Cultural Guide App for iPhone and Android
One cool thing about having your own blog is getting to test new products and being involved in the improvement process. With my 9-5 corporate job being in IT (yes, I’m one of those who work in a cubicle), reviewing the Cultural App Guide was a fun assignment. The travel app was developed by Dean Foster, the president of Dean Foster Associates (DFA) in New York. Dean Foster conducts cross-cultural training worldwide and consults on intercultural business issues with most Fortune 500 companies in the United States and around the globe. This was his answer when I asked him why he decided to develop a mobile app for iOS and Android devices:
For almost 25 years, my company, DFA Intercultural Global Solutions (www.deanfosterassociates.com) has been providing intercultural training programs and products for our corporate clients: this means providing companies with the information they need about the culture in which they might be working. We provide information about all major cultures, how they work, make decisions, run meetings, negotiate, etc. We thought that we could take this information and put it into app formats, making it available for all travelers, not just our corporate clients. This way, even independent frequent business travelers, as well as leisure travelers, can have all the important cultural “do’s and don’t’s” right at their fingertips whenever they travel. Other travel guides tell you what to see and where to go…only our CultureGuides© tell you how to get along when you get there.
I chose Brazil because as you may know, I love the country and can easily relate to it. If you haven’t been there yet, maybe you can consider heading there for the world cup in 2014. And if you can’t make it, there is always the olympics in 2016
So what did I think about this travel app? The app is a great introduction to Brazil. It provides lots of useful information, such as the history, people, language, general etiquette, food and more. For someone who has no background on a country, this app will provide the fundamentals. It’s easy to read and straight to the point. My suggestion was to take the tool further and add a section about the different regions in Brazil. Although the app provides good basic info on Brazil as a whole, it can improve on providing specific info on regions. This is especially useful when a backpacker is planning a trip and not sure where to start looking.
The app also displays a map of Brazil which is a good start. In time, I suggested they add a localization feature where the phone would locate a user’s location and give them the ability to give them directions to a given destination (just like google maps but via the tool). I think this tool will be extremely useful for travelers when abroad and will remove the need to carry a map. Maps always turn out to get lost or wet anyway, right?
Overall, I think it’s worth taking a look at the app if you want to learn more about a given country. You can download it on your iPhone or Android device for $9.99. If you’re looking for an app that provides tools rather than knowledge when traveling, you may have to wait until the app comes out with a second release.