Looking for quick solutions to your travel concerns? Our resident expert Amy Farley has the facts with Travel + Leisure’s Trip Doctor Challenge.
International roaming as we know it is on the verge of becoming obsolete: the EU has proposed a single network for all European countries, T-Mobile no longer charges customers when surf the web abroad, and apps like Ringo help you tap onto local networks to circumvent pricey roaming packages and overages. Now, Apple is also getting in on the act with Apple SIM, a proprietary SIM card built into the new iPad Air 2.
The founders of Uber have already disrupted the taxi industry worldwide—now they’re taking on the restaurant space with standalone app Reserve. The debut product by start up studio Expa (created by Uber founder Garrett Camp), launches today with service in New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. Here’s how it works.
Reserve will be the everyman’s digital concierge. Plug in basic parameters such as the time, date, and party size for your reservation, and it will offer a curated list of vetted restaurants that may fit the bill. Select the ones that interest you, and it will seek out tables on your behalf, updating you by text message along the way.
In a partnership with MIT, Marriott Hotels is trying to revolutionize how business travelers socialize while on the road—and it all begins in the hotel lobby. The centerpiece of the project—currently being tested at the Marriott in Cambridge—is Six Degrees, a social app that taps into LinkedIn accounts to make connections among hotel guests. The app, which only works inside the hotel, is used in tandem with an interactive digital screen and communal LED table in the lobby.
Last month Apple revealed Apple Pay, a mobile payment system that riffs off the same NFC-based technologies first used by Google Wallet. Today, as part of a larger announcement by Apple, it was announced that Apple Pay will be coming online starting this Monday—with a slew of travel-related partners that are impossible to ignore.
How to become a top videographer—with nothing but your smartphone.
Five tips for capturing stellar footage.
1. Hold your phone horizontally.
It’s the only way to avoid having black bars on either side of the frame. Record via Horizon ($1.99; Android, iOS), and videos will default to landscape mode.
2. Look for sunshine.
Avoid dark settings, which make for grainy videos, and turn on every available light when shooting indoors.
3. Cancel out the noise.
Shoot in quiet places if possible—otherwise, cup your hand around the mic, or use an add-on microphone, such as the Mikey Digital ($99), to minimize aural distractions.
The last-minute hotel booking space is getting a little less last-minute, as HotelTonight is unveiling a new feature that lets users book their rooms a full week in advance. The new features, live today, respond to a need to have more flexibility when traveling in certain situations, says CEO Sam Shank, who for the first time talked about demographics beyond the spontaneous weekend traveler when I met with him earlier this week. Business travelers, he pointed out, would especially stand to gain from the new model, which allows you to wait until your schedule is set before deciding which neighborhood (or specific property) might be best suited for a particular trip.
This week, T-Mobile continued on its rampage to break all the rules we've ever come to know about mobile carriers, this time with a move that throws the need for a 4G network all but out the window. The big reveal? Wi-Fi calling on all new T-Mobile smartphones, a feature that will make roaming workaround apps like Viber largely irrelevant. This comes on the heels of Apple's iPhone 6 debut, which also included Wi-Fi calling as a standard feature.
The implication for travelers is huge. First and foremost, it signals an enormous change in the way we think about roaming and international phone charges (already, the carrier has made data roaming and music streaming abroad worries of the past).
Is T-Mobile trying to be the world's best network for travelers? All signs say yes. You likely already know about T-Mobile's free international data roaming features. Earlier we reported on T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling features. Now, there's one more feather in the carrier's cap: free in-flight texting, picture messaging, and visual voicemail on all gogo-powered flights. The service is made possible thanks to a partnership with the in-flight Wi-Fi provider; like most announcements of this kind, this is being considered a limited time promotion (no end date has been announced).