12 apps you're absolutely going to need on the beach

Games, travel tips, photo sharing and more

Heading off somewhere nice for the summer? Well-prepared trips tend to be more enjoyable in the long run, and before you head to the nearest (or farthest) beach we've got some recommendations for mobile apps you might want to take along with you.

Whether you need to fill some time while you're soaking up the rays or you want to find the best burger joint close to your current location, these apps should lend a hand. If you're going abroad with limited data, then a lot of these apps will work offline as well.

1. Met Office Weather

Weather

First and foremost, stay safe: the Met Office Weather app can tell you about everything from an incoming downpour to a high UV index (in which case you need to slap on some sunscreen). This is one of the leading weather apps, but there are many more out there - just make sure you have one installed.

Android and iOS, free or paid (no ads)

2. Tides Near Me

You don't want to turn up at the beach to find there's no beach there, and Tides Near Me will let you know where the water's up to and whether it's coming in or out. It can also help you time that picnic lunch perfectly and will let you know about currents, sunset times and other vital information.

Android and iOS, free or paid (no ads)

3. Kindle

You don't necessarily need to take a separate ereader down to the beach, because Amazon's Kindle app will turn your current phone or tablet into one instead. If you do already own a Kindle, then the app is clever enough to sync your reading across all your devices, in case you leave one behind.

Android and iOS, free

4. Street View

Street

You don't need Street View to check up on your home while you're away, you need it to take those 360 photos that Facebook now supports. It's the best app around for the job, and it means your beach shots are going to be a lot more immersive than the pictures everyone else is sharing this summer.

Android and iOS, free

5. Instagram

Many of you will already have Instagram installed, but if not it's worth loading up before you hit the beach this summer - it's got more filters and editing tools than ever before, and it's still the best app out there for making your holiday pictures stand out and look gorgeous with just a couple of taps.

Android and iOS, free

6. TripAdvisor

Your phone will come with a mapping app to locate nearby bars, shops and restaurants, but there's no harm in installing another. TripAdvisor is packed with a wealth of information about local venues as well as reviews left by real people on their travels, and can be handy in finding your way around.

Android and iOS, free

7. iTranslate

Translate

If you're leaving these shores behind then it's good idea to have a translation app to hand - you can spend some time in the sun learning the local lingo or at least know how to order an ice cream properly. There are lots to choose from, but iTranslate is one of the best, particularly for instant translations.

Android and iOS, free with in-app purchases

8. XE Currency

Find out just how much that beer or cocktail would cost you back home with XE Currency, one of the best currency converters out there. Even if you stick with the free ad-supported version, you can quickly convert between just about any form of currency out there, and it works offline if you've no internet connection.

Android and iOS, free or paid (no ads, extra features)

9. Citymapper

You may think Google Maps and Apple Maps cover public transport, but they don't do it as comprehensively as Citymapper - it's the ultimate way of finding your way from A to B if you're using anything but your own car. The only question mark is whether it covers the area you're holidaying in.

Android and iOS, free

10. Tripcast

Trip

You've got all the usual options when it comes to sharing your travelling exploits with your friends, but for something a little different give Tripcast a go: it lets you create an interactive album that friends and family can sign up to receive update from, and it's particularly geared around photos.

Android and iOS, free

11. Pocket Casts

For those lazy afternoons on the beach you can turn to your favourite tunes or opt for a few podcasts instead. Pocket Casts isn't free but it is one of the best independent podcasting apps (i.e. not from Google or Apple) - use it to queue up hours of audio entertainment before your trip.

Android and iOS, £2.49 or £2.99

12. Slither.io

A decent mobile game is another way of passing time down by the sea shore and few mobile games are as hot as Slither.io right now. It's like a 2016 version of the old classic Snake, and despite its rather basic graphics and straightforward gameplay, you'll find yourself addicted very quickly.

Android and iOS, free with in-app purchases