Tag Archives: app

The best tools that can replace Google services for privacy-minded people

2018-12-26

I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely annoying when I’m researching, say, New Zealand for an article or a book, and suddenly I’m bombarded with ads of hotels in the destination. Privacy is an important factor why many colleagues have given up Google products, whereas frequent travelers have fed up with Google’s inability to manage travel access to its services. In this article, you will find the best privacy-tested alternatives to Google services.
Google services symbols
Google’s (as well as Facebook’s and many other big internet companies) business model depends on sucking users’ private and non-private data, using it for ad targeting, and selling it to other companies. This is why Google will collect your data even if you specify in product settings that you don’t want to be tracked. So, the safest choice is to switch to another product.

The best user-recommended products to replace Google’s online services

No More Google web site has collected a long list of alternative products that can replace Google products. The alternative products and services are recommended by internet users who have realized they must manage their privacy themselves (and not leave it to big internet companies). Here are a few of the popular choices:

  • Google Search – DuckDuckGo is the most liked privacy-enabled search engine.
  • Gmail – Protonmail is the most recommended email system.
  • Google Chrome – Firefox is the most recommended alternative product to the Google web browser.
  • Google Maps – Openstreetmap
  • YouTube – Vimeo
  • Google Drive – Dropbox
  • Google Docs – Notion
  • Google Analytics – Matomo
  • Hangouts – Telegram
  • Blogger – WordPress
  • Google+ – the social media service is closing in April 2019.

 

In addition to DuckDuckGo search engine, Qwant and StartPage are good alternatives as well. For browsers, Opera and Vivaldi are good choices, too.
Qwant search engine home page

Replacing Google hardware with privacy-friendly products

Google is also marketing hardware products, such as smartphones and home gadgets. That’s not all, because operating system software is closely related to hardware. Operating systems are built in to hardware products. That’s why it makes sense to pay attention to the operating systems as well, because companies like Samsung, LG, Nokia, Huawei and others use a Google operating system in their phones and tablets.

Here are a few alternative products to Google hardware products and operating systems:

  • Android – the most viable alternatives at the moment are Purism Librem 5 smartphone (built on open source Linux) and open source project /e/ that has released a beta operating system for smartphones.
  • Chrome OS – any desktop Linux, like Ubuntu, Manjaro or Mint is an alternative to the Google operating system (although Linux desktops have not been designed exactly for the same purpose).
  • Google Pixel smartphones – We may have to wait until Purism gets its Liberm 5 phone to the shops, or the /e/ foundation manages to convince a hardware manufacturer to factory-install the /e/ software, so that we can buy a phone that doesn’t leak data to Google.
  • Pixel Slate tablet/laptop – a sleek laptop running on Linux is an alternative to the Google tablet/laptop.
  • Google Assistant – voice assistants require computing power that is usually provided by big server computers in data centers. Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana all work in the same manner, so it is a choice of brand you trust the most.
  • Home Hub – Google home automation products communicate with this tablet-like device. It knows everything that is going on in the system. If it is connected to the internet, privacy and security risks are inevitable. The best alternative is the brand you trust the most.
  • Nest – all gadgets that control and monitor home lights, alarm system, heating and other functions, and are connected to the internet have security and privacy risks.

Purism Libr smartphone
Purism Librem 5.

This is why it is so damn difficult to find the right note taking application – but it is possible

2018-12-09

Writers, editors, readers, freelancers, actually all people who do creative work that requires thinking and planning need to take notes. No one wants to lose that billion dollar product idea, solution to a programming problem that presents itself on a mountainbike trail, or perfect plan for backyard plant arrangement. In pre-electronic times humans used to scribble words and sketches on paper, but modern people have gadgets instead of dead wood. How to discover the best app for taking notes on a phone, tablet and PC?
Tavira, Portugal: a non-digital nomad in a park
The excellent article by Tim King helped me realize the root cause for the eternal note taking problem.

Note taking is a highly personal thing. What you want to write down, why you have to make a note of just that thing, where you do it, at what time ideas and plans light a bulb in your head is individual. Do you want to organize your notes, or stash everything in one big pile? Do you sort them by date, topic, tag, keyword, alphabetically, or by person? Do you want to list them by category, or search by any word that points you to the right direction?

The requirements and differences between people are endless. If you have tried to find a note taking app in an application store, you may have wondered why there are so many of them? Hundreds of apps more or less do exactly the same thing. It looks like many programmers have had the same problem, and they have approached it from their personal perspective.

Let’s get Evernote out of the way, here and now, because someone is surely thinking: what is the problem, why not Evernote? I believe it is the most confusing note taking application I have ever tried. After an hour of fiddling around with it, adjusting, tailoring, trying to find a way that would suit me, I gave up. It was impossible for me to use.
Simplenote in a web browser

So, what is the best solution for note taking?

