Apps

6 apps that help make travel stress-free

Don’t leave home without these!

Photo by Ross Sneddon

Published

on

In this crazy-busy world we live in, we often find ourselves in need of an escape. Travel provides that for me. Going away for a bit of a break is an absolute necessity. There’s nothing like coming back refreshed and ready to take on the stress brought by daily life — both the challenging and the mundane parts of it. Sometimes, however, the thing that’s supposed to help you de-stress can be the cause of it too. Planning and the actual journey just to get to your destination (and even coming home) can be pretty stressful.  

Years of traveling has taught me a couple of things to make trips like this easier both on my wallet and my stress levels. In a previous article, we discussed how to save money while traveling. This time, we’ll be talking about apps that help keep the stress away. Being ready and planning ahead is half the battle for any journey. Having these six apps on your phone will make sure you’re more than ready for it.

PackPoint

I’ve been using PackPoint since 2015. Back when we were still living in Kuala Lumpur, one of my friends who traveled often recommended it to me and it has been part of my life ever since. At that time, my husband and I were about to go visit my family in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Malmö with side trips to Paris, London, and Geneva. It was a three-week trip and I was going nuts with planning what to bring.

That friend saved me by introducing me to this app that comes up with a digital packing list that you can consult on the go. All you have to do is enter the place you’re going to along with the dates. It will then ask you what the trip is for (business or leisure?) and a few other basic questions. It will then give you your personalized packing list — from clothing to your electronics. Packpoint just figures everything out for you, making those days before a trip a little less stressful.

Spotted by Locals

When visiting a new place, we often make time to see the historical highlights. But what happens when you’re done with those? I always make sure I visit an interesting establishment, a café, or even a restaurant that’s local-approved. More authenticity, less overpriced. I often consult Spotted by Locals for this.

The app collates recommendations from locals in the city you’re visiting — from places to grab food in to interesting and alternative sites to see. Even though I live in Berlin, I make it to a point to look through this app for some recommendations here and it never disappoints. I often find something that piques my interest, like this GDR Cinema I plan to visit next week.

Google Maps

What I see on Spotted by Locals, I always save here on Google Maps. The option to save places on different lists such as “Favorites” or “Want to Go” is such a blessing for people like me who need to organize absolutely everything — even my thoughts and my eating plans. Whenever I feel hungry and I don’t know where to go, I just open it up and see the places that I’ve saved on my “Want to Go” list and pick the ones nearest to me. It solves the problem of having to keep going back and forth with your friends, deciding where to eat.

City Mapper

 

While Google Maps can already provide you with transportation options to get to where you want to go, City Mapper is an app I keep for more options. You get your usual routes via walking, taking the train and bus, or even driving there, but you also get ride-sharing options. It even tells you where the nearest Mobike (bike-sharing app) is so you can exercise a bit by cycling your way there.

Flio

I absolutely hate signing up for Wi-Fi in airports. The questionnaires just seem to go on forever, I end up wondering whether they will be asking me for my medical history next. Flio lets me sign in hassle-free. It also keeps my flight information, helping me keep track of my schedule and making sure I never miss a flight while browsing the Duty Free makeup aisle.

Flio also tells you which restaurants and shops are at the airport while giving you vouchers for them. We all know dining in airports can be pretty expensive so a discount is always welcome. Your phone’s battery running low? It also tells you where you can charge within the airport so you can keep posting stories on Instagram.

Google Translate

Save yourself the trouble of miming your way to get information. This app can translate a conversation as you go. Another fun feature is the camera which lets you snap a photo of signs and labels. It will then scan the photo for words and all you have to do is highlight the ones you need translated and press on the blue arrow. Et voila! You now know the flavor of jam you have inside that jar. This is such a lifesaver when grocery shopping abroad or looking at posters and announcements in a foreign language.

Got favorites of your own? Share them in the comments below! Would love to discover new apps that I can use in my next trips!

Apps

IGTV will soon have ads and share revenue with creators

Can it take on YouTube?

Published

on

There’s some good news as well as bad news. How you perceive it, depends on your role. If you’re a content creator on IGTV, Instagram will share ad revenues with you. And, if you’re an IGTV viewer, the bad news is you’ll have to watch that ad, just like YouTube.

