App Review: “Stay” City Guides for iOS and Android

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Stay.com app works on both iPhone and android devices

After choosing the city you’d like to tackle, the app gives 5 options:  My Guides, City Guides, Suggestions, Find, and City Map.  The city guides that have been put together by Stay.com aren’t terribly spectacular, but the ability to create a personalized guide to the city of your choice is the real star of this app, and it’s beautifully simple to do.

Browse through City Guides, Suggestions, or the Find section in order to add things that pique your interest to your own guide.  When using the Find section, places of interest are grouped by category and can be displayed either by popularity or by distance from your current location (the latter would necessitate internet access, though).  Each place listed in the app has a brief description, a picture or two, contact information, and a locator map.  Aside from the option to add the item to your personal city guide, the app also gives the option to say, “I’ve been here!” and rate it.

After creating your personalized city guide, Stay.com makes it easy to share the guide with family and friends and invite them to make suggestions via email, Facebook, and Twitter.  It also provides the ability to name your guides and add your own notes.

The app is very user-friendly, provides a clean layout, and is a snap to figure out.  The ability to use city maps and guides offline is brilliant, and city guides download in no time flat.  The breadth of information offered is pretty darn impressive – from the sheer number of places included in each city guide to the information included on each place.  The maps provided are visually simple and easy to read but still contain loads of useful information. The only real negative with this app is the lack of local travel information.  Providing local mass transit information on the maps for cities that have subway, light rail, or other large-scale public transport would be an incredibly useful addition to this app.

The Stay.com app probably won’t completely replace conventional guidebooks that provide history, background information, more in-depth descriptions of cities and their attractions, but it is certainly a valuable travel tool that will allow the traveler to leave that conventional guidebook in the suitcase – or even at home. Pick up a transit map, grab your phone, and you’ll be ready to go exploring.

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by Carla Rountree

Carla Rountree works as a freelance engineering consultant and opera singer. She spends any remaining spare time running, biking, traveling (of course), and writing at theinconsistentnomad.com. Carla is not to be trusted around Cool Ranch Doritos.

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