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  • New family of apps helps travelers find hidden gems

    2013-04-30

    Smartphone apps have changed just about every aspect of travel. You can look up affordable hotel fares, get directions and find out about the best destinations in seconds. However, a new program released by a South African architect is a bit of a game changer. Known as Derive, the program uses instructions to lead travelers off the beaten path of whatever city they happen to be in and is indicative of a burgeoning variety of apps CNN Travel reports.

    Derive was developed in an effort to help users appreciate their surroundings in a different way. Specifically, designer Eduardo Cachucho wanted people to view cities with a more critical eye toward things like urban planning and development, and getting them to do so may help them experience their destination in a way they had never considered before. A similar app, known as Serendipitor, was created to help travelers uncover sometimes-hidden gems in cities around the world.

    "I'm somebody who loves to just wander in cities," Serendipitor developer Mark Shepard told CNN. "How can we put ourselves in situations where we might discover something new, or have an encounter which we might not have normally thought of through [navigation] technology?"

    While programs such as Serendipitor and Derive are not yet the norm, it may not be long before travelers are discovering new highlights of their destination. Until that time, however, there are a number of other apps designed to help you enjoy your travels, whether you find yourself in Cape Town or Cape Cod. For instance, TripIt has become an especially popular download because it lets you keep your itinerary in one easy-to-manage place, The Huffington Post notes. Not only that but it keeps all information such as schedules, times and other details in sync with your calendar, so planning your time is as simple as ever.

    If you're looking for something to do in your city, Goby is your best bet, according to U.S. News and World Report. The free program directs you to all the events going on nearby. Whether you're looking for a concert, festival, museum or plays, you'll not only find out about it but quickly get directed to where it's taking place.

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