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Utah woman creates travel guide apps for popular destinations

Utah woman creates travel guide apps for popular destinations

(National Parks Service)


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Editor's note: This article is part of KSL's App of the Week, which features a different app with Utah ties each Friday. Send tips for future articles to ddewey@ksl.com. SALT LAKE CITY — Going sightseeing can be a blast, but not everyone wants to do it through a scheduled bus tour. That gave Annette Smith the idea to make several travel apps.

GuideMe Travel apps give travelers a personal guided audio tour through four different locations across the world. You can go sightseeing in the Bahamas; Nauvoo, Illinois; Arches National Park, and the Road to Hana in Maui.

Smith got the idea after traveling on the Road to Hana and trying to use a CD guided audio tour. She felt an app with GPS features would work better and give a smoother experience to a tourist.

"My husband and I are not tour bus people," Smith said. "If I don't want to stop at this place, I don't want to have to stop there, but I like to know what I'm seeing."

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The app allows you to set the sights you want to see and then uses the GPS on your phone to cue the right time for you to hear about that landmark. Each landmark has audio and text information, plus pictures.

You can set your route once you arrive at any of the four destinations or you can browse the various landmarks and plan your trip using the app before you leave your home. Each app has a preloaded map, so if you lose cell signal while out exploring, you can still make use of the app's features.

"You may know the main arches right on the road that are on the map, but I tell you about a bunch of other ones that aren't on the map," Smith said of the national park app. "I also tell you history and movies that have been made there and the history of how Arches was discovered."

Because the apps use GPS, your phone's battery can drain pretty quickly. Smith recommends that you bring a car charger on your trip to keep your phone from dying during a tour.

Smith plans to make another app for Kauai and the North Shore that should be available in the spring of 2016.

The guides for the Bahamas, Nauvoo and the Road to Hana are $4.99 and the Arches National Park guide is $1.99. Each app is available for the iPhone or iPad in the App Store.

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Devon Dewey

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