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Posted on May 28, 2014 in Tips & Tutorials

9 great travel apps to make your vacation painless

9 great travel apps to make your vacation painless

Source: Cnet

No matter where you’re headed, these iOS and Android apps can help you get there and find things to do when you arrive.

Whether you’re dreaming of a getaway but need reservations, or just need help navigating your already-planned journey, the app stores are full of apps to give you a hand. The summer travel season is just getting started in the US, so we’ve rounded up some of the most useful travel apps, all of which are great for long vacations and short trips alike.

The first section is dedicated to apps that help you book reservations for flights and hotels, and the next group keeps you organized en route. The final collection has apps that will help you when you’re at your destination, and need help finding something to do or navigating an unfamiliar.


Research and reservations

These apps will help you book your travel reservations, including flights, hotels, and car rentals.

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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Hipmunk

Android and iOS, Free

Hipmunk is well known for its travel booking service, and it’s app is extremely easy to use to book flights and hotels. You can use it to find hotel deals near you, browse hotels by city, and search for flights.

What’s unique about the app is that, when hunting for flights, you can sort your search results with a filter called Agony. That means you’ll see itineraries with the least amount of layovers and hassle first, followed by longer trips that may be less expensive. You can also create fare alerts for a particular search and the app will let you know when there’s a deal on flights.

What’s great: The app has a clean design, which makes selecting flights easy.

What’s not: You can’t book your travel from the app, and you can’t set specific price alerts for flights or hotels.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Trivago

Android and iOS, Free

This simple app helps you find just the right hotel, in the right area. You type in the city where you want to stay, choose your dates, pick your room size, and then run a search. The app will show available hotels on a map, so you can see if that beachfront resort in Maui is actually next to the ocean.

You can filter your search results by price, rating, and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi or a pool. Four each hotel listed, you’ll see prices from the major booking companies, including Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, and Travelocity.

What’s great: Trivago’s helpful map make it really easy to find a hotel exactly where you want to stay.

What’s not: You can’t book a reservation in the app, and you can’t sort prices by the type of room.


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Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Kayak Pro

Android and iOS, 99 cents

Kayak Pro is an old standby for finding flights, but updates over the app’s long lifespan have added tons more to help you plan your vacation.

You can start with simply selecting your departure and destination locations, and Kayak will return results from several airlines so you can browse prices. But over on the left side of the screen (tablet), you can touch buttons to look for hotel reservations and rental cars, use a flight tracker, get price alerts for flights, and much more.

After several updates, Kayak has come a long way from just looking for flights, now giving you plenty of valuable travel information to plan your whole trip.

What’s great: Kayak still has the easiest interface for quickly checking flights across several airlines.

What’s not: While you can book through Kayak, it’s often better to go directly to an airline’s Web site to make sure you’re getting the best deal.


Getting you there

Now that your reservations are booked, this collection of apps can help you stay on top of your itinerary during your journey.

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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

TripIt

Android and iOS, Free

You’ve booked all of your reservations, but now you have several emails floating around your inbox with confirmation numbers, flight times, and other valuable information. TripIt exists to organize all of that information into an interactive itinerary that you can pull up on your phone during your trip, when you need it most. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, car rentals, and other travel companies to TripIt, which the service explains how to do when you sign up.

The app gets a lot of praise because it’s easy to use, and helps you keep tons of valuable information in one place. Not only can you see your flight and rental car reservations, but you can also save directions to your hotel in your itinerary.

What’s great: TripIt will create plans for you if you forward your confirmation emails into the service.

What’s not: You’ll need to pay $50 per year for TripIt Pro if you want flight alerts or seat upgrades.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

FlightTrack 5

Android and iOS, $4.99/£2.99

Five dollars seems steep for an app that, at the most basic level, gives you the same information about your flights that Google Now can, but FlightTrack 5 is worth it for frequent flyers because it gives you tons of information about your flight. Of the other flight-tracking apps we looked at, few had as much detail as FlightTrack 5.

In the app, you can search for your own booked flights and create complete trips with your itinerary. Then, you’ll get up-to-the-minute information about your flights’ departure times, gate assignments, delays, and weather conditions for the airport you’re flying out of and your destination. You can even see your plane in the sky, moving in real time on a map, and check out its speed and altitude.

