Tag Archives: tablet

Analyzed: the best travel apps for smartphones

2015-08-24

Travel related activities are dramatically changing thanks to innovations in digital technology. GPS-assisted maps on a smartphone or travel guidebooks on a tablet are essential tools for all travelers today. A new wave of travel applications has disrupted established industries, like lodging and car rental. Probably because of the phase of change at the moment, however, only few travel apps are truly useful and easy to use.
booking.com screen shot
Applause, an enterprise that tests and evaluates mobile apps, analyzed travel apps that had been rated more than 150 times on Apple App Store or on Google Play Store. Only 8 of those apps earned high quality scores according to Applause’s own rating system. 8 high quality travel apps were:

Booking.com – hotel reservations and reviews.
Alaska Airlines – flights.
Kayak – hotels, flights, car rentals.
TripAdvisor – hotels, vacation rentals, flights, restaurant reviews.
TripIt – travel organizer.
Hotels.com – hotel booking.
Zipcar – car sharing.
Orbitz – hotels, flights, cars.

All these applications have been developed by established organizations. A large number of startup businesses that have entered travel business recently may need more time and effort to finetune their great ideas and vision into truly usable apps.

One thing we hope travel app developers should really take seriously is offline use. Recently, we made a tour in a remote area where mobile network connectivity was patchy at best, sometimes we couldn’t connect to a network at all for most of the day. None of the apps from big brands, like Here, Google Sheets or Google Docs, that had offline functionality actually worked in offline mode. We used them on a smartphone and on a tablet. Naturally, an app that makes hotel room reservations requires it is connected to a network, but many other apps should work when the mobile device is offline.

Ereaders, Tablets and Smartphones Are Adopting Solar Power

2015-03-05

Ereader devices that come with greyscale E ink displays are so energy-efficient that they can go without recharge for weeks. If you are trekking in wilderness or staying in a remote village without electricity, you can still read ebooks on an ereader. Tablets and smartphones, however, need a recharge after a couple of days of moderate use. Solar energy would be the obvious solution for charging our mobile devices even in remote areas, but affordable solutions have been missing until now.

worldreader solar panels, charging station
Two new solar energy solutions have been introduced recently: Bboxx solar panel and Wysips Crystal display technology for mobile devices.

Bboxx solar panel is a product package that includes two panels and a USB hub. The solar panels can stand on the ground where they catch sun rays. The USB hub is connected to the panels, and mobile devices can charge their batteries simply by plugging in to the hub.

Worldreader organization that provides ebooks and reading devices to regions with low literacy rate has adopted Bboxx system as their solar power solution for ereaders.
bboxx bb17 solar power product package
Wysips Crystal display technology that can be used in ereaders, tablets and smartphones has been developed by SunPartner. In this solution, the solar charging capability is built in to the display. The technology adds a transparent layer into a display that catches solar rays, and converts them into electricity that charges the device battery.
bookeen muse ereader
Ereader manufacturer Bookeen and electronics company Kyocera have announced that they are going to use Wysips Crystal displays in their future products. Bookeen will create an ereader that can charge itself via its own display (in 2016) and Kyocera has demonstrated a smartphone that can charge itself from light.

Here is a video where Kyocera’s solar-powered smartphone is demonstrated.