Features & Use
The World Travel Guide by Triposo is basically an app framework into which the various downloadable city and country guides fit, rather than having a smattering of different apps for each place. If you're a frequent traveler, or just like to explore the world from the comfort of your smartphone, this is the app you want. When you first download the World Travel Guide, which is only 22 MB in size, you will be shown the familiar Triposo splash screen and prompted to download a city or country guide to get started. You can also browse the available guides.
Once you've downloaded a guide the file will unpack and you will have access to either the compact city guide or the more encyclopaedic country guide which contains all of the smaller city guides within it. This time around I went for the country guide to all of Russia, which came in at a reasonable 120 MB, compared to just Moscow which was almost 50 MB alone. All of your downloaded guides are now available in the one app and are easy to switch between.
When you launch the app you will always be brought to the splash screen and asked to search for a new destination or to browse guides, both those you have downloaded already and other guides available. So you're never far away from having what you want. There's also a map that has all of the travel guide locations pinned to it, if that's more your thing. Each travel guide entry has a brief description, a nice image and file size data along with the download button. The countries or cities that you've downloaded already will appear at the top of the list in the My Guides section for quick access. There's also a drop-down menu for additional info like a map, your travel log and account information.
When you launch one of the downloaded guides you'll be brought to the same starting screen you'd know from other Triposo guides if you've used them before. There's quick highlight suggestions if you're in a rush, a ''what's around me'' for location-based recommendations, popular destinations list, a healthy background on the area or country that includes a phrasebook, a quick reference ''practicalities'' section on money, transport, health and basic geographical information. You'll also get local weather, currency conversion and a useful phrase to get you started. And that's all on the starting page!
At the bottom of the start page there's a search function, quick shortcut to your travel log, world map, bookmarks and feedback option. The travel log, while not really my thing, is a super useful tool for keeping tabs on your destinations and thoughts whilst on the road. You can sign in with Facebook, add images, text and location information and share it all to your Facebook profile. But for me, the Travel log is a handy bonus on what is the core of the Travel Guide franchise: comprehensive touristic options in a foreign destination, combined with reviews and booking ability, all in one place.
I opted to focus on Moscow for this review, and have weighed up Triposo's recommendations against those made to me by local Muscovites. While I didn't have any reason to use the St. Petersburg or Sochi sections of the Russia Travel guide, having them handy did mean I browsed them casually, which was a nice addition to an otherwise single-city travel guide. Getting a feel for an entire country is made much easier when you can casually compare the highlights of one city or region to another in the one app. Triposo's illustrated entries make visual comparisons that much easier too.
The ''suggestions'' section of the Moscow Guide contains fairly obvious things to see, like the Kremlin, Church of Christ the Saviour, Pushkin Museum and St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square. While these are things that any visitor to Moscow cannot really avoid, it's nice to have a visual along with maps, opening hours, Wikipedia entries, traveler reviews, pricing information and booking options. From browsing to researching to locating and booking, Triposo gives you everything you need to plan your time well. And it can all be done on the fly.
The real value, in my opinion, comes in the smaller sections for events, nightlife, dining, tours and hotels. This is the kind of thing you'd normally need to rely on a website or travel agency for, but Triposo makes it all available in your pocket and offline. Having everything you could possibly need to know about a destination available in one place and offline is truly an impressive feat. Even with my local connections, the bars and restaurants I went to with born and bred Muscovites were covered in Triposo's Moscow guide, something I think is the mark of a well put together travel guide.
Screen & Controls
The Triposo app is nicely laid out and is easy to use and navigate your way through. Going from the overview sections to sub-menus to specific entries, to background information to pricing and reviews to booking may offer quite a few different ''looks and feels'' but each one, while perhaps visually different to the last, is easy enough to work through. Despite there being several layers of depth in the app, you never feel lost and it's always a simple matter to back up to the previous section. Some sections really need photos added, for example in the Nightlife and Eat and Drink sections, and some images are badly pixelated because a tiny original has been blown up too big. As mentioned below, the app was sometimes stuttery and laggy in scrolling menus. All in all it seems like a good product not perfectly presented.
Speed & Stability
The World Travel Guide was generally smooth and problem free, but I did experience quite a few issues I didn't find with the individual travel guide apps. For example, I had a crash the first time I launched the Travel Log and the first guide that I unpacked took a very long time (the two subsequent ones were super fast though). I also noticed some laggy behavior while scrolling through some of the lists, like when checking into a location in the Travel Log. In the popup Travel Log window I also lost my map location if I added a picture after a map and was then unable to re-add a location map. Also, the X in the search bar at the top of the travel guide search screen wouldn't delete my search term. So while everything works generally well, it's far from bug-free and polished.
For a completely free app Triposo's travel guides really can't be beat, but I was surprised by the amount of buggy behavior I found in the World Travel Guide compared to the individual city guide I had used before. Perhaps it's just the Moscow section of the Russian country guide too, but I noticed a lot more missing photos and occasionally bad photos than I had previously. The sheer volume of the entries and depth of the app are quite impressive though, so if you can handle a little stuttering and the occasional crash, you really can't go past Triposo.
Triposo impressed me with their Barcelona Travel Guide enough to install the World Travel Guide but the experience wasn't quite up to what I was expecting. While the content was just as good as I had hoped for, the unreliable performance of the app let the content down a little and I'm not sure if I'll keep the World Travel Guide for my next trip or just switch back to the individual city guides. As an Android user though, I know content trumps polish, and the occasional crash or lag is all part of the territory. If this were a paid app it might be a different story though. Nevertheless, if a few performance and presentation issues, which will undoubtedly be smoothed out in time, don't bother you then Triposo's World Travel Guide is a great all-in-one travel solution, with every step from browsing to booking handled nicely.