Essential Apps for Historians


Whether for conferences or research, being a historian usually requires some form of travel. Here are a few essential apps for traveling anywhere in the world. Do you have other apps you recommend? Tell us in the comments!

Academic travelers often run into the problem of needing to send PDFs of tickets, receipts, insurance, and sundry other documents. Apps such as GeniusScan turn your phone into a scanner, allowing you to email PDFs right from your phone. (Android) (iOS)

FlightAware tracks flights in realtime, letting you see whether you’ll miss your connecting flight, if you have a delay, or if an airport has closed due to weather. This is also a great app to have handy when you need to pick someone up at the airport. (Android) (iOS)

If you’re booking a flight without open seating, the SeatGuru app and website describes the airplane seats, letting you know in advance whether a particular seat is right next to the toilet, doesn’t recline, or has tray tables in the armrests. (Android) (iOS)

For foreign travel, XE is the gold standard for currency conversions. Never wonder again whether you just paid the equivalent of $1 or $10 for those books. (Android) (iOS)

NOAA Weather
Everybody has a favorite weather app; NOAA Weather happens to be mine in the US. It finds the location automatically, so you don’t make the mistake of stepping outside believing that you’ll have a balmy Miami day in Seattle. The hourly forecast is also a great tool in areas subject to frequent changes in weather. (Android)

Trip Splitter
Archival and conference travel costs less if you can find a buddy or buddies. Trip Splitter makes tracking expenses easy, so you can all settle up at the end of the trip. (iOS)

(photo by Jon Fingas)

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