Spontaneous Adventures with Your Smartphone

Sometimes life needs spontaneity, and a smartphone can be the perfect accessory to find some impromptu fun.

Location-based apps such as Google Maps, Yelp and Urbanspoon are great for discovering and exploring new places. What some users may not know is that they can type in general keywords, including “food” or “museums” into Google Maps and it will show nearby places.

Yelp allows users to type phrases like “fun things to do at night” or “kids activities” and it will find relevant options. The Urbanspoon app lets users shake their smartphone, and it will pick a nearby restaurant at random – a fun way to find something new without the stress of planning.

Windows Phone 8 devices such as the Nokia Lumia 928 feature the City Lens app that uses augmented reality to help find places to visit or see. Users simply hold up their phones as though they were taking a picture and the app shows nearby shops, restaurants and points of interest right on their screens. Tilting the phone to the side reveals additional locations based on what direction the user is facing.

Once a new location is discovered, users should check in with social media apps like Foursquare to let their friends know where they’ve been. Some companies reward visitors who check in with special coupons or promotions, a nice bonus for being spontaneous.

Random adventures are a great way to explore an area when the only agenda or plan is to have a good time.