Google+

Google Releases Their Google+ for iPad Update

As promised and long overdue, Google has just released their update to their Google+ iOS App with native iPad support (yay!). I rarely used Google+ on my iPad because I didn’t like the mobile browser experience or using the small iPhone sized App. Now I can experience most of Google+ in all its glory with a native iPad App. I say most, because like so many social networking Apps they lack features that the main website has (why is that?). However, with the new App you can browse your Circles, upload photos, make posts, tap to +1 something and manage Circle memberships. You can even do Google Hangouts complete with video and audio using your iPad 2 or higher. They also did a nice job with a sideways navigation in landscape mode.

Great, but room to improve

The App makes it really easy to add new content such as photos and posts, but not so easy to manage existing content. For example, I can get to my existing photos from my Profile page, but I can’t do anything with them but look at them and tag them. Want to delete one, move it to another album, etc. then you’re going to be going back to the website in your browser to do that stuff. I wish companies like Google and Facebook would learn that people want to be able to do EVERYTHING in a native App that the mobile website or main website allows (Delta Airlines are you listening?).

The Bottom Line

If you’re a Google+ user with an iPad there is absolutely no reason not to have this App. Download it immediately and you’ll have a much better Google+ experience than you ever had before on your iPad. Don’t forget to add me to your Circles!

iTunes

15 Must Have Summer Travel Apps

Compliments of iStockphoto.com

It’s summer and many of you will be hitting the road or the airways on your summer travel excursions. I figured it was time to update my “Must Have Travel Apps.” Realizing that some of you will travel by land, some by air and some internationally, I’ve divided the list up into those three categories.

Land/Sea Travel

Navigon USA

If you’re traveling by car whether you’re driving cross country or using a rental car at your destination, then you should check out my favorite Voice Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation App. Navigon continues to raise the bar by constantly adding cool new features.

iTunes

Expedia

This is definitely one of the best apps for finding and booking hotels for the area that you’re traveling to. Great interface on iPad and iPhone.

iTunes

AroundMe

AroundMe is a must have for finding restaurants, ATMs, supermarkets, bars, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. This geo based App has been one of my favorites for a long time.

iTunes

Taxi Magic

Getting a taxi while you’re at the airport or hotel is pretty easy. However, if you take one to a meeting or shopping center, it may not always be easy to get one for the return trip. Taxi Magic allows you to book taxis right in the App. If you’re in one of their covered areas you are booking right with the dispatch system and you can even schedule one in advance. Once the ride is over you can even pay with the app.

iTunes

Ship Mate

While this App isn’t the official Carnival Cruise App, it’s probably the next best thing. You can learn all about your ship, see a schedule of activities and even communicate with other cruisers.

iTunes

Air Travel

Flightrack Pro

Flighttrack Pro is the ultimate flight management App. You can enter flights manually or sync with your TripIt account. You get push notifications of gate changes, cancellations, delays, etc. This app has saved my butt on more than one occasion.

iTunes

TripIt

TripIt for iPad

TripIt (combined with a free account on tripit.com) is the one place that pulls my whole trip together. All of my confirmation numbers, hotel contact numbers, addresses, directions, etc. are there in one spot.

iTunes

Gate Guru

Gate Guru has really come along way since it was first introduced. This app lets you know what amenities the airport you’re in/close to has and more importantly what’s near your gate. Connections can be tight and with Gate Guru you can quickly figure out what’s near by and what’s not.

iTunes

World Clock

World Clock will not only help you keep your various time zones straight, but it will even help you when scheduling meetings (conference calls) across multiple time zones.

iTunes

Your Airline’s App

Most Major Airlines now have their own App. This means that you can usually check in for your flight and display your electronic boarding pass right in the App. Even though I’m not a frequent flyer on American Airlines, I think they have the best one. C’mon Delta, yours could be so much better!

American Airlines, Delta, United, Southwest Airlines

 

International Travel

 

XE Currency

If you’re traveling to a different country one of the 1st things you’re going to want to check is the current exchange rate. XE Currency is one of my favorite Apps for viewing multiple currencies and doing calculations all at once.

iTunes

Tipping Guide

Here in the US tipping is pretty standard. In some countries tipping isn’t required/expected and in others it’s at different rates. Tipping Guide covers many countries and lets you know what’s customary.

iTunes

Skype

International roaming can be outrageously expensive and not everyone has an iOS device to do FaceTime. Skype allows you to make Skype to Skype calls for free and you can even make low cost international call.

Skype for iPhone iTunes

Skype for iPadiTunes

 

Travisa Visa

Of course you need a valid passport when going from country to country, but do you need a Visa? The Travisa Visa App answers that question in great detail. It also lets you know what’s required to get one. It’s one of the most important travel apps I have.

iTunes

Google Translate

Traveling to another country typically means also dealing with different languages. As much as I wished I spoke the language of every country I visit, the sad reality is that i don’t. In most tourist areas it’s usually not a problem, but once you go off the grid the chances of someone speaking English drop significantly. I use Google Translate at times when I need to get a few words vocalized in the native tongue.

iTunes

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