Tag - Travel
You can't predict whether you're going to be sitting next to children on a flight or, as has happened to us, a group of local radio DJs who would not shut up. For everything else, though, there are seat maps you can study, and there are crowd-sourced details-- and that's why there's SeatGuru 3.1.
Hand on heart, I wanted a new iPad, but I didn't lust after the iPad Pro the way I may possibly have been drawn to previous Apple products. I tried it in Apple Stores in the UK and France, wherever I passed one, and there's no question but that 3D tour of Paris in Apple Maps is beautiful on the iPad Pro. Even there, I hesitated though; and instead, bought an Apple Smart Cover for my original iPad Air before moving on. The iPad Pro is just a bigger iPad, and everyone who argues that it is or isn't a replacement for their Macs is just daft. Or so I thought, until I had an iPad Pro, and I went travelling.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R