I have a short day trip out to Chicago coming up, and as usual, I am depending on my iPhone for logistics. I’ve been using TripIt for over a year to easily manage all of my flight information, reservations, and destinations (a fabulous application, even if you travel only rarely). I also use Yelp‘s application to find nearby destinations like restaurants or museums.
Something new to my retinue is TomTom, a GPS application. While I do have a standalone GPS that I normally bring along on trips, I always get frustrated at how long it takes before the GPS can finally figure out that I am no longer in the same state as where I left, leaving me stranded until it can locate itself well enough to start giving me directions. The iPhone has a head start using cell towers, allowing an onboard GPS application can instantly locate you. Plus it’s one less thing to carry (my wife is already laughing at me for bringing my iPhone, my iPad, and my Kindle for a day trip).
Unfortunately, these three great travel applications aren’t integrated on the iPhone. TripIt and Yelp have all my destinations, but the only place I can go from there is to Google Maps, which lacks a true GPS. Really what I want to do is transfer these locations straight over to TomTom for turn-by-turn directions, but there is no clear way to do it. TripIt lacks a copy/paste option for addresses, and while Yelp allows you to copy the address, you can’t just paste it into TomTom – the GPS application wants you to put in a city/state first and then select a street afterwards. All in all, very cumbersome.
After a little experimenting, I have found an easy way to transfer locations from TripIt and Yelp (and really any application that links to Google Maps) over to TomTom without too much fuss. Google Maps allows you to save any location to a contact, and TomTom allows you to navigate to a contact’s location, so you can use the address book as a type of intermediary.
Here is how to do it for TripIt.
First, pull up your destination and then switch to Google Maps view:
Once you are in Google Maps, you need a pin for the location. Some applications like Yelp will give you a pin automatically, but if they don’t, you can drop one:
Once you have a pin, tap on it for more details. Here you will find an option to save it to a contact:
Create a new contact, and give it a name. Since it’s not a contact you want to save for a long time, I choose to give it the temporary name of “TomTom”:
Once the contact is created, you can switch over to TomTom and choose the search by contact option:
From here, choose the “TomTom” contact, and your turn-by-turn directions will begin automatically.
Granted, it’s a little roundabout, but certainly beats having to write the address down on a piece of paper and then manually retype it into the application.
Since the technique is based on functionality in the built in Google Maps application, this should work with most other applications that show you locations as well.