A pair of mathematicians have crunched the numbers to come up with what they believe is the quickest way to beat jetlag.
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A pair of mathematicians have crunched the numbers to come up with what they believe is the quickest way to beat jetlag.
Tourism Australia 's insight:
There's an app for everything these days - even for long-haul travellers struggling with jet lag.
There seems to an app for just about every aspect of our personal life. Now, more and more businesses are looking at creating mobile apps for employees and customers alike.
Smartphones and tablets are completely changing the way that people run their lives. There seems to an app for just about every aspect of our personal life. Now, more and more businesses are looking at creating mobile apps for employees and customers alike.
But developing software for today's distributed enterprises is not a simple task. Developers must often work with multiple technologies, highly distributed environments and computing networks often built on a hybrid infrastructure combing legacy systems with newer ones. Add the pressure to develop applications for the growing range of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices and you can understand how many may balk at the idea.
For those aiming to develop a mobile app that will make employees more productive or customers more informed, there are some common mistakes that developers often make. Issues such as security and real-time monitoring are ones that are uniquely enterprise and need to be addressed as such.
To help avoid these, here are some do's and don'ts:
1. Think about the user experience
Regardless of whether it's a tablet or a smartphone, mobile devices are fundamentally different from desktop and laptop computers. As such, it's imperative that you don't try to simply port an existing desktop application over to mobile.
Mobile devices have a different form factor (and screen size) and usually have less processing resources as well as very different input mechanisms. Trying to simply copy the interface as a one-to-one will make for an app that is unintuitive and hard to manage.
In the same way as many websites have developed a separate version optimised for mobile, your app needs to be designed with the user experience at its core.
2. Incorporate the sensors and form factor
It's worth remembering that most of today's mobile devices have 3G or LTE, a camera, GPS, accelerometers, Bluetooth and WiFi (and some also include near field communication sensors too).
Make the most of these sensors. From basic features like reorienting the display if the device is tilted, through to allowing users to snap a picture and upload it straight into the system or get real-time updates based on location.
3. Mesh services with a business context
Just as mobile devices place a wide array of sensors at your disposal, so too are there a lot of third party applications that can easily be integrated into your business app, such as mapping and traffic information or even social media feeds if that's applicable.
Google was poised to put an end to the legendary travel guide Frommer’s printed version, marking a brilliant new frontier of electronically-abetted travel. Plenty of apps making friendly locals more accessible sound like every traveler’s dream. The Internet has tools on how to get the most of your vacation itinerary, taking you far beyond the paper tour guide.
Still, be warned. When you’re traveling somewhere with rampant roaming charges and spotty Wi-Fi, Internet apps can improve your experience up until, “Oh crap. Was it a right or a left at the intersection?”
And fittingly, recent news says that Arthur Frommer, the creator of the series, seems to be buying the rights back from Google and keeping the print around (while also maintaining a website and selling eBooks).
While no tool is a cure-all for travel pains, plenty of apps offer access to locals and customizability not available in the standard paper guide. All it takes is a little planning ahead.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/replace-your-paper-travel-guide-with-mobile-apps/#ixzz2RFONkEnr
Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook
The wealth of consumer data continues to build behind the scenes in the travel industry as consumers freely share personal information via online forms, social networking, customer service interactions and other digital communications.
As a result, travel organizations are being challenged to make better use of both historical and real-time data, significantly improve usability and open up previously closed silos that existed between various sectors when developing mobile applications.
The sharing of customer data is set to create more intuitive industry conversations this year to the benefit of travelers and developers alike.
As demand for more personalized services persists, how this data is applied and individually customized for mobile travel applications will be a key factor in determining which travel apps soar and which plummet in 2013.
Remember just a few years back, before Apple decided we all needed a mobile-laptop hybrid and connecting to the web via a device was a rubbish user experience at best?
Nostalgia – for a moment.
Since then mobiles and tablets have made their presence felt in various parts of the travel purchase funnel, with all manner of apps arriving on the scene, often at the search and booking end of the cycle.
