App Reviews

“Ultimate Road Trips” – There’s An App For That!

App Reviews

Following in the tire treads of last Friday’s “A Trio of Road Apps” story, today’s focus is on what the developer, Budget Travel, hopes you’ll find to be the ultimate road trip app, aptly named “Ultimate Road Trips” (free for Apple and Android mobile devices). The app’s description on iTunes claims that it is “an […]

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A Trio of Road Trip Apps

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It’s mid-summer and many Americans are just starting to load up the family car and hit the road. But what’s the best way to find places to stay, eat, and have fun at, and put them altogether in a road trip plan? Well, you could buy printed guidebooks, consult online sources of information, and type […]

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Taking “Tales To Go” on the Road

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For over twenty years, Travelers’ Tales has been publishing anthologies of travel narratives filled with pathos and humor. Co-founder Larry Habegger is a perennial member of the faculty of the prestigious Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference held each August in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company’s Website says that it “…has more […]

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Making Mapping Apps Even Better

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Smartphone and tablet mapping apps, such as Google Maps and MapQuest, are among those that I have found most useful when traveling away from home, in part because they are apps that I often use to find my way around the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. So when I saw that both of […]

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Travels with “Flat Stanley”

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Last week while in the Monterey area I paid a visit to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, a museum which honors one of America’s greatest writers, John Steinbeck. In 1960, Steinbeck set off with his standard poodle, “Charley,” on a journey around the U.S. in a camper truck named “Rocinante” (after Don Quixote’s […]

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Staying in Touch with the “WhatsApp” App

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I’m a tech kind guy, but not really a text kind of guy. Meaning, yeah, I’ll send someone a text message from my iPhone once or twice every Blue Moon, but not 14,172 times a day, like some people. So I don’t have a texting plan with my mobile phone carrier. I just pay-as-I-go for […]

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There’ an App for That: But Don’t Get It!

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There are now over one million apps each for Apple and Android mobile devices. So if you wonder “Is there an app for that?,” the answer is likely to be “Yes,” or even “Lots, and lots.” Supposedly you can store over 40,000 apps on an iPhone running the latest operating system, iOS7. But how could […]

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Taking the “Paper” or “Flipboarding” When Traveling

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Keeping up with the news while you’re traveling can be a challenge. Perhaps your hotel will leave a copy of USA Today or a local newspaper outside of your room each morning. Or maybe you can buy a copy at a newsstand or store. If you are toting a laptop with you, you can access […]

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Taking and Editing Photos with the “Fotor” App

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How may photography-related apps exist for computers and mobile devices? Beats me. But there are probably tens of thousands out of the million-plus apps that have been developed for Apple and Android gadgets alone. Recently the developer of the free “Fotor Photo Editor” app asked me to test and review it. It works on the […]

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“TalkTo” Businesses When You Travel

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The “TalkTo” mobile app (free for Apple iOS devices and for Android mobile devices) is designed to allow you to quickly get answers from nearby businesses without phoning them. “TalkTo” seemed like an ideal app to use when traveling to an place that I wasn’t familiar with, but before going on a long “road trip” […]

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Use “Tech” to Plan Valentine’s Day Dinner and a Movie

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Uh-oh. It’s Valentines Day and you’ve forgotten to plan an evening out with your special someone. Not to worry. Technology can help you set up a dinner and movie night out. Republish This Article

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Trip Planning with the Nativoo App

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Nativoo (free app for iPhone/iPad) is the latest entrant I’ve discovered in the never-ending quest to invent a technology that will plan an entire trip for you. The idea is that you select options from various menus, and the Website (or in this case, the smartphone/tablet app) books your room and plans your sightseeing activities. […]

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Travel Photo Thursday: Visual Storytelling

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Ever since Kodak introduced the “Brownie” camera back in 1900, rank amateurs have been able to create photographic souvenirs of their travels. My family had one of these popular film cameras, and I still have an album filled with photos taken with it or similar, easy-to-use models. But while taking photos was simple, sharing them […]

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Putting a “Spin” on Vacation Travel

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Way back in the last century we were promised video phone calling. (Docklandsboy Flickr Photo) But it wasn’t until the 21st century when Internet bandwidth increased enough and cellular data networks became robust enough to fulfill that promise. First there was (and still is) Skype, free one-to-one video calling using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) […]

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Instagram Direct: Big Deal or Not?

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Instagram, the popular smartphone app that has allowed millions of people to share photos of their cats or restaurant meals with other Instagram users, or post them on Facebook or Twitter, added video capability six months ago. Now Instagram offers a “private messaging” feature called “Instagram Direct” that lets users share photos and videos with […]

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Movie Making with the Voyzee App

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In the past, I’ve reviewed several iPhone and iPad movie making apps, including iMovie, Ptch and Vine. And later I checked out addition of video to the popular Instagram photo sharing app. I’ve just tried out an app called “Voyzee” (available for Android devices, too) which lets you combine stills and video, along with music […]

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Apple’s iOS7: For Better or Worse

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When Apple rolled out the new operating system (iOS7) for its mobile devices last month, I questioned whether Apple’s plan to make everything “look and work differently” on iPhones and iPads was going to make life better or worse for users of those gadgets. At that time I planned to put off updating from iOS6, […]

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“Must Have” Travel Apps

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(On Monday, I was a panelist on a program hosted by cellular carrier Sprint for the travel and technology media entitled “Travel to 2014: Apps & Smart Devices for Next Year’s Travelers.” The other panelists were Chris Brydon, Northern California Area Director for Sprint, Jared Simon, co-founder and COO of HotelTonight, and Ori Zaltzman, co-founder […]

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TripShare App: A Great Idea that Doesn’t Pan Out

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A year ago in “The Holy Grail: Online Trip Planning,” I defined it as: “A trip planning Website that suggests where to go, where to stay, where to eat, what to do, how to get there, and then books everything for me while consuming just a few minutes of my time.” Back then I “road […]

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Getting Around with the New Google Maps App

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Your smartphone knows where it’s at. Hopefully, you’re at the same place. The phone’s position-finding ability means it’s capable of directing you to any place you want to go, as long as you (or someone else) can accurately tell it “where to go.” Last fall, at least some iPhone and iPad users who updated their […]

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“How to Get to and Around Airports” Apps

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About three years ago, in a story entitled “Travel Tech: Where It’s At, At The Airport,” I reviewed these three smartphone apps designed to help travelers locate important airport services like banking/ATMs, restaurants and shops, and ground transportation: Gate Guru FlySmart PointInside Here’s the bottom-line analysis of those apps which I made back then: The […]

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Find your “Muze” with This Photo Sharing App

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“Muzio” (Free, Apple iTunes App Store) is one of the latest entries into the photo sharing mobile app game. The app lets you put an annotated montage of still photos, videos, audio clips into an album called a  “Muze,”  which you can then share via e-mail, or post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and your Google+ […]

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