Ten Best Apps For Wasting Time at the Airport

Airport Terminal

Image provided by http://www.flickr.com/photos/travelstar/ Always bussling, airport terminals in larger airports make it difficult and expensive to pass the time while waiting for your flight.

Have you ever been sitting at your gate at the airport and wanted something to do?  Do you have time to go to a bookstore in another terminal?  When you get there are the magazines, newspapers or books more expensive than a transplant?  Seeing extra long lines at the McDonald’s?  Do you have NOTHING to do while waiting for your connecting flight to board?

Whether you’re on a smartphone or a tablet, these are some of the best apps to while away the time as you wait.  As a warning, some might need ear buds or the sound turned down – no sense in driving your neighbors nuts!

1.  Pulse – I know everyone was expecting Angry Birds and I almost went that way, too, but given it’s gotten SO much press since an airline passenger shared his cell phone photo of two AA flight attendants playing the game instead of taking care of their PAX, it might have fallen from grace a little.  At first blush, Pulse might seem like just another news app.  Au contraire, mon frere…  Yes, you can read the news on Pulse, if that’s what you choose to do.  Pulse gives users the ability to choose what they read from where.  It can link up with your Facebook page, it can link up with a number of websites where people go for the entertainment value, such as Photoshop Disasters or Fail Blog.  I mean, there are the more mundane (and some of my personal favorites) like Bon Appetit and the AP News, but you have the ability to save the articles to your personal listing so you can read them later, sans Internet.

2.  Fruit Ninja – I can’t say this is actually a “Guy” app but it might appeal to them more.  There’s two things guys like that girls aren’t all that wild about – The Three Stooges and Ninjas.  The premise of the game is to cut fruit with a sword.  That’s all, just cut fruit.  With a sword.  After each round it gives you a fun fact about different fruits so it’s not a TOTAL time waster.

3.  Temple Run – You’re in a temple.  You’re running.  You’re jumping.  You’re sliding under tree roots.  That’s pretty much the bulk of it.  Oh, and you’re being chased by these weird monkey things.  I don’t know what the attraction to this is but I’ve seen my teenage son sit for hours playing this so there must be something to it.

4.  Draw Something – I haven’t had a chance to play this one yet on Facebook or my tablet but I assure you, this is the biggest game to hit the app scene since, well, Angry Birds.  This is Pictionary on steroids and it was recently bought by Zynga, thus its being intro’d on Facebook.  You can find the separate app in the app markets and play to your heart’s content.

5.  Robot Unicorn Attack – How can someone take something so mystical and precious as a unicorn and turn it into a weapon of destruction?  This might seem like a girly game, and it could be that was the demographic – a bunch of 13-year-old girls – but it’s turned into so much more.

6.  Shortyz - This is absolutely my favorite app.  I’m a huge crossword fan and this app keeps me in puzzles like I’ve never had before!  This app will go out into the virtual world and find all the best crosswords to download to your tablet.  New York Times, LA Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and several more.  I used to try to keep up with doing each crossword each day and let it stress me out when I couldn’t.  But, then it occurred to me, I have about 40 crossword puzzles on my tablet at any given time; so many to do, so little time.  The settings let you pick and choose which crossword puzzles you want every day and all you have to do to download them is go into the app.

7.  Pocket God – Feeling like taking over the world?  Feeling strong, my friend?  This is the app for you.  Based on the decisions you make, you can be either a good god or a bad god.  Develop your “God-like” skills and use them on your primitive villagers.  Give them life then take it away in this simulation game.

8.  Virtual Bubble Wrap – Really?  Bubble Wrap?  Who of us as kids (and adults) sat there with a piece of bubble wrap and mindlessly popped the bubble, internally delighting with each pop?  How sad were you when you got to that last bubble and knew when you were done, it was all over?  No longer do you need to feel that sense of dread when popping bubble wrap because when you’re done, it rejuvenates and you get to start all over again!

9.  Rocket Bunny – Okay, now stay with me, if you can.  You’re a bunny and you’re rocketing through space.  Sounds simple, no?  Oh, if only…  The developers of this game throw in enemies, space garbage, space mines and portals that can suck you into them. There’s a strategy involved, meaning you have to time your exit from each planet to use the projectile so you can avoid these traps.

10.  Angry Birds Space - I thought I was going to stay away from this one but just a few days ago, the developers of Angry Birds came out with another version – Space!  I have all these games on my Android Tablet and hadn’t really touched them in a while but I saw the other day Space had come out and decided to give it a go.  It’s different from the rest of the games as gravity acts differently.  I don’t want to give up to much but, if you’re into Yoga or some such, be prepared to need something calming before it’s all over.

Downloading to your smartphone or tablet a couple, three of these games can make waiting for a plane to board go much more quickly.  A few words of caution, though…  Don’t get so engrossed in the games you miss your flight being called.


About Nancy Marine

I've been a travel writer since 2006 and have pretty much loved every minute of it! If there's a location you'd like to know more about, send me an e-mail at editor@explorationtravelmagazine.com and I'll do everything I can to get it on the site for you!

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