Tag - Travel
At CES in Las Vegas on Monday, two firms have revealed new chargers and bands for the Apple Watch and iPhone 6s. Accessory maker Zens has brought out a charging dock called the Zens Apple Watch Charging Bank that offers up to four full recharges of the device, and includes its own compatible inductive charger, so users can leave the Apple-supplied charging cord at home. Griffin, another accessories manufacturer, is offering its own "travel charger" for the Watch, as well as a selection of bands.
When we reviewed Citymapper back in March, we concluded that it was very impressive, and that it could only get more so as it added further cities to its list of supported regions. It's done that, but the developers have also released no fewer than 15 update releases, adding new cities and new features to reach Citymapper 5.12, and a total of 29 cities.
Every family has one member who's always on the road, either for business or personal travel. Whether it's your college-age kid backpacking around Europe, or your on-the-go brother who jet-sets to meetings around the globe. For the MacNN family, that guy is -- me. There's always a certain amount of tech we just have to bring along -- the trick is getting it all in there, yet keeping it light enough to not be a burden. In this Gift Guide, we'll take a look at some of my road-tested travel gear.
It may seem peculiar to have a favorite electrical plug -- it's the Mu -- but if you don't happen to travel to the UK much then you may not know. The domestic mains electrical system in Britain is practically industrial. Where a typical US mains socket provides 110V, the regular UK one pumps out 230-240V. It's why our kettles boil so very much faster, and it's why you can die if you hold wires that you stick into a British socket, despite the relatively safer 50Hz frequency. So, you know, there are pluses and minuses.
This is a case of the Internet solving a problem that the Internet caused. Back in the day, if you wanted to go somewhere, you consulted a travel agent, and he or she presented you with a neat little agenda, a smart little itinerary, and a not very little bill. Now that we book our own planes, trains, cars and hotels, maybe we can see why they earned their money. Or maybe we can just see how useful an app and service like TripIt is.
JetBlue is aiming to become the first airline in the United States to offer free Wi-Fi services to its customers across its entire fleet, it has revealed. The airline has completed installation of Fly-Fi on its collection of 150 Airbus A320 and A321 planes, which uses Ka-band satellites to provide Internet connections of up to 20mbps per device onboard. The first of 60 E190s planes with Fly-Fi onboard made its inaugural flight this week, with JetBlue anticipating it will bring Fly-Fi to all of its passenger aircraft by fall next year.
Don't get us wrong: we like using apps to book flights, but we also like pretending we're going to exciting places. When we're actually going, well, we do still use apps, and we even recommend ones like Kayak, but sometimes we need to dig further. For "further" read "cheaper," and for "digging" read "spending more time in the hidden corners of the Internet."
From the makers of a Contacts app that won't let you add contacts -- step forward, Outlook for iOS -- and the developers of the variable word count -- hello, Word -- comes Microsoft Translator 1.0 for iOS, and it is excellent. Or at least excellent enough to get by our high school French knowledge, and excellent enough to look brilliant rendering beautiful Russian and Chinese.
Apple has now added three new TV spots to its collection of ads for the Apple Watch, each with an emphasis on showing what apps look like on the device, and each with a theme: music apps, travel apps, and fitness apps. The commercials showcase mostly third-party programs, and showcase the amount of clear, useful information that can be gleaned on the small screen. Shazam, Yelp, and Nike+ Running are among the apps featured.
In our experience, there are two things -- both of which cause frustration and discontent -- that most international travelers can agree on: hotel Wi-Fi, and the fact that one probably won't be able to just plug something in to fix it. Not only are there differences in what's coming out of the wall in different regions, but the standards for how plugs are shaped are different as well. We were very interested, then, when we saw the Satechi Smart Travel Router. Aside from creating a personal Wi-Fi network when it's plugged in, it also provides two USB ports, and acts as a plug adapter.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN