A big week for stories about Apple competitors. There's a real rogues' gallery of names here from Google to Samsung from Microsoft to Amazon. And if you're a fan of the actor Christian Bale, then you're in for a treat. Meanwhile, it's not too early to start thinking about your summer vacation. All that and more beneath the fold.
In the shadow of the dearly departed Skyview Drive-In Theater, Santa Cruz's weekend flea market was another bit of my youth's paradise. Between all of the horrendous and delicious fried foods, and the empty promises of a vegetable chopper destined to make your life more convenient, the true prize would always lay between plastic, cardboard and twist-ties. Some would call them Hero Rangers, Adventure Turtles, or even Chopper Rats from Pluto, but despite their off-color paint jobs, they often could provide as much enjoyment as their copyrighted cousins. Knock-offs are what make budget-conscious world go round, and the iOS ecosystem is hardly different.
If you're a frequent traveler, you've likely discovered the popular FlightTrack or FlightTrack Pro apps by Mobiata. But if not, today is your lucky day, as the developer has introduced an all-new free version of FlightTrack for iOS and Android.
Has anybody been doing anything else on their iPhones besides playing Draw Something? I know I haven't. You wouldn't believe how many hours I've wasted playing co-workers, friends, and various Mac|Life readers on Draw Something this week. When I can finally peel away from Draw Something, I know I'll want to finally book hotels for that trip I'm taking this summer down to Southern California. Hotels.com's iPad app can help me out.
Frequent flyers love their iPhones, which make perfect travel companions thanks to a wide variety of apps to make life on the go less hostile. Now they’ll have one more reason to love Apple’s handset, with the arrival of SeatGuru and its more than 700 detailed seat recommendations.
Believe J.J. Cale, because he knows what he’s talking about: traveling light is the only way to fly. The next time you’re tempted to overpack, remember to take half as many clothes, twice as much money, and your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. An iOS device can replace paper maps, books, and travel guides; and the information you’ll find in apps and iBooks is more timely and relevant anyway. Obviously you won’t need CDs or a portable DVD player -- or pricey hotel or in-flight pay-per-view -- to stay entertained. And by posting photos or blog updates about your vacation online, you won’t even have to send postcards. To prepare you and your electronic travel buddy to hit the road, we found the best apps, gear, and know-how to keep you connected.
Remember those school reports you had to do in geography class, where you had to look up a bunch of data about local cities and towns? Probably not, because that's a lousy way to learn. Unfortunately, that's the WindowSeat experience too.
Part of every stereotypical tourist vacation is planning out itineraries, which generally can require a lot of time and research, and possibly cash spent on guidebooks to exotic locales. SpotWorld aims to take all -- or at least most -- of the hassle of planning expeditions by compiling all the information you need into a combo GPS, hotspot guide, encyclopedia, and light community networking app.
Ready for your summer holiday? Who isn’t? Researching, planning, and booking can, for many, be as much fun as the actual vacation itself. The anticipation, the build-up of excitement, and no opportunity yet for lost luggage, wet weather, or “gastric difficulty.” Regardless of careful planning, once you get there you may need new things to do, places to see, treasures to find. Turns out your iPhone or iPad can be your best travel companion, getting you into places and out of jams. Follow along and you’ll be well on your way to the best vacation ever.