The app is also helpful for anyone picking someone up at the airport because they can see the plane’s location on a map and get current arrival times.

What’s great: You can see constantly updated arrival times and delays for any flight, and even track a plane’s progress in the sky.

What’s not: The $5 price tag is too high for infrequent flyers, and the app no longer syncs with TripIt.


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Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Just Landed

iOS-only, $1.99

Just Landed is not exactly an app for the traveler, but instead uses GPS location and current flight schedules to help someone choose the exact time to pick you up at the airport. So rather than for yourself, you might suggest this app to a friend or family member at the destination.

Just Landed sports a well-designed, minimalist interface with only the tools you need for picking up a person at the airport. The way the app works is, once you have your friend’s flight information, you can enter the flight number into the app to get the latest info about the flight on travel day, including whether the flight was delayed or will arrive early. From there, you can simply go about your day until the app notifies you when it’s time to leave for the airport in time to pick your friend up.

Just Landed uses your GPS location and traffic data to show you the best route to the airport and figures out how long it will take you to get there. The app takes these factors into account when determining when to notify you, so all you need to do is hit the road and pick up your friend.

What’s great: The app tracks local traffic and notifies you of the best time to leave along with the fastest route to the airport.

What’s not: You can only track one flight at a time, so if you’re in charge of picking several people up, it’s not as useful.


Once you get there

You’ve finally arrived at your destination, now use these three apps to navigate your surroundings.

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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Google Translate

Android and iOS, Free

If you’re in a foreign country and are struggling with the language, Google Translate is one of our top picks to help you. The app helps translate 80 languages, and you don’t even need to be online to do it.

You can type or speak a phrase that you need translated, and the app will say the translated words back to you. The most exciting feature allows you to snap a photo of text you want translated, and then use your finger to highlight text on the screen that you need deciphered.

What’s great: You can translate text offline, when you don’t have an Internet connection.

What’s not: You’ll need to download large language packs before you go offline, otherwise the offline translate will not work.


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Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Foursquare

Android and iOS, Free

I picked this popular discovery app over Yelp because Foursquare is especially adept at helping you find things you might want to see close to you, such as monuments, museums, and parks, as well as helping you find a place to eat and shop. You won’t find lengthy reviews in the app, but the tips that other Foursquare members leave are much easier to peruse on the go.

You can use the app to plan your trip before you go, by entering your location and browsing categories such as Arts & Entertainment and Nightlife. Or, you can fire up the app when you’re on the ground at your destination to see what’s hot close by.

What’s great: Foursquare’s large databases of places to see means you’ll likely find what you’re looking for in most corners of the world.

What’s not: The short tips members leave don’t always provide a lot of information.


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Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

LocalScope

iOS only, $2.99/£1.99

LocalScope is a little different from the rest in this section; it’s a social data-powered GPS app that culls info from several popular social networks to bring you information about what is near your current location.

What makes LocalScope a neat way to find stuff around you is the enormous number of social networks and reference sites you can browse through for more info. Say you’re visiting Seattle, but don’t know where to go. When you search for “seafood” in Localscope, the app searches several different social networks, Yelp, Foursquare, and tons of other sites, then returns results in a list. Now, you can start with Google results, check out Yelp reviews, and even see pictures of dishes from users on Flickr and Picasa. Even YouTube has a spot on the list, showing you videos that were shot near your location.

LocalScope is both useful for finding things, and interesting for the sights you can discover. If you want a unique way to find out about what’s around you, this app is a great choice.

What’s great: You’ll often make accidental discoveries by seeing what other people have posted to various sites.

What’s not: How much info you get on a location depends on the number of people posting about it, so more remote areas will not have as many results.

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Posted on May 27, 2014 in Gadgets, Noticias / News

Nuevo LG G3

Nuevo LG G3

El nuevo teléfono no tiene nada que envidiarle a celulares como el Samsung Galaxy S5 o el HTC One M8, ya que cuenta con unas de las mejores especificaciones del mercado, incluyendo una pantalla con una resolución de 2560×1440, cuatro veces la resolución de las pantallas HD 720p, un procesador Snapdragon 801 de cuatro núcleos de 2.5GHz, 2GB de RAM (hasta 3GB), 16GB (o 32GB) de almacenamiento, soporte para las redes 4G LTE y la última versión deAndroid, 4.4.2 KitKat.

