Technology - Mobile
It’s been a big week for tech news, but for this foodie, no announcement was more exciting than OpenTable’s $10 million acquisition of Foodspotting. For starters, the dish-sharing app will bring new, visual content to the reservation titan’s portfolio of listings. But over time, we can expect the partnership to yield unprecedented search tools to help us find (and enjoy) our next great meal.
Officially, the deal isn’t yet written in stone, but OpenTable users will already see some changes. In advance of Tuesday’s announcement, OpenTable began rolling out preliminary features, such as incorporating user-generated photos from Foodspotting onto restaurant listings. Eventually, most restaurants on OpenTable will have a visual menu, documented with snapshots from Foodspotting users. And from a social standpoint, the partnership will allow you to canvass your Facebook friends for their favorite dishes at the restaurants you’re scheduled to visit.
Much ink has already been spilled on the relative pros and cons of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that powers the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10, announced Wednesday in New York, but what does this latest update in the super-competitive and ever-evolving smartphone space mean for travelers? Here’s a peek at our favorite features.
BlackBerry Balance: Taking advantage of BlackBerry’s work-friendly DNA, this feature lets you toggle between “Work” and “Personal” modes, so that you don’t have to worry about getting disturbing emails from the office while relaxing on a stunning Caribbean beach (both the Z10 and the Q10 are world-compatible for roaming, regardless of carrier).
BlackBerry Peek: Say a message comes in for you while you’re streaming a movie—just swipe from left to right and you’ll get split-screen preview of the message while your movie continues to play. In other words, you don’t need to turn off your in-terminal entertainment just to see if that email contains a Delta upgrade.
With each new year comes new places to go and new ways to travel. Rising destinations, cutting-edge apps, and travel industry trends will surely make headlines in 2013. To predict what we'll all be buzzing about, Travel + Leisure has enlisted a panel of experts, who will offer their insight on topics ranging from the splashiest hotel openings and buzziest emerging destinations to the most essential new tech tools. And you're invited to listen in.
The tweet-up will take place TODAY, Wednesday, January 23, from 2–3 p.m. EDT.
Amy Farley, Travel + Leisure news editor (@afarles)
Peter Frank, Travel + Leisure director of editorial product development (@pfrank1)
Barbara Delollis, hotel blogger for USA Today (@barbdelollis)
Jason Clampet, co-founder and head of content at Skift.com (@jasonclampet)
Stacey Small, president and founder of Elite Travel International (@EliteTravelGal)
Jared Simon, COO and co-founder of HotelTonight (@HotelTonight)
Henry Harteveldt, airline, hotel, and travel industry analyst at Hudson Crossing (@hharteveldt)
Over 3,000 exhibitors and 1.85 million square feet of eye-popping innovations later, annual gadget industry gala the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has finally wrapped in Las Vegas, leaving frequent travelers surprised in more ways than one.
An evolutionary, not revolutionary, year for technology, key revelations nonetheless spanned the entire spectrum, including the weird (hooray, Internet-enabled forks), wild (see: self-driving cars), and wacky (enter the robotic spider walkers). Happily, a few—i.e. smartphones and tablets with PC-grade power, Android-powered cameras, and remote home security system—may even make sense to the lay viewer. Big trends in 2013: Smart—a.k.a. online-enabled—everything, mass interconnectivity between gizmos, and growing set-top performance from pocket-sized devices, courtesy of performance-obsessed chipmakers like AMD and Qualcomm.
Related: Best Travel Gadgets
Too busy sprinting between connections to enjoy scene-stealers including 110-inch 4K or OLED (read: ultra-crisp, high-def) televisions and table-sized touchscreens, however? No sweat. Try one of these pocket rockets—among the year's top travel gadgets, and each destined to find a welcome home inside any purse or carry-on—instead. So what if they lack the sheer stopping power of living picture windows the size of billboards? All are infinitely easier to cram in an overhead bin, and infinitely more practical in-flight companion.
More than 110,000 visitors attended the Spring 2012 exhibition "Doisneau, Paris les Halles," a collection of photographs that portray the city’s demolished wholesale food market at the Hotel de Ville. The exhibition was timely: the old structures are being torn down. But if you missed the show—or were discouraged by the lines and the weather—it’s not too late to capture an enhanced digital experience. Now, you can download the free iPad application, which includes photographs, interviews, and special reports.
Paris-based Tina Isaac is a contributor to TravelandLeisure.com.
Photo courtesy of Doisneau Paris les Halles
In this digital age, it seems that we’re constantly hearing someone say “there’s an app for that.” Well, if you’ve always wanted to be in New York’s Times Square for New Year’s Eve, but never wanted to deal with the crowds, T+L can help…There’s an app for that!
The 2013 Times Square Ball App offers the chance to have your face flash on the big screens of Times Square during its iconic December 31st celebrations. Submit your New Year’s Eve photos to the app, and whichever images receive the most “likes” will appear on the Toshiba Vision sign - located at the center of attention underneath the famous crystal ball.
On top of the photo contest, the app also lets you stream a commercial-free webcast of the Times Square festivities on your phone or tablet. Hosted by TV and radio personality Allison Hagendorf (host of "The Next" on the CW), the show will cover all of the musical acts, celebrity appearances, and of course, the midnight countdown and Ball Drop.
To download the free app, available on Android and Apple mobile devices, visit timessquareball.net.
Peter Schlesinger is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Toshiba
In celebration of the world not ending today*, I decided to start a new blog series highlighting the top social media travel news of the week, for anyone that may have missed the headlines. In the news big this week? Privacy policies.
Listen up, last-minute travelers: our favorite last-minute booking tool has gone international. As of last week, you can use Hotel Tonight (free on iPhone and Android) to make same-day room reservations in cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Acapulco, in addition to the app's growing list of domestic destinations. Better yet, Hotel Tonight has simultaneously added a Gift Credits program—a digital gift card of sorts that you can share with friends—perfect for those perpetually delayed travelers who constantly find themselves on cancelled flights (we know a few of these folks, ourselves).
Among today's deals, we're excited about Edinburgh's sleek Dakota Hotel ($108 tonight) and the posh Boscolo Exedra in Nice ($155 tonight), both bargains that are tough to pass up. Of course, last-minute international airfares can put a wrench in your spontaneous plans, so don't jump the gun before getting a full picture.
For more of our favorite apps and websites, check out T+L's recent roundup of the web's best.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Tonight
Were you one of the countless iPhone users that felt like hitting your head against a wall after updating your phone to iOS6 and subsequently coming face-to-face with the horror that was/is Apple Maps? While the upgrade was welcome in other aspects of the phone, the map feature was universally declared a mapocalypse by the entire tech community. A handful of major landmarks went missing; public transportation stops were nowhere to be found; and if you wanted navigation help on a city’s subway or bus system, forget about it. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the major blunder, so you know it was bad.
But now iOS users can rejoice. As of Wednesday evening, Google Maps made its way back onto iPhones via a new, free app. The minute I saw the story posted on my Facebook newsfeed, I reached for my phone and pulled up the App Store. It was as though the clouds parted and angels sang to me. (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I was pretty darn excited.) What are the new features you can expect to see (and love)? Hint: these maps far supersede their former iOS iteration.
We love Day 1 of the annual PhoCusWright conference—the Travel Innovation Summit. A full 30 companies present; some are startups, some are existing companies introducing new products; four judges then give feedback (which ranges from encouraging to blistering). The day offers a snapshot of where we are in the evolution of travel technology.