TripWolf – Mobile Travel Guides – Useful but Cryptic

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TripWolf has over 70 guides for iPhone & Android. You can download the TripWolf app and then purchase various destinations via in app purchases for around $1.99.

So how good are the TripWolf guides? I took a look at the guide to Rome as a sample of the guides available.

Before Your Trip

One nice feature of the guides is that they will work either as an online guide accessing data on the internet or you can pull down all the content from the guide into your iPhone to use the guide offline. With the cost of data roaming this is a good option but something you might want to do before you leave home or at least at some place with free wi-fi.

I had some trouble downloading the data, but that might be because they are giving these apps away right now and their servers might be a tad busy.

Maps and Locations

The best feature of TripWolf Rome is the maps, especially considering you can load them locally. The maps are marked with hotels, restaurants, museums, nightlife and sites.

Hotels and Restaurants

For the hotels listed TripWolf has one picture, a price listing and a paragraph describing the hotel. More useful is the website, contact telephone number and fax number (you remember those). You cannot book hotels directly from the app. The hotel information appears to come from Marco Polo (one presumes the service rather than the long dead explorer).

The descriptions of restaurants appear pretty basic varying from one line to a paragraph. Reviews for hotels and restaurants are also shown in some cases.

Sites

This guide is not an exhaustive source of information. For example, the map will make it very easy to navigate the Colosseum or the Forum, but will not identify most of the buildings in the Forum. The information about the Colosseum is two sentences saying it was constructed by the son of the Emperor Vespasian (yes he had a name and it was Titus). So if you did not know the history of the Colosseum, you still won’t. But this could provide you a starting place for a later search.

Augmented Reality

The TripWolf app features an augmented reality mode where you can, at least in theory, point the camera of your phone at a building and the iPhone’s compass and GPS will be used with the TripWolf database to determine what site you are looking at. I cannot rate that feature without going to Rome to try it, but I am willing to go if someone wants to send me.

Conclusion

I like the TripWolf guides, but they won’t yet replace carrying around a guidebook for me. Their best feature is their maps and their ability to work offline.

 

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

4 Responses to “TripWolf – Mobile Travel Guides – Useful but Cryptic”

Dan Tullos

Says:

Tripwolf apps no longer seem to be working on my iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, I purchased access to everything and it appears I have wasted my money.

Chris Christensen

Says:

Sorry to hear that Don.

Elliot LeNormand

Says:

Love this app. Used it extensively in Italy. iPhone no longer lists it in the App Store and it did not carry over to my new iPhone. Any thoughts on how I can restore this amazing app?

Chris Christensen

Says:

I don’t know any way to get the guides anymore.

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