But some data released from 101Holidays over one million visits has shown that non-desktop or laptop devices are accounting for a third (A THIRD) of traffic.
This is a massive jump from previous years.
Online review sites are of increasing importance for the hotel industry: more and more trips are planned and booked online. Often review sites are used to check the quality of accommodations before making a booking decision. Therefore, bad reviews can negatively affect sales and can turn into a problem for hotel marketing. AppATrip now offers hotels a new solution called EasyReview for the online reputation management. With EasyReview hotels have the possibility to collect and manage their guest reviews, and to export them to Google. The special feature: the software allows to collect video reviews.
EasyReview is available for the smartphone and tablet version of AppATrip and as a web application on hotel websites.
With EasyReview AppATrip provides hotels with an efficient tool to independently collect reviews from their guests. Questions preset by the hotel can be easily and quickly answered by the guests with EasyReview on their smartphone, tablet or hotel website. The reviews can be checked before publishing and can then be exported to Google. The special and unique feature: besides star rating and text review, there is the possibility to collect customer feedback via video. “Video reviews are yet an unexplored field, however, they have big potential with regard to website traffic and branding”, says CEO Ali Naqi Shaheen and adds: “So far reviews have been generated only by major review sites, but with EasyReview we offer hotels the opportunity to gain back control over their brand and their reviews on the Internet.”
The integrated video feature enables hotels to produce user-generated content that helps to improve their google ranking and to save affiliate commissions for online travel sites. Connected with branded tablets for installation at the re ception, AppATrip offers hotels an additional service that makes hotel reviews for both guests and hotels more comfortable. Guests can rate the hotel via tablets during checkout and enter into direct dialogue with the hotel. The hotel can react immediately and can actively manage its own online reputation.
Reports, such as by the Verband Internet Reisevertrieb from 2011, have already shown how important reviews are for decision making in travel planning. 95% of respondents consider reviews as genuine and 5 9% indicated that reviews considerably influence their decisions. Similar results have been published by Cornell University for hotel administration in the report ”The impact of social media on lodging performance”. According to the report, positive reviews and online satisfaction of guests via online and offline channels directly affect the financial success of the hotel. Therefore, guest feedback plays a crucial role for the hotel image and is reflected in the numbers of booking. According to a recent stu dy by Amazon, the trend goes towards video reviews, because products with video reviews not only have a higher conversion rate, but are also considered as generally more useful as text reviews.
Forget the new visual look. It's the support for map directions API, Air Drop of photos and itineraries, new Highlight interest-sharing alerts, and an Apps Near Me tool that are the most promising new features for travel app developers.
That sound you’re hearing is the sound of a thousand app developers clattering away on their keyboards as they attempt to retrofit all of the existing apps out there to be compatible with Apple’s re-vamped operating system for its mobile devices, iOS7, which debuts this fall.
When announcing iOS7 last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook described iOS7 as the most significant change to the company’s operating system since 2007.
I believe that the most exciting part of the new operating system is not its re-designed user interface — which the mainstream media has focused on — but its new set of APIs and features for app developers.
I had the chance to try the beta version of the iOS7 and research its new capabilities and features, trying to determine which ones are relevant and useful for travel companies.
I was deeply impressed by the new support for map directions API, Air Drop of photos and itineraries, the new Apps Near Me tool and other promising bits of functionality.
Here are my favorite features and how I think they could be harnessed by developers of mobile travel apps:
Read more at http://www.tnooz.com/2013/06/17/news/apples-ios7-should-turbocharge-travel-apps/#ljQLrKjJMrulORVH.99
The days of the unplugged vacation are long gone; more than ever, travelers of all ages pack their smartphones when they hit the road.
At least that's what analyst Peter Yesawich of MMGY Global found in his annual survey of frequent travelers. More than half of the Americans interviewed, all from households with an income over $50,000, brought smartphones with them on trips, he says, and 21 percent brought several devices. His conclusion? The group he calls the digital elite appears to be growing.