El LG G3 cuenta con un elegante diseño y bajo su cubierta trasera una ranura microSD para expandir su almacenamiento.

 

No cabe duda que una de las principales novedades del LG G3 es su pantalla que tiene mayor resolución que el Galaxy S5, el HTC One M8 o el Sony Xperia Z2, pero otra gran novedad es que cuenta con enfoque automático con láser le permite al G3 medir la distancia entre su cámara de 13 megapixeles y el objeto para enfocar la imagen más rápidamente.

 

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Crédito: LG

 

 

Por otra parte, LG presenta el rumorado nuevo asistente virtual que le permite llevar a otro nivel las funciones que  ofrece Google Now. Llamado Smart Notice, el nuevo asistente virtual analiza tu comportamiento y tu historial para poderte ayudar a facilitar el uso de algunas de sus funcionalidades. Por ejemplo, si tienes una llamada perdida te lo estará recordando, sugiriéndote que llames a la persona. Igualmente, te podrá recordar que te conectes a la red Wi-Fi de tu trabajo o hasta te recomendará cargar una sombrilla cuando hayan posibilidades de lluvia.

Igual que su predecesor, el LG G3 mantiene sus botones de encendido y volumen en la parte trasera del celular.

El LG G3 saldrá primero a la venta en Corea del Sur el 28 de mayo para luego expandirse por diferentes partes del mundo en las próximas semanas. La empresa no anunció el precio oficial, pero se espera que tenga un costo de cerca de US$199 en contrato en EE.UU.

Source: Cnet

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Posted on May 23, 2014 in Tips & Tutorials

The Best Cloud Storage Solutions

The Best Cloud Storage Solutions

Source: PC Mag

Having your data stored offsite in the cloud makes it accessible from anywhere without the hassle of maintaining your own local storage and file-serving systems. It makes all the difference in a disaster, too.

The ability to back up files, store them in the cloud, and automatically sync all that data across multiple devices has radically changed the way we use computers, mobile phones, and other Internet-connected devices. That data could comprise home movies, your personal music collections, or work files that you and a colleague are collaboratively editing together. No matter what you put into a cloud storage and syncing solution, the benefit of being able to access it nearly anywhere is phenomenal.

If you don’t have a service for storing and syncing your data in the cloud, you need one. You might even need more than one.

Many of the best solutions do something specific, like handle photos exceptionally well and make them easier to share with your friends. The services you choose should be right for the job that needs doing. There isn’t one magic bullet that fills all needs. That’s not a bad thing. Using multiple services allows you to compartmentalize your data, which in turn may let you take advantage of the free space allotments most services offer. Separate your music from your photos from your office files, and each set might weigh in under the free account limit with three different services.

Sometimes, however, it’s worth paying for a service. Perks often include increased access to file-version history, more security, or more features for collaboration and working with teams.

Not every service on this list doubles as a file-syncing service, but many do. File-syncing has become an integral part of online backup. For tips on how to use a file-syncing service and deeper explanation of how some people use them, see Get Organized: File Syncing Services to the Rescue.

Different services can offer vastly different features and perks, and many of them are not directly comparable. If you want the utmost in comparisons, take a look at the insane chart of cloud backup services on Wikipedia.

Here are the best online cloud storage solutions, in alphabetical order.


Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive is online storage pure and simple. It’s one of the services you’ll want to use if you have a Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD$169.00 at Amazon or other Amazon ereader. It includes 5GB of space for free.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS, Kindle

Amazon Cloud Player

Amazon Cloud Player is designed for music, and it offers desktop app, Web app, as well as mobile apps to make your music and playlists available anywhere. Similar to iTunes, it has a store where you can buy digital music files. Amazon also offers to automatically add music you’ve purchased through Amazon in the past, even if you bought it on disc.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS, Kindle


Apple iCloud
 
Most Apple users have iCloud, whether they realize all its capabilities or not. The cloud storage system dutifully backs up your Mac and iOS devices, and can synchronize a lot of data between them, up to 5GB for free. However, don’t mistake it for a true file-syncing service. It’s very “app”-centric and prevents you from uploading certain file types.
Available on: Mac, Web, iOS

