Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The 10 most important apps for Overlanders

Top 10 iOS Apps for overlanders traveling by 4x4 car
There are many good reasons to take a tablet or smartphone with you when you are on an overlanding trip.

Some of these reasons i try to show you in this article. I hope that there are several apps in this list, who is not currently not on your device. I`m pretty shure about, that there are some new Apps you will like soon.

Some Apps help to do a proper travel statistic, help you to get a good exchange rate, compress the internet traffic or are just there to entertain you.

This tips are for Apple iOS Devices, but you will find most of these Apps too on Android or Windows based devices.

Oanda Currency Converter

The Toplist of Apps: the best 10 Apple iOS Apps for Overlanders
It doesn't matter where you plan to travel - you will often have to fight for a good exchange rate. 

With this oanda currency converter you can enter the amount you want to change, and you get the proper amount in the foreign currency.

If you have internet access (Wifi or 3G) the app update the rate. If you tip on the "rate detail" button, you can see the date and time of the last update.

When you can show the exchange rate and the date of the last rate update - then you could mostly can negotiate an better deal. This way we was very successful to do ague about the rate, from africa to asia.

Oanda Currency Converter at the Appstore

Onavo Extend

This is an app who compress the internet traffic at above 50%. That is not only to save limited bandwidth and date plans - this apps bring you more speed in the internet where the internet is worse.

Onavo Works by routing all Internet-related actions through its servers, where data is compressed before being sent to your device. This is similar to what RIM does with its BlackBerry devices, using server-side compression to reduce the total amount of data transmitted. The Opera Mini Web browser also uses server-side data compression, although it only tackles activity happening within its own app. Onavo works across apps, including Safari, Mail, and so forth.

Because the traffic is redirected, also some websites can works, who are aren't accessible, like Facebook or twitter in the iran. You can also add an VPN Service to your account inside of Onavo, to encode your traffic. But this kills the advantage of the good compression rate.

Instead of just compressing the Webtraffic during surfing, like the Opera or Chrome Browser, Onavo Extend compress everything, from Facebook till near all Apps who cause Internet-Traffic.

The 10 best apps for overlander and travelers by 4x4

Onavo Extend at the Appstore


Do you have try to hear a book instead of reading it? I think you should give it a try. 

At an extended overland trip you will have several unplanned stops where you have to wait for something. Or to have to spend some time inside of your car, because of bad weather or so.

With an Audio Book  you can keep your eyes on the road or the environment and to hear the audiobook at the same time. The waiting time will be over like an heartbeat.
To hear an audio book together can be very funny. Often we had hear an audiobook also during driving.

Audible at the Appstore - an offline dictionary

Inside of this app you can download the language package you need. For shure not every language, but german, french, italian, english, spanish and many more languages are available.

If you have download the language packs you can use the app without an internet connection. I am much faster with this app as with an normal dictionary.

Dict. cc at the Appstore

With this App you can book Hotels, read reviews - and also are able to cancel your bookings. 

In times where you need hotel bookings for getting an visa, sometimes you need a booking for each night - you can handle you booking easier and cancel them after you got the visa.


An smartphone is every time with you, your notebook not. What is better than to do some calls when you found an free wifi abroad? You can buy Skype-Credit and are able to call also peoples who don't have skype. You can reach this way also people at home or on their mobile devices without to spend too much money.

You can also buy an local phone number in your home country, that the people can reach you without to pay an higher tax than local calls, without using Skype.


Roadtrip is an App for calculate the fuel and cost usage of your overlanding trip. The statistic function is useful too. These values will open your eyes. It is good to know how much money you burn during your journey.

Roadtrip... Top 10 Apps für Overlander and going offroad by an 4x4

Roadtrip at Appstore

If you look for an App to calculate everything and not just the car related stuff, you should look for another app.

Wififofum (jailbreak necessary) // Wi-Fi-Finder (offline database without jailbreak)

Wififofum is a Wifi-Scanner who shows you open and protected wifi hotspots. The app has too an history function, you can see if there was a open hotspot in the last minutes. Helpful if you are abroad.

If you have no jailbroken device, you can use Wi-Fi-Finder. It has a Database with well known wifi hotspots. The Database grow each day, so give it a try.

Offroad Navigation - MotionX GPS HD

MotionX.. The top 10 apps for overland travelers by 4x4In our german version of this blog we have severall articles about the offroad Navigation with MotionX.

It is THE app for downloading of satellite imagery of an huge area. You can download the satellite and hybrid view of Bing, Google and Ovi.

This is very helpful to find a spot for an wild camp where are no big roads, no houses, no civilizations. Also when you look for a small track an way out or just want to look where you are is this app very helpful.

MotionX can also import and export GPS Tracks, allows you to share tracks and waypoints.

MotionX GPS HD at the Appstore

Road Navigation

At home you can use one of these online Services, from Apple till google, but abroad it has to work offline.

Here you have to look what you can buy locally. A local navigation app like Navigon, Tom Tom with an managed Database of Point of Interests (POI) will usually perform out any other cheap app. They know house numbers, knows one way streets and will lead you the way.
They know ATMs, Fuel Stations, Restaurants and some local clubs without you had to look for an internet connection.
Where the well know road ends, you have to look what you find. In Cameroon many roads are not covered well. In Africa is Tracks4Afrika very helpful.

With MapsWithMe there also cheap alternatives around, but they are better for watching of a taxi driver do stupid stuff than to really navigate with it.


That are my top 10, the most useful apple iOS apps for overlanders, for people on an extended journey. There are many other functions and apps who are very useful. 

To show the officers on the border the roof tent or awning as a picture on the smartphone, instead of build your camp or to empty your roof box.

Then there are many games who may help to spend some waiting time. Playing chess with a guy you had no language with. Playing classic board games and much more. Watching recorded television or movie stuff if you like to do that.


  1. Jail Break necessary apps are not viable IN 2014 IMO. I will not go into the many reasons this is so, other than that the choices are quite good.

    1. Thank you for your comment! Yes Jailbreak do not bring "many" functionality more, like in the years before.

      But I still Jailbreak these Devices, to see the view the Wifi-Passwords who was entered, to Scan for Wifi Networks at sample, to had more options when using these Devices as Hotspots.

      And with jailbreak you can backup and restore apps - using these versions you need.

  2. most of them not avail on other phone platforms
    plus remember u have to be connect to the net to make some of them work

  3. for worldwide maps using the open Streetmap that CAN be used offline once the appropriate maps are downloaded, try