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Hotel Socializing Gets Easier, Thanks to Marriott Hotels Partnership With MIT

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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.

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Apple Pay Launching Monday

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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.

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How to Take Better Travel Videos with Your Smartphone

Travel Video Illustration

How to become a top videographer—with nothing but your smartphone.

Shooting

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.

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Hotel Tonight Extends Booking Window to One Week

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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.

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T-Mobile Breaks All Roaming Rules With Wi-Fi Calling

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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).

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T-Mobile Now Offers In-Flight Texting

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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).

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Oceania Cruises Introduces Free Wi-Fi

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Oceania Cruises is the latest luxury line to launch complimentary Internet access on its five ships—a first for the brand. It joins Regent Seven Seas, which announced that it was adding free WiFi last month. The on-board Wi-Fi system was recently upgraded across its five mid-size ships, bringing connectivity that’s twice as fast as before to public spaces, outdoor decks, plus all suites and staterooms.

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The iPhone 6 and Apple Watch: What it Means for Travel

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Today the iPhone got a long-awaited upgrade—and Apple finally unveiled its rumored plans for the Apple Watch. What’s in it for travelers? Here’s a closer look at how the world’s most popular travel accessory is changing—and the latest round of innovations by the technology giant.

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What Your Instagram Filter Says About You

What Your Instagram Filter Says About You

A picture may speak a thousand words, but a filter is a look into a traveler’s soul. Here’s what you’re projecting with your choice of special effects.

Earlybird
To blazes with hard-edged modernity! You yearn for the softly faded era of steamer trunks and hot-air balloons. Jules Verne is your Virgil. Your ideal evening starts with a Delmonico steak and an oyster roast, and ends at the kinetoscope. In your luggage: a hoopskirt and a stovepipe hat.

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Beautified App Releases Version 2.0—Plus an Exclusive Travel-Friendly Beauty Kit

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Call it the HotelTonight of the beauty world: Beautified gives users the power to book last-minute haircuts, manicures, facials, massages, and more at salons and spas around New York—and in the coming months, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Today marks the launch of a completely redesigned app, one with twice as many spas and salons (including Bliss), plus a new fitness category that offers highly coveted classes from Barry’s Bootcamp, Body by Simone, Flywheel, and Physique 57.

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