Apple iTunes Match
For $24.99 a year, iTunes Match will store up to 25,000 songs for you, not including any songs or albums you’ve purchased through iTunes, which are free. The music-specific service either matches or checks your music against Apple’s own huge stored library of over 20 million tunes. If there’s a match, there’s no need to upload from your computer to the cloud. You’ll essentially get a license to get the song from the cloud any time you want. If Apple’s copy is of a higher fidelity than yours, you’ll get that better version in the bargain.
Available on: Windows and Mac (within iTunes), iOS

 

Bitcasa

Bitcasa promises to back up an infinite amount of data to the cloud for $99 per month—or you can stick with the 10GB of space that you can get with a free account. Free account holders can earn more space, up to 20GB, but they can only sync three devices.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Firefox

Box (Personal)

One of the first names in cloud storage and file-syncing, Box will make your files available to you across multiple computers and mobile devices and provide 5GB of free space. While it offers a lot of features for collaboration, its free version doesn’t quite measure up to Google Drive.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS, BlackBerry

CertainSafe

CertainSafe’s encrypted cloud storage is extremely secure, but it is positioned more for the business environment than for home. Nevertheless, you can sign up for $8.77 per month per user and get 5GB storage that you can share with other users. The site is so secure, it’s HIPPA-compliant.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, Android, iOS

 

Cubby

Cubby, made by remote-access software company LogMeIn, adds a twist that makes storage limits a moot point: its DirectSync feature lets you sync among your own separate computers without taking up space on Cubby’s servers. In other words, it has direct peer-to-peer syncing. The service gives you 5GB of online storage free. Cubby specializes in offering a middle ground between simplicity and powerful features. “Your digital happy place,” is its motto.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS

CX

Little-known CX is a worthy cloud-based syncing tool that unfortunately no longer offers a free version. Paid personal plans start at $9.99 a year, although the service is more positioned for business and collaboration than personal-solo use.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS

 

Dropbox
 
Dropbox, alongside Box, made file-syncing a household term. Dropbox remains a superbly implemented, cloud-based, automatic, file-synchronization service that’s ideal for accessing and sharing data from nearly anywhere. You only get 2GB free to start, but you can earn more space through referrals and other tasks.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, Android, iOS,BlackBerry, Kindle Fire

 

Google Drive
 
Google Drive’s real strength lies in what it brought over from Google Docs: real-time online file collaboration through Web apps. Now in its mature form as Google Drive, the service also has a downloadable app for local file-syncing. Another perk is that files you create in Google Drive, as opposed to those you upload, don’t count toward your already-generous, free 15GB storage allotment. For collaborative projects, it’s one sweet package.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Chrome, Android, iOS

 

IDrive

IDrive offers generous storage plans, fast syncing, and a powerful Web interface. One special feature is its ability to easily back up photos and videos from your Facebook account. IDrive also archives files, rather than deleting them, until you hit a specific cleanup button that tells the service to wipe out the old files that you’ve also deleted from your computers. You get 5GB for free, with the ability to earn a little more.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone (some support for Linux/Unix server)

 

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft’s OneDrive, formerly called SkyDrive, has been quietly hosting people’s documents and photos for years. And all the while Microsoft has been honing the service. You’ll get 7GB just for signing up, plus the ability to earn more free space through actions and referrals. The company has made OneDrive a cornerstone ofWindows 8, so users of that platform may find it one of the most convenient services.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows Tablet, Xbox

 

MiMedia

MiMedia, which also provides 7GB of free space, offers hands-off, automated backup, the ability to play media files online, and a cloud-based disk drive. While it does have the ability to store files, its sweet spot is multimedia, as the name suggests. If you want anywhere-access to your digital media, you could do a lot worse than the reasonably priced (100GB for $49 per year) and well-designed MiMedia.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS

 

Mozy

Mozy’s personal-use cloud-based backup service, called MozyHome, gives you 50GB of space for $5.99 per month, although that only includes support for one computer. Adding more machines will cost a little more. The service includes online hosting of data, file syncing, and storage of all your file version history for 30 days.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

 

SafeSync for Home

Security company Trend Micro has a file-syncing service for home use: SafeSync for Home, which puts privacy and security first, and as a result does not offer a free plan. For $29.95 per year, you get 20GB of space, and a number of great sharing features that factor security into the equation. The interface isn’t sexy, but the service is very reliable.
Available on: Windows, Mac, Web, Android, iOS

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