For a year or so, I have been using a combination of tools for writing down drafts, ideas and plans:

Simplenote

For quickly drafting a memo that is available for all your computers and gadgets, Simplenote is a perfect tool. It is perfect because it doesn’t have any features. Well, you can tag and share your notes, but that’s it. The developers have really managed to keep it simple. Excellent. This is a cloud service that can be accessed in any browser, but also dedicated apps are available for mobile devices. Note taking apps that require network connection have risks (of losing your work if the connection brakes down), but Simplenote has been designed to survive them.

Offline apps for mobile devices

Since I know I am not always close enough to mobile phone network signal, I have installed an offline note taking app in every phone and tablet I have. I can’t even remember the names of the applications because it doesn’t matter. I use an offline app only for quickly jotting down something. When I’m back in the network’s signal range, I can email the draft to myself.

Sure, but what’s the best note app for the rest of the world?

The solution I described above works for me, but perhaps not for 92% of people who are looking for one. To make your search for that perfect app easier, consider these points to narrow down the candidates:

If you are an organized person, look for an app that lets you group, categorize, tag, and arrange the notes in a way you want.

If you tend to rush to write down your thoughts without worrying about headings, links, keywords or categories, an app with a few features is probably for you.

Sometimes, it is not possible to type, but it may be possible to speak. Recording a brief voice memo in a note app can be a useful feature. Also, a photo can remind you of an important thing. Snap a photo in the phone camera and attach it to a note.

I’m still looking for that almost-perfect solution for notes. The limitations of Simplenote are evident for someone who uses it as much as I do. Since I have already found another person who has the same problem, perhaps we can discover something some day.

Ereaders are growing bigger and more powerful: Icarus Illumina XL6

2018-09-11

Dutch ereader vendor Icarus has introduced a device with large 7.8-inch E ink screen that also has enough processing power to run a recent version of Android operating system. In addition to reading ebooks or viewing PDF documents, Android applications can be installed to the device, enhancing its functionality.
Icarus Illumina XL6, e-reader with 7.8-inch screen, Android
Four features make the Illumina XL6 an attractive option for ebook lovers who are looking for a powerful ereader device:

– Large and sharp 7.8 inch E ink screen. 300 dots per inch density means it is as sharp or sharper than printed book pages.
– The ereader is running on Android 6 operating system. This is a relatively recent version of Android software which means that a vast number of applications on the Google Play app store are available for the e-reader – although not each and every app is compatible.
– A powerful processor (for an ereader) that actually makes it possible to run many applications downloaded from the Google Play Store.
– The ereader doubles as an MP3 player, making it possible to listen to audiobooks and music.

It is likely that Kindle ebooks can be read on the Illumina XL6. The trick how to do it is to download Kindle for Android application from the Google Play Store to the device. Until we (or someone else) have tried the Kindle app on an actual production device, and confirmed it works, we can’t be absolutely sure if the Kindle app can open ebooks.

The Icarus Illumina XL6 is priced at 229.95 euros with Dutch VAT, and without VAT 190.04 euros (here you can check the vendor’s web shop for any updates on the price). Icarus ships products to all continents, but not to South America and Russia.

Icarus Illumina XL6 e-reader specifications

7.8-inch E Ink Carta HD screen.
Display resolution 1872 x 1404, 300 dots per inch (DPI).
Touch screen, adjustable frontlight.
Android 6 operating system with Google Play application store.
16GB of internal storage space.
No memory card slot.
2GB RAM.
Rockchip RK3368 octa-core, 64-bit processor.
WiFi 802.11 B/G/N.
USB 2.0.
Bluetooth.
Compatible ebook formats: PDF, FB2, EPUB, RTF, MOBI, TXT, HTML.
Plays MP3 audio files, for audiobooks and music.
Displays JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG images.
Included applications: File Manager, Music Player, Dictionary, Image Viewer, Library, Reading.
Battery 2800mAh, thousands of page refreshes at a charge.
Dimensions 145 x 200x 9mm.
Weight 275 gr.

Reading functions
Go to Page
Text Search
Bookmarks
Table of Contents
Screen Rotation
Auto Page Turning
Book Information
Music/audiobook Player
Adjust Font Size
Adjust Font Type (in EPUB documents)
Adjust Page Margins (in EPUB documents)
Install new fonts (TrueType)

Via The Digital Reader.

The apps you want on your tablet or phone when reading ebooks

2018-05-28

For ebooks on your tablet or smartphone, you only have to download a reading app on the device. Most ereading applications come with note taking and highlighting features that let you annotate the text you are reading. As you develop new habits with digital reading and your ebook library grows, you probably want additional apps that complement the reading app. Here are a few tips for applications that can help.
ipad tablet in a bookshelf

Recommendations for ebook reading applications

If you tend to shop at the same bookstore, the easiest option is to use the reading app the store provides. For instance, if you purchase your ebooks from Kobo, use the Kobo app because it makes managing you library and purchases easy.

