This a bit of a departure for the Londoneer, but I’ve just been told about a new app which has just been released for the Android smartphone platform which you might be interested in. It’s from our official tourist information body, ‘Visit England‘, and is called ‘Enjoy England‘.
The app is very straightforward – you just enter a location you wish to search, or pick from the drop-down list under ‘Select Location’. If you pick London for example, it currently lists 492 locations that you can visit. You can then refine this list using the ‘Categories’ button, which allows you to pick places that offer free admission, are indoor, outdoor, or somewhere that Visit England believes is a ‘Must see’. Alternatively you can use the ‘Location’ button to identify places within a certain distance from your current location – 1 mile, 2 miles and so on. Once you click through to the attraction itself, there’s a shot description, an address and, at the bottom, a very useful function, “Get Directions”. This then takes you through to the native Google Maps application where you can display the route from your current location to the attraction, either by car, public transport or on foot.
There’s also an option to ‘Upload a Suggestion’ if there’s a particular attraction that you think should be listed. The ‘Enjoy England’ app is quite basic, but I can see it being useful if you’re at a loose end and want to explore the local area – there may be places nearby that you’ve not discovered yet. You can find ‘Enjoy England’ in both the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores on your phone, and they’re both free.
For the sake of completeness I’ve also done some research on others apps that offer similar functionality, and have found two related to London which you might also find useful – both of these are free and get good ratings from users. They are TripAdvisor’s ‘London City Guide’ and Pearson’s ‘ShowMe London’ – why not download them all and see which one suits you best?
[box]A note of caution – if you’re visiting London from overseas you should check what charges apply for data usage on your phone when you are out of your home country. It’s not unusual for people to run up bills of £100s of pounds when downloading data onto their smartphones when they’re abroad. Fortunately the ‘Enjoy England’ app does allow you to download all of the attraction information when you first start it up – it’s probably worth taking advantage of this feature if you don’t want to risk getting a painful mobile phone bill later![/box]