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced it’ll start serving IGTV with ads and share the revenue with influencers who create content for the platform. Instagram already has ads embedded while scrolling posts or sifting through stories. We expected the roll-out to happen in the near future considering Facebook’s reputation with ads and hunger for user data.

Instagram will share at least 55 percent of the revenue from these ads with creators. This should encourage users to upload more content on the platform and the strategy is a proven one today. Google’s YouTube has created a thriving community of YouTubers who’ve become a millionaire thanks to their regular content push and subscriber base.

It’s testing IGTV ads with a handful of U.S. based creators and advertisers and plans to expand that slowly in the coming months. Furthermore, creators can also charge for virtual badges that shall be visible during Instagram Live.

Currently, the most sought monetization method for influencers is to directly cut deals with brands. But this removes Instagram from the equation completely. Instead, it has already rolled out features like Shopping, and Live Shopping to keep the user within the app and complete the transaction.

IGTV was launched in June 2018 as a spinoff of Instagram where users can watch longer videos made for mobile devices. Viewers access IGTV videos directly through Instagram or the stand-alone IGTV app.

Continue Reading

Apps

Twitter labels President Trump’s tweet as “misleading”

Even Twitter’s had enough!

Published

on

For the first time, Twitter has flagged some of US President Donald Trump’s tweets with a fact-check warning. The social media platform labeled two of his tweets as “unsubstantiated” and accused him of making false claims.

The label was added because it violated Twitter’s “civic integrity policy”, a company spokeswoman confirmed. Below the tweets, a link which read “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” took users to a notice calling the claims “unsubstantiated”, citing reporting by CNN, the Washington Post, and other credible publications.

Obviously, Trump was furious over the label and accused Twitter of stifling free speech. He further accused Twitter of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.” However, it’s worth remembering that Federal law protects the rights of internet platforms to moderate the third-party speech they publish.

Trump and Twitter share a long history and their relationship isn’t constructive. Twitter is technically a micro-blogging platform that’s used by everyone. World leaders have their official accounts on the platform to reach out quickly. But Trump has made Twitter a battleground and threatened to nuke a country, spread misinformation, malign the media, and spread conspiracy theories.

Trump has never previously faced Twitter moderation on his account. The social media platform has radically upped its moderation policies before the 2020 American Presidential Election to ensure the spread of misinformation is controlled and a Cambridge Analytica-type scandal isn’t repeated.

It banned political ads in November 2019 and recently announced that it’ll be labeling tweets that are found spreading misinformation amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Continue Reading

Apps

Spotify is taking out the infamous 10,000-song limit

Finally!

Published

on

Amidst the immense variety of music streaming services today, Spotify remains at the top of the pile. Whether due to service quality or brand loyalty, everyone still uses Spotify. However, despite its dominance, the popular service still has a few downsides. For one, Spotify has an infamous 10,000-song limit, preventing users from saving more than 10,000 songs.

Thankfully, Spotify is finally doing away with this limit soon. According to a new community post, a user’s library can add an unlimited amount of songs, affecting both liked songs and liked albums.

Previously, once you hit the 10,000-song limit, Spotify hits you up with a falsely positive warning: “Epic collection, friend. There’s no more room in Your Library. To save more, you’ll need to remove some songs or albums.” Despite an overwhelming clamor to get rid of it, Spotify has persistently refused to eliminate the limit.

However, Spotify’s latest expansion comes with an important caveat. It applies only to “Your Music” collections. Users still have to abide by the 10,000-song limit for custom playlists and offline downloads. Regardless, the minor expansion is a good step forward to completely eradicating the limit across the board.

Of course, only a minuscule fraction of Spotify users will likely bump into this song ceiling. Even for an expansive service like Spotify, 10,000 songs are still a sizable amount for most users. Still, if you ever find yourself on 9,999 songs, you might not need to worry about adding a few more songs anymore. The feature has already started rolling out to new users globally.

SEE ALSO: Spotify offers 3-month trial to new premium customers

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Gadget Reviews

Trending