Even so, not everyone needs a smartphone overseas. If you are taking a tour or cruise where most of your itinerary is already planned, you might feel more relaxed if you leave your phone at home. But for travelers taking a more independent path, there are advantages to having your smartphone by your side (just make sure you will have Wi-Fi or an international data plan that fits your budget). We've outlined a few useful apps below.
Most popular travel websites, such as TripAdvisor, Priceline, Hotels.com and Kayak, have free smartphone apps and mobile-enabled websites. The HotelTonight app sells heavily discounted rooms that, as the name suggests, are available that night; you have to wait until noon to use it.
Airbnb and Couchsurfing-services that allow you to rent rooms in people's homes-also have smartphone apps. Keep in mind that you're working with a person, not a company, so give yourself a few days for back-and-forth emails before you need the room.
The free apps offered by airlines are becoming more sophisticated all the time. Most allow you to check in, access a mobile boarding pass, keep track of your baggage and view your mileage account. United even allows elite flyers to monitor the upgrade list.
Other aviation apps include FlightTrack, which shows you when flights are coming in (both free and paid versions are available); Next Flight ($2.99, Apple; $3.99, Android), which brings up all of the flights that are available that day on your route (very handy if you experience delays or you want to take an earlier flight); and Skyscanner (free), which shows you timetables for all flight routes.
Remember when travel meant carrying printouts of all your confirmation numbers? If you're still shuffling through sheaves of paper, consider downloading the TripIt app, which keeps all your travel plans in one place. When you receive a confirmation email for your flight or hotel, you forward it to the company, which organizes it on your account. Frequent travelers won't leave home without it (free, with ads or $3.99).
Another space saver, the best mobile destination guidebooks have offline maps so you can use them without getting charged for data. Oh, Ranger! helps its users find federal, state and local parks, while Swim Guide locates pools, lakes and nearby recreation areas. Yelp boasts bar and restaurant reviews in almost every city, from a younger (and snarkier) point of view. OpenTable allows you to make reservations on the fly.
Even though you have your smartphone with you, there's no reason to use it to make a pricey international call. A web/WiFi app such as Skype or FaceTime can be the cheapest way to callhome. Skype calls are free when you are contacting other Skype users, and it's inexpensive to call a non-Skype number. FaceTime is a good choice for a family of Apple users.
Using social media
In Yesawich's survey, he found that nearly half of travelers in their 30s or younger say they post photos on Facebook and other social networks to "make friends jealous." For the social media butterfly, apps for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are nonnegotiable.
Staying on budget
Bills keep coming, even when you're away from home. Many banks and credit card companies have their own apps, so you can check your balance, transfer funds and pay bills. Other apps can help find deals and low prices as you're traveling. GasBuddy, for example, tracks gasoline prices.
Some smartphone apps don't fit into a specific category but are useful nonetheless: Daylight, an app that shows sunrise and sunset times for wherever you are; Night Sky, an astronomy app; and Tides (predictions for tides and currents). Read menus in low light with Flashlight. And Tipster not only calculates tips and bill splitting, it offers tipping guidelines for different countries.
When traveling, food lovers often rely on the suggestions of others to find the best places to eat, drink and dine out. For travelers merely passing through a region or without foodie friends nearby, new (free!) app Find. Eat. Drink. might be the ultimate solution.
Via Wendy Forbes
Delta’s new app, Fly Delta for iPad looks pretty darn slick. Packed full of valuable travel features and content, handy check in and boarding pass functionality, as well as a few surprises like the ‘Glass Bottom Plane’ which lets travellers visualise the journey and access geographically relevant content and commentary through Delta’s onboard wifi.
Travel companies are digging deeper into mobile app development as they aim to connect with consumers at all points during the travel journey. That means providing mobile services that support everything travelers are doing during their excursions, from planning to booking to sharing their experiences.
These efforts are getting consumers’ attention. A May 2012 Nielsen study, “Courting Today’s Mobile Consumer,” showed that in the US travel apps were seeing the highest year-over-year growth of any industry or product-related app category, at 116%, well above the growth in overall mobile app use (84%).