iPhone App Review: Trip To Worlds

iPhone App Review: Trip To Worlds

April 17th, 2012 by

Though social networks are making the world smaller and smaller, it’s still big enough to be really impressed when you visualize how far you’ve traveled or in how many different countries you have friends and family. Trip To Worlds helps fill that visualization gap by allowing you to input the trips you’ve taken or log in to Facebook and place all of your friends on a map of the world.

How It Works

You can use the app with or without your Facebook info, just simply use it as a guest. Your trip info is supposed to carry over if you later decide to include your Facebook credentials. Trip To Worlds pulls your Facebook info down and maps all of your friends with push pins on a map of the world. There is a map view and also a summary view, that lists the countries of the world and how many friends you have in each. Same information presented two different ways.

You can also use the app as a sort of trip tracker, by creating “tours” that you’ve been on. Enter the start and end destinations, the dates and distance traveled, and include a photo that is representative of your journey. You can even color-code each trip and view them all on a map. The app organizes trips into “tours”, and by adding a trip to a tour it automatically picks up where the last tour left off. For instance, in my fake tour I went from the U.S. to Sudan until April 17, then when I added another trip to that same tour it started in Sudan on April 17 and prompted me to enter the destination and end date.

Trip To Worlds also tracks your overall distance traveled and overlays it on the travel map.

Pros And Cons

Trip To Worlds overall is a great app, that with a few improvements could be really fun to use.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Facebook friend information as it is presented on the map and summary screens is fun to look at, but is not really interactive in any way. The map view is the most visually striking, showing all of your friends splayed out (hopefully) all over the globe, with dashed lines from your location giving it the look and feel of an old-fashioned airline route map.

The problem with the map view is that you pretty much just look at it: tapping on the pins shows you how many friends you have in that location, then another tap takes you to a list of the friends there. So far so good, but it would be nice to have some more information besides just their name and where they are. How about how far away that city or country is? Maybe a check-box so that I can indicate that I’ve been there, and then the app can add that distance traveled to the total?

The summary screen shows countries and how many friends are in each country… and that’s it. There is no button to click and be able to see who lives there. For instance I apparently have a friend in Beijing, but to find out who that I have to back out to the map and go hunting for them.

The tours and trips are fun to create, letting you chart your journeys across the globe. Color-coding each country on the tour is a great idea, but the next logical step would be to show on the map the direction your travels went. An example would be my mythical trip from U.S. to Sudan to Albania. There is no way to tell from the map screen in which order the countries were visited, other than by tapping on them and reading the dates. There is a summary screen that lists the countries visited in order, but although the notes for the trip are included on the summary screen you have to tap each trip’s entry to see what countries were visited… why not show the dates traveled and countries visited on the summary screen and make us tap to see the notes? That’s the typical way you do it in an iPhone app, let’s not reinvent the user interface traditions.


Trip To Worlds is a great app for visualizing your own travels around the world and the locations of all of your Facebook family and friends. It has a few rough edges and plenty of room for improvement (and can we please have an option for distance traveled in miles and not just kilometers?), but as it stands now is a flawed diamond in the rough.

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