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This interactive mobile map allows iUsers and Droids to find gates, restrooms, stores and elevators in malls and airports – without wi-fi.

Smartphone apps with GPS are useful when you’re trying to find your hotel, but how about something that will help you find baggage claim first? Point Inside, a free app available for the iPhone and iPad, as well as Android users, features a selection of “Indoor Smart Maps,” which include full directories of over 100,000 shops, restaurants, restrooms, gates, ATMs, the lost and found section, and even elevators and escalators.

Point Inside also helps you find special events and promotions. After you download the app, wifi isn’t required, so you can find the gate for a connecting flight or the rental car counter while you’re still in the air.

For me, it’s all about first impressions with an app. I downloaded Point Inside and opened it. It pinpointed the Nordstrom’s in downtown Seattle a few blocks from me, so I checked that map out first.

This app is slick. I found myself viewing a map of the first floor of the mall, able to zoom in or out. Tapping up brings me to the second floor. Tapping on any store gives me their phone number, website, store hours, and a description of the store.

Tapping “Search” lets me browse through the stores and filter by promos. And one handy little icon lets me instantly locate all restaurants, restrooms and ATMs in the vicinity.

I checked out the airport next. (Airport maps are currently available for Apple products, coming soon for Android.) Point Inside allows you to set your location in the parking lot – genius? I think so. It’s easy to find a gate, and the services filter in “Search” shows where all the charging stations, currency exchange booths, and pet relief areas are hiding. I even found two shoeshine booths.

Point Inside has maps for 500 shopping centers and 50 airports in the U.S. and Canada. I can imagine few things more epic for traveling gadget-heads than international version of this app, if one ever comes into existence. For those who rack up the frequent flier miles between the states and Canada frequently, Point Inside is definitely worth a download. The price makes this one a no-brainer.

The Point Inside App for iPad® is available for free from the App Store. It’s also available on the iPhone® and iPod Touch®, as well as on Android phones version 1.6 and above, via the Android Market.

About The Author

Michelle Schusterman

Michelle is a musician, writer, and teacher just trying to see the world while doing what she loves for a living. She's taught ESL in Salvador, Brazil and kindergarten in Suwon, Korea, and now she's a full-time freelance writer living in Seattle (just to keep the city alliteration going). She'll try pretty much any food once and believes coffee is its own food group.

  • Hal Amen

    Very cool

  • Susan

    Point Inside is great! I’ve used the mall version on my iPhone at King of Prussia mall and I plan to use it the next time I travel at JFK or La Guardia, too. I can’t believe such a cool, useful app is free!

  • Emily

    Love this app! They just gave the app a facelift, but it still has all the cool features to get me around the airport. Love it!

Buying it donates a metric ton of rice to starving people somewhere. Yep.
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