Top 5 Apps That Will Actually Keep You Entertained on an Airplane

Now that we’re in this new and shiny age where we have smart phones and iPads to entertain us all day long, there shouldn’t be any reason to sit on an airplane, twiddling your thumbs anymore. Although the internet is typically not available and all travelers are usually instructed to turn their phones’ wireless systems off, there are apps that can save you from debilitating boredom. Here are the 5 best apps to make the flight seem shorter, especially if you have one of those annoying talkers next to you.


The app version of the popular note-taking program is available for almost every smartphone and the iPad in addition to your computer. If you’re traveling for business, surely Evernote will help you organize your thoughts, to-do lists, and data, but even if you’re a casual traveler, Evernote can make the minutes tick by a lot faster. We already concluded last year that Evernote would be Oprah’s kind of thing, and it’s true that the app remains as functional as ever. On a plane, you may not be able to take advantage of the wicked cool services like capturing websites, but you can still add notes to your journal like “Remember to go to the new impressionist exhibit on Friday” to prepare you for your trip. By jotting down random ideas you have (whether they relate to your upcoming destination or not), time will fly. Have a celebrity or otherwise interesting person sitting next to you? Record conversations using the app’s audio recording feature.


The Amazon Kindle app is, simply, great, particularly on the iPad. The oldest trick in the book, after all, for passing the time on an airplane is to read a book. If you’re on a 14 hour flight and might need multiple novels to sustain you, you no longer have to lug around those heavy hardback tomes. Or even for those folks on shorter plane rides who might want access to multiple books for their changing moods — the Kindle app lets you store endless reading material to choose from on one lightweight device. Though you probably can’t access the Amazon store to purchase new books on the flight, you can access everything you have already downloaded to your library.

Sims 3 Ambition

If there’s one computer game that has the ability to make hours (or days!) disappear, it’s the Sims. Now there is a brand new Sims 3 Ambition app for your iPhone to let you play this ever-addictive game. In this latest version, you can make your Sims build dream homes, advance their careers, and have babies. When you’re 30,000 feet up in the air and you feel like you’re in a soulless vacuum of space, at least you can escape into the fantasy world of the Sims you create. You might not be allowed to move from your cramped seat when the fasten seatbelt sign is on, but your Sims can get in a car and go anywhere….just try not to get too jealous of them.

170,000 + Recipes and Grocery List

This foodie app from BigOven Pro might be just the antidote you need for multiple hours with only the prospect of gross airplane food. As its title suggests, you can browse through thousands of recipes on this app, complete with photos and instructions that come out beautifully on the iPad. You can’t whip out a spatula and mixing bowl on an airplane, but food is the ultimate source of comfort — and when you’re in the exhausting process of getting yourself from point A to B, a little comfort is probably in order.

You can also use the app to look forward to the culinary delights of your destination — whether you’re going to Paris and want to get a preview of the sweet and savory thrills ahead or going somewhere completely unfamiliar to you and want to get an idea of what you might be eating there.

World Travel Guide Offline Deluxe

And finally, the app that is custom-made for travelers and does not require any internet usage is the World Travel Guide Offline Deluxe app, which is available for the iPhone and iPad. It has a dazzling supply of information for anywhere you might be going. The app offers general travel guides, itineraries, language guides, places to store your own notes, and more. For those people who are only flying because they have a really compelling destination, this app reminds them of the great times that lay beyond the pain of air travel. And for those who are traveling by compulsion, the app can provide insight on how to actually make the most of wherever you might be heading.

So if your in-flight movie selection sucks or the turbulence is driving you crazy, these 5 apps will help you pull through. And for those who are lucky enough to be enjoying their flights already, go ahead and try these apps out anyway, even if just to make your seat neighbor curious.