Gadgets and Apps – Welcome to the Future of Travel

Travel’s facelift for the 21st century has been radical and far-reaching. Skype and wifi have replaced the ritual of calling home by feeding endless foreign coins into a phone box, updating your Facebook status is the new postcard, and travellers are increasingly likely to use ‘augmented reality’ rather than have a guidebook tucked under their arm.

If anything, the pace of change continues to quicken – exciting, sometimes mind-boggling innovations are appearing all the time, meaning how we interact with places and people keeps on evolving. Below are some of our favourite gizmos and gadgets.

iLingual

A phrasebook like no other – download the iLingual app, take a photo of your mouth, the app then has over 400 phrases your mouth can ‘say’. Cue the odd sight of travellers holding their iphones in front of their actual mouths as the screen ‘talks’. Watch a video for this app – a demo is better than any written explanation. Only a few languages on offer at the moment, but it can’t be long until iPhone-bearded travellers are pow-wowing in Swahili on the Serengeti savannah.

Word Lens

Very Star Trek this one, another app for those struggling with mastering a foreign language. Word Lens only currently translates English-Spanish, but it’s a neat idea and could be genuinely useful. All you need to do is aim your iPhone camera at some printed text and Word Lens translates it in realtime. You need never struggle over a foreign language newspaper again (or at least not a Spanish language one).

Google goggles

Google goggles may just be the biggest game-changer of all. It’s still in its infancy, but the image recognition software is looking a pretty awesome and versatile travel tool. Here’s how it works: you’re strolling around a city, or a museum or gallery, you take a snap of something you want to know more about it, if Google recognises the subject of the image it will bring up search results. Cue instant expertise and a handy tool for appearing knowledgeable about, well, everything – from sourcing well-reviewed restaurants to enabling you to wax expertly on, say, pre-Incan Peruvian art. In other words, this may be the ultimate dating tool.

World Customs

We always give people who travel with us with plenty of tips and guidance about local cultures and etiquette in foreign countries, so this app is right up our street. Pick your country and then you’ll be presented with a load of helpful info on the destination – from law & order to religious etiquette to taboos. Great for sorting out your do’s from your don’ts.

And a couple of lower-tech gadgets we like…

Solar-powered LED light and water bottle cap

This one looks genuinely good doesn’t it? Mixing water and electricity perhaps isn’t intuitively clever, but the sealing means you’ve got nothing to worry about, and the light is supposed to be decent enough for a tent lantern. The idea of a solar-powered torch may lead cynics to snipe about artificial light being a little redundant if the sun is beating down, but ignore them – this has a good charge, is cheap, light and saves space, and is environmentally intelligent.

The daddy of all Swiss Army Knives

A supercharged multi-tool that looks like it’s on steroids. 87 tools on offer, including – at last! – a golf shoe spike wrench. All that’s missing is a flux capacitor. This one kilo treat fits snugly into your pocket, providing your pocket is 30cm long. A snip at nearly $1000AUD, plus postage, which presumably bumps the final price tag up a bit, not least because the instruction manual must run to a couple hundred pages.

Accessories and Apps For the iPad

There is strong speculation that Apple will launch its iPad in late March this year. A lot of people who are loyal customers of Apple are looking forward to the release of the new iPad. Its launch is still few weeks away, however, it is a hot topic amongst the gadget lovers. People are discussing the possibilities of applications and accessories for this new gizmo. Apple is so popular with the current generation that youngsters across the globe are eagerly waiting for this new Apple product called iPad.

Earlier also, with its products, Apple has given a new meaning to applications and accessories market. With the launch of this product this market will only flourish more. This will be the biggest launch for Apple in last three years. This new product is said to have a 10 inch display screen and is talked about as a hybrid between a smart phone and a laptop. Due to a service sharing device between iPod and this new launch of Apple, almost all of the 1, 40,000 applications of iPod will be found in this one. These applications will include social networking applications, games and many more. People who will use this new product will be able to create presentations, word processing documents, spreadsheets etc on it. Apart from numerous applications, one can also look forward to amazing accessories which can be used with this new product to be launched by Apple.

The first accessory which will add more value to the iPad is its keyboard dock. It is said to be combined with a dock to charge your device with full size keyboard. This dock can be connected to an electrical outlet using a USB Power Adapter to further use accessories like camera connection kit. This is made possible due to the unique 30-pin connector in the dock. An audio jack can also facilitate stereo and speakers facility. This one accessory in itself will open many doors of entertainment for iPad users. Apart from this, there is a requirement of a case to ensure that this amazing device is safe. For this purpose there is a separate case made for it. This case comes in such a shape and design that it serves the purpose of a case in addition to the fact that it can be used in different positions as well. These possibilities of positions will help the iPad users to watch movies, pictures etc in a comfortable angle.

Other accessories available with this product are iPad dock which is a stand charger to charge it. Then we also have camera connecting kit which will enable the users to import and export pictures and videos. With so many accessories to start with, this product will definitely win the hearts of its users. To add to the delight of its prospective users, there is a 10W USB Power adapter. This adapter will enable users to charge their iPad from any electrical outlet. The cable for this adapter is 6 foot long, hence giving an opportunity to use electrical outlets at distance as well.

The Best of Google’s Apps and Games – 2014

The results are out. Google announced the best of its Apps and Games for the year 2014 recently. The list seems to be somewhat similar to the ‘best of 2014’ list released by Apple earlier this month. Coming to the games, Candy Crush continues to be the most sought after games. It was the most downloaded game of the year. The tech giant has put apps into a number of categories. The categories include mobile photography, education, social, health and fitness etc. As per the list released by Google, ‘Health and Fitness’ is growing real fast in the apps category as a result of which, the developers are speeding up the process of making the apps compatible with Google’s Android Wear line of smart watches.

What’s the most downloaded?

The most downloaded Google apps by category are Duolingo in the education category, MyFitnessPal in the health and fitness category, Pandora in the music category, Flipagram in the photography category, Facebook in the social category, Netflix in the entertainment category, NFL Mobile in the sports category and TripAdvisor in the travel category, Health and Fitness falls into the year’s fastest growing app category.

The most downloaded Google games are ‘Candy Crush Saga’, Don’t Tap the White Tile’, ‘Farm Heroes Saga’, ‘Subway Surfers’ and ‘Clash of Clans’. In the Achievements category, Google play games users unlocked 3.5 billion achievements in this year.

Google has good news for all the Android users. The Android users can now find the top-rated apps of the year on the Google Play Store. The Google Play has a section called ‘The Best Apps of 2014’. This section features a total of 64 apps that include popular apps like Shazam, Uber, TuneIn Radio, Skype Qik, Group Video Chat and Secret. However, only a few apps among these 64 apps can be downloaded free of cost. Some of the paid apps are Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords, Facetune, Afterlight, Amazing World Atlas, 7 Minute Workout Challenge, djay2 and Over.

Compared to last year, the number of Google games that have been downloaded has exceeded the number of Google apps that were downloaded by about sixty percent as per the q3 results in 2014. The popularity of Google games has contributed to a good growth in revenues in the third quarter of the year 2014. Looking at the popularity of the games and apps, it is expected that Google would very soon announce few more Android apps and games that would be compatible with Chrome OS. It is easy to hire an iPhone developer or an Android developer today and making useful and quality applications are so much easier today.

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