App Guide: Eliminate Travel Hassle with These Apps

With brutal cold winter weather gripping much of the country, cabin fever has set in and it’s clearly time for a break. If you’re planning a spring break trip, by taking a few minutes to set up your smartphone with the right apps, you can make sure your trip is hitch-free.

Travel Apps

One of the best overall travel-planning apps is TripIt. The app takes all of those email confirmations you’ve had piling up in your inbox and turns them into an itinerary. That means consolidating info from airlines, hotels, and car rental services and putting it into one place instead of standing in a busy airport or hotel lobby trying to find that one important email you need at that exact second. Available for all platforms Free for 30 days, but $49 a year for full features.

Viator will help you make sure you don’t miss what you shouldn’t miss from wherever you may be. The app will ensure you at least know of all the local attractions and hang-outs. But that’s not all – Viator also helps you find lower cost ways to book and take advantage of available option, receive deal notifications, check out user reviews and more. Free for Android and iOS.

If you’re looking for a fun way to capture the sights from your trip and let everyone know where you are and when, try TripColor. The social media album-creation app allows you to put everything into a portfolio with your captions and location details – including an interactive map so friends and family can “follow” you on your travels. This one is for iOS only.

Check out my report for NBC below:

Quick Guide: The Latest in Fitness and Training Apps and Gadgets

Personal fitness apps and wearable technology have become one of the hottest categories of smartphone apps these days. Some big bucks have come into the marketplace that give consumers some amazing and advanced technology that lets you get in shape and stay in shape.

The latest in fitness and training apps and gadgets

The new 1,000-pound gorilla in fitness apps is MapMyFitness, bought up for $475 million million by Under Armour and part of a huge move into what’s called Connected Fitness. Apps that read from activity trackers, heart rate monitors, watches and fitness accessories. MapMyFitness gathers all that data, tracks movement, measures calories, counts steps, maps routes and even tracks nutrition in food.

But added to the purchase of MapMyFitness is the app Endomondo, a powerful fitness training app also bought by Under Armour for a whopping $80 million. It’s billed as a personal trainer in your pocket and it has customized workout plans and tracking data available for just about every kind of fitness training you can imagine, indoors or outdoors.

And then there’s Withings – short for wireless things – flooding the fitness tech market with a bunch of new app-connected devices that measure all sorts of activities as well as your heartbeat and even the quality of sleep you get.

The apps are all free and available for all platforms.

Check out my NBC segment on the apps here:

 

Get it Write: Non-Word Writing Tools and Apps

The one thing we all use our computers for is word processing. But don’t think Microsoft Word is the final word on this. I’ve been trying out several alternate word processors and am delighted by what I am finding. You may not want to ditch Word just yet, but if you have some specialized writing needs, I just may have a better solution.

Alternatives to Word: Writing tools and apps