, when your best mate is coming to see you and what time your plane home is. Awesome for keeping you organised.
You want to make your money last as long as possible, so download this app to stay stingey. Keep all your financial information in one place and record all your spends too. Your balance and budgets will be a lot easier to keep track of with this in your pocket, guaranteed.
Means In Case of Emergency – you should definitely have this app on your phone and keep it filled with contact information for your mum, dad, cat and travelling pals so if anyone finds you in trouble they know who to contact. Safety first.
7. Photo Studio
Gapyear.com's Content and Social Media guy Will says, “It’s not a professional camera app, it’s more fun. You can make yourself look like you’re struck by lightning, add some psychedelic effects, all sorts of silly things. It’s not one for serious photographers, but it’s fun”.
Great app for finding fitties on your gap year if your current hostel is a bit lacking. Take a look around to see who’s about and then message anyone who has that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to see if they fancy a little ‘rendezvous’.
9. XE currency
This free app does the currency conversion for you – perfect. Just put in your current amount and currency and it’ll convert it back into GBP in milliseconds, provided you have a Wi-Fi connection. This freebie is also super easy to use.
10. Google Translate
Speak into the app in your own language, select the one you want to come out, and the translated version can be played out loud. Saves you the hassle of learning any new words and languages whatsoever (joke!).
11. Google Goggles
If you’ve found an awesome building or landmark but don’t actually know what it is, but feel like you should, just point the camera lens at it with this app and so long as the target is famous enough your phone will bring up everything you need to know. Do it in secret and you’ll definitely impress your gap year buddy.
12. Sleep Talk Alarm
Hostels. They’re great, but there’s no denying those pesky snorers / chatters / groaners in the other 15 beds can get annoying. But you know what, they might not even know what they’re doing. This App is the perfect way to record their sleepy goings on and play them back to them. They’re either going to shut up, or ask to move rooms because you’re weird. Either way you’re onto a winner.
Photosynth lets you piece together normal photos into a super cool panoramic shot in an instant. You just have to choose your scene and press the magic button and it’ll do the rest. You can upload straight to Facebook after too. Prepare for some jealousy in your newsfeed.
14. Wi-Fi Finder
Avoid scary roaming charges by just turning it off and using the Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi Finder app will help you keep all your friends and family up to date by finding the best nearby internet source for you to connect to. Just fire up the app and you’ll be directed to the next available Wi-Fi spot. The offline mode means you can download the maps too – perfect for getting around on your gap year.
Your parents will love this one, if you bother to send them a pic that is. Take a snap and make it into a cars through the app. You can then write on it and send an actual physical card bearing your travel snap to anyone and anywhere in the world. All it costs is £1.49 a pop.
Bonus mention! If you want the best discounts and cheapest fares for student and youth travellers, look no further than the StudentUniverse app. Search easily, and if you have any questions you can get in touch straight from the app!
BEWARE of roaming charges. If you’re taking your own phone make sure you talk to your line provider before you leave and make sure your phone will work abroad. I’d suggest getting an old phone and a sim card out there though – it’ll be easy enough to pick one up.