Description: Travel-eMate is a new kind of navigation app for Android and rather than helping you get there, it's designed to let others know how you're getting on, where you are at any given moment and more. Designed as a way of updating those travelling with you, or those back home, Travel-eMate allows you to update your trip progress with predefined or custom text messages and those that don't have the app can follow your trip's progress on the website to see how you're progressing. You can also share your progress on social media and it's a great way of keeping up with your friends and family that might be on their way to you. With Weather updates as well as updates at regular intervals, Travel-eMate could be just what you've been looking for if you're a keen traveler.
How it Works: Just like other Android apps, you'll need to download Travel-eMate from the Play Store. There are two versions, a Lite version and a full version. The differences between the two are neatly laid out below:
Once you have an account all set up, all you need to go is hit the open road. Once you've completed a trip, or completed some of a trip, you'll notice it will have been mapped out using Google Maps.
Once you have some of your trip, or all of it complete, you can open up the menu in the top-right corner and choose one of the options.
One of the main attractions of Travel-eMate is to be able to send messages to those that want updates about your trip, and you can do this using some of the predefined ones or go ahead and create your own custom ones.
If you feel you need to update your travelling partners or your family back home with regular updates, you can do just that, and after a while you're route can be laden with little updates.
Even if you don't use Travel-eMate to update your friends and family, you can use it to get access to some pretty interesting statistics for your journey.
Like for instance, the ability to take a look at your average speed for any given trip.
Friends and family can follow-along and catch live updates of your trip from the Travel-eMate website and in general, the whole thing is extremely impressive considering it's all been developed by a one man team. If you're type of person that simply likes to document their travels, you'll be glad to note that if you purchase the full version, you'll be able to take a long look back at your previous trips, which is a very nice touch if you want to recall the route you took down to the beach, or to your family's house a few months ago.
Travel-eMate isn't just for those traveling by car, either. You can use it to track bike rides, public transport like buses and trains and you don't even have to have a constant network connection, it'll store all of the way point data and then when you do get coverage back, it'll add them all in to your trip log. This means you can use it while biking out where there's little cell coverage and still have your trip logged.
Opinion: This sort of thing is perhaps only going to be of real use for those that travel far, and travel often, but there's nothing wrong with that. For those that might not have passed their driving test long or aren't so confident on highways and such, this is a great way of feeling attached to your family and friends without them being there. You can send them updates and such, even let them know how much better (or worse) the weather is where you're headed, too. By sending info back and forth, you can be sure to keep those worried about you in the loop, and it's just nice to have that peace of mind both ways. Even if you're not intending on sharing much info with others, you can use Travel-eMate to get access to some great statistics as well and the whole app is delivered to a decent standard. On the server side of things, it appears stable and can handle a good volume of active users at any one given time. All of this is impressive for an app and backend that was developed by just one, very active and responsive, developer.
- Speed (4/5) - Travel-eMate runs well on Android and you don't need to have the best smartphone or tablet out there to get a decent experience here.
- Features (5/5) - It's a fairly unique concept when you think about it and while apps like Waze have been doing this for a while, it's nowhere as personal. With Travel-eMate you can update your friends and family without them needing to download the app and there's also the statistics side of things that can help people recall details of their trips from a few months ago and beyond.
- Theme (4/5) - Utilizing a standard Android UI, everything is straightforward and easy to use and there are no hidden surprises with this.
- Overall (4.5/5) - An excellent app that can really enhance your travelling experience, especially when travelling with friends or updating anxious family members back home.
- Leaves what information is shared up to you, giving you total control over your trip.
- Now feature live weather tracking as well, which is probably more useful than it sounds on paper.
- Good option for those that want to update anxious families or give friends an ETA.
- Not just for those that want to update people, can be used as an excellent way of keeping a record of your previous trips and helps you recall routes from previous journeys.
- Might be a battery hog for some users, but you can always plug in in the car.
- Not something for casual users that just need turn-by-turn navigation.
Conclusion: Considering that Travel-eMate is the product of just one man's hardwork, it's pretty difficult not to be impressed by this gem. It might not feature the prettiest UI out there, but it's functional and works just fine. As for user suggestions and new features, this is an app that's under constant development and there's the whole server side to think of as well. There's no need for anxious friends and family tracking your progress while they await your arrival to install your app and that's a big deal. So many times we find that things need to be a complete two-way operation, with Travel-eMate though you could even get your elderly parents or grandparents online to keep an eye on your progress. Perfect for long trips across a country or when travelling abroad, Travel-eMate is something that needs to be used to see the real benefits.