Gadling gear review – USA Today AutoPilot

The App Store is full of travel applications – I’ve got at least 40 of them on my iPhone, but many of them have a very specific purpose, and I’ll only need them once a month (or less). The new USA Today developed “AutoPilot” is one that has already seen more use than most others put together, and may even end up replacing my current favorite – TripIt.

AutoPilot is a Swiss Army Knife of travel applications. It offers the following features in one app:

  • TripIt itinerary integration
  • Flight tracker
  • Airport delay map
  • Airline/hotel contact database
  • Weather
  • Destination galleries (powered by Flickr)
  • Articles & experts (with USA Today content)

That first feature is pretty nice – you get a similar interface as found in the iPhone/iPod Touch TripIt application, with a couple of extra features thrown in (like the ability to email someone your itinerary).

To integrate with TripIt, you do a one-time authorization on a web page, which allows AutoPilot to access all your TripIt itineraries.

The flight tracker information shows up in your itinerary, but can also be searched using flight number, route or airport. The information delivers all you really need – departure (estimate), any delays, and arrival/departure gate information.

The airport status screen uses information delivered by FlightStats, and shows all known delays at US airports. Since this information comes directly from the FAA, it is usually quite accurate, and helps give a good idea how the rest of your day may look

I’ve included a brief gallery showing some of the various sections of this app. I’m loving the TripIt integration, and the extra content makes for a well designed application – a real “must have” for any traveling iPhone owner. Best of all, the application is free! You’ll find it in the App Store (iTunes link).