Technology - Mobile
What's the perfect gift for young, inquisitive, would-be travelers? The Barefoot World Atlas App, available for iPad. The result of a collaboration between Barefoot Books and Touch Press, a popular app developer, the app lets your little one explore the globe with a flick of the finger.
For anyone with an addiction to social media (which, naturally, includes yours truly), you know there are tons of benefits that come with taking the time to check-in to the various restaurants, shops, hotels, parks, and…well, anywhere and everywhere you might go. From perks like discounts or freebies, to the satisfaction of becoming the “mayor” of your favorite coffee shop a la Foursquare, to even, in some cases, winning a free trip…the possibilities are seemingly endless.
One companyhas taken the concept of checking in to whole different level: they’re letting people log into Foursquare through their website and create custom jewelry using their previous check-ins—think: connect the dots. (Fret not: if you’re not on Foursquare, you can use their custom map to create your design, or you could just shop from their pre-existing collection.)
You know how annoying it is when the person sitting next to you on a flight is listening to their music so loud you can hear it? Now imagine that same scenario, but instead of loud music, it’s the sound of two people getting their freak on?
Yes, you read that right. And yes, I’m going somewhere with this.
Ryanair announced that it is planning on developing a custom app, which you could download onto your smartphone or tablet; with this app, you’ll be able to connect to the airline’s selection of in-flight entertainment. It’ll allow you to do lots of fun things, like gamble, play games, or kick back and watch some porn.
Once again, I have to confirm: yes, you read that right.
You know how when you take a bus, and there happens to be that one person who opts to spend the entire ride on their cell phone, and it’s always a really loud conversation, and the whole time you sit there gritting your teeth and trying not to have a meltdown? (Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic.) Well this same pleasure is making its way onto a different kind of bus. An Airbus. Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A330, to be exact.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I find it entirely impossible to completely unplug myself when I’m on vacation. The idea of not having the option to check my e-mail, hop onto Facebook, or shoot off a tweet is enough to make my heart palpitate. So it’s no surprise that, despite being on a recent weeklong beachy retreat to Miami, I set aside some time to pop by the offices of Max Borges, purveyor of all things gadgets. And during this brief visit, they showed me a few new products that are just so much fun, I feel the need to share.
For my last round-up, I shared a collection of my favorite new cell phone accessories. This week I want to showcase a my fave iPad accessories. So let’s just cut to the chase and dive right on in, shall we?
Not everyone likes to bring their iPads with them when they’re walking around a strange city. For starters, showing off your flashy, expensive toy can turn you into a target for a mugging. Second, you kind of look like a jerk using an iPad as a camera. I’m sorry, but it had to be said. However, it can be understandably nerve-wracking leaving it behind in your hotel room, especially when there is no personal safe. For peace of mind, pick up the TechSafe Case ($80; griffintechnology.com), which connects to a steel cable that can be tethered to just about anything (like the heavy hotel desk, perhaps).
I’m addicted to my iPhone. There, I said it. I feel better. Now that that’s out of the way, I should also admit another addiction: I can’t get enough of cell phone accessories. It doesn’t matter if it’s something like a cool new case, or an addictive—and in many cases, mind-numbing—game that I’ve downloaded to waste time while busing back and forth between NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia, as I’m known to do. (Yes, I do consider an app a cell phone accessory, of sorts.) I just love anything that makes my already cool phone even cooler.
That being said, I want to share my latest favorite cell phone accessories:
I just picked up the XSories Mini Deluxe Tripod ($29.99; xsories.com), and am in love. It works with just about any smart phone by gripping it via a spring-operated clasp and is perfect if you, like me, use your phone as your primary camera while out and about. It’s small enough that it can fit in your bag, or even a back pocket. It's super lightweight, and you can even bend the legs for even more flexibility with positioning it. Couple it with the Photo Timer app (free; iOS) and you can make sure the whole gang gets in the shot.
PaidContent.org Welcome news from Nick Bilton: the FAA finally is revisiting the policy that keeps Kindles, iPads and the like turned off during takeoffs and landing.
The FAA told Bilton it will take a “fresh look” at whether some devices can be used safely and how a policy could be framed. Smartphones aren’t included in the review.
The current personal electronics rule dating back to 2006 (described in this FAA circular) canceled one that banned use of personal electronics and shifted responsibility completely to the operators.
It allows airlines to offer fliers the use of certain devices but only if the airline can prove each allowed device won’t interfere with the plane’s performance. As Bilton and the FAA point out, that hasn’t happened.
Why haven’t the airlines stepped up? To challenge the policy, each one has to test each device on each kind of plane it operates. (...)
Chances are, during your last getaway with the family, you shot a lot of video. Most likely it was taken using a smart phone, but it was probably never edited before it was shared. The recent explosion in video-sharing apps—which promise to do for short clips what picture-sharing apps like Instagram and Path did for still images—means there’s no longer any excuse. These apps let you shoot videos and customize them with a variety of filters to change the clips’ look and feel. Most important, they also allow for one-touch sharing to social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Innovator Gil Harel
Who He Is: Though he got his start working in the marketing department of Israel’s Isrotel hotel chain and at Expedia, the 39-year-old Cornell MBA now focuses on the restaurant and bar industry with his new website, Bitehunter.
His Big Idea: The Bitehunter site and its iPhone app scour more than 500 online sources including Gilt City, OpenTable, restaurant.com, and even Twitter to locate the best deals in any given area. It’s a Kayak-style approach for dining deals, which Harel acknowledges as inspiration for his food-focused search engine: “Historically, airlines adopt cutting-edge technology first, followed by hotels, then restaurants.” And as foodie deal services such as Groupon and BlackboardEats continue to proliferate, his simple aggregator is a welcome resource.
Photo courtesy of Hila Harel