With the polar vortex bringing the arctic chill, you might be stuck inside for a while. If you’re looking to kill some downtime before your next flight, look no further than your smartphone. Most airport connections don’t have the bandwidth for streaming video. Instead opt for social networking, gaming or keeping up with the news. Here are the 10 top apps that you can download to stay entertained. And the best part is…they’re all free.
Banjo—Looking for your friend in the storm? Banjo gives you notifications when a friend is nearby. Plus, it integrates Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and LinkdedIn. You’ll also receive a notification when a friend is near you.
Vine—Twitter’s new Vine app lets you create short looping videos (think a longer GIF) to share with friends and family. Like Instagram, the network runs on hashtags and featured picks.
News, Magazines and More
Flipboard—A personalized news magazine, Flipboard lets you choose topics interesting to you, then pulls up the relevant news feeds and lets you toggles through a wide range of articles. It also shows you what stories and photos your friends are viewing and sharing.
TED—Every year, the TED talks draw speakers on everything from health to music to education. With the app, you can browse through more than 1,200 audio and video clips to hear the innovative speeches. Find the TED app on iTunes or Google Play.
53,000+ Famous Quotes—Looking for just the right words? With this app you can browse through more than 53,000 well-known quotes and keep track of your favorites. You can even share them with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. Find the app on iTunes or Google Play.
Candy Crush Saga—A sweetly addicting game started as a Facebook phenomenon and now it’s a standalone app. On Candy Crush Saga, rearrange the pieces of candy for points, and you can still post your scores to Facebook.
Ruzzle—Bored with Words with Friends? Check out Ruzzle, a fast-paced word game you can play with friends or a randomly assigned opponent. Swipe the times and find as many words as possible on the screen, and after three rounds the one with the highest total number of scores wins.
Temple Run 2—Temple Run was a gaming sensation at the app store and the latest version upped the ante. In the game, you run and jump to escape the cursed idol. Find Temple Run on iTunes or Google Play.
Trivia Burst—For trivia freaks, TriviaBurst will keep you entertained for hours with a growing rotation of more than 40,000 questions and growing. Users submit questions daily. And you win real awards provided by KiipMe. One caveat: The game is free on Google Play but $0.99 on iTunes.
Action Movie FX—If an airport delay just seems like too much, Action Movie FX lets you imagine a more dramatic ending. Shoot a quick video and then the app adds an explosive action sequence with high-quality explosions and other effects.
For more helpful apps for travelers on the go, check out:
- Top 12 Travel Apps of 2012
- A roundup of the top 10 free apps
- Money-saving apps for the last-minute traveler
By Stephanie Ervin and Lily J. Kosner