For tablets, good choices for ereading apps that are not tied to any specific bookstore are Bluefire Reader, Bookari, and Moon+.
reading ebook in fbreader app on LG G3
The same reading applications that run on a tablet can be used on a smartphone, but also FBreader is a good one to have on the phone because it can open a number of different ebook file formats.

For Apple computer and mobile device users, the iBooks (available at the App Store) app is an excellent choice.

It is worth reminding newcomers to the world of ebooks that Kindle books purchased from an Amazon store can only be opened with a Kindle reader, Fire tablet, or the Kindle app that is available to all PCs, tablets and phones. Other bookstores have ebooks packaged in EPUB format that is usually compatible with many reading applications, like FBreader, Aldiko, Kobo, and with all other e-readers apart from Kindle.

Useful additional apps that complement an e-reading application

Simplenote on an iPhone
Pretty soon after I began reading ebooks, I realized that didn’t want to write down my notes inside the reading application. The reason was that, especially during the early days of ebooks, it was difficult or even impossible to transfer the notes easily to a word processing software for further work. After I discovered Simplenote, I have written all my notes, drafts and lists with it. It is an online app that requires Internet connection, but it is so simple and reliable that it is all I need for my notes.

Android Authority has reviewed a number of applications that can be useful for ebook readers.

Goodreads. A large community of book lovers who can manage their personal libraries, discover new reads, and connect with other readers.
LitCharts. It displays story points, synopsis, and other information about books.
Literature Terms. A dictionary that explains terms and phrases related to literature.
Browsery. A service and app that lets you connect with other readers and discover new books.
Poems. An app that features poems from a variety of authors.

Helsinki: Klaava Travel Guide, sample page

Oolipo brings interactive ebooks to smartphones

2017-10-04

Oolipo is an ebook reading application for mobile devices that comes with a dedicated content creation tool. Authors can embed interactive elements into their ebooks, as well as audio and video. Once the new Oolipo ebook is ready to be published, it is delivered via Oolipo bookstore to readers who can view the book on their smartphones and tablets. This is not the first time when interactive ebooks get a dedicated system. What does Oolipo mean for ebooks?

oolipo interactive ebook reading app
Oolipo describes its mission as follows:

“We believe that reading today means watching images, gifs, and videos, listening to audio, sharing and chatting with friends, interacting with characters. That’s why we created an interactive multimedia format for mobile and tools that enable you to create new stories with them.”

Let’s study Oolipo’s proposal for rich multimedia ebooks from two perspectives: A) fiction and B) nonfiction.

A) Fiction. At the moment, all sample ebooks at Oolipo web site are fiction. The general description of Oolipo also focuses on storytelling as the primary focus for the application. If you download a sample ebook to your phone, you will find pages with text, pages with sound effects, pages with animation, and perhaps with a question which direction you want the story to take.

Oolipo is in sensitive zone here. When someone is reading a fictional book, he or she sees the book’s world her own way. Another reader may see it differently. Audio and video elements that are intended to complement the reading experience actually change the world the reader sees in her mind.

B) Nonfiction The natural application for multimedia ebooks is nonfiction and textbooks. They benefit greatly from elements like animation, audio and video. Also interactive elements like questions and answers can be very helpful to readers who are trying to learn and understand something that is new to them.

An obvious example of a remarkable tool for creating and reading rich multimedia ebooks are works created in Apple iBooks Author. It shows how interactive and multimedia elements really have a role in the future of books. Travel guidebooks, for instance, can show more about a destination with rich media elements.

oolipo bookshelf, interactive ebook library on a smartphone

Creating interactive fiction books inevitably brings the role of book closer to games and movies. It is not a bad thing – on the contrary, something new may be invented. The author has many tough choices to make if he or she wants to create a fictional book in Oolipo.

If you want to create an Oolipo ebook, you can apply principles of visual storytelling familiar from movies or illustrated narratives, use audio and voice for atmosphere, and interactive elements. The elements can be images, gifs, videos, sounds and audio files, text, animations, links to websites (or other episodes), and chat messages.

Here is a video that shows how to create stories for Oolipo:

Some day, someone will get this right – maybe it is Oolipo, maybe someone else. It is fascinating to see if we still call it a book or something else.

Here is how you can turn your smartphone into a 360-degree camera

2017-01-20

Often, the best ideas are so simple that you ponder why didn’t I think of it. Dunkam 360-degree camera is exactly like that: a small, low cost product that you attach to your smartphone and start shooting 360 photos and videos.
Dunkam 360 degree camera
This is how the Dunkam 360 works:
– Download Dunkam application to your smartphone
– Plug the Dunkam camera into the USB port on your smartphone
– Open the app and take 360 photos or shoot 360 video.
– You can share your videos directly from the app to YouTube and social media.
– The app also features some special effects if you want to spice up your videos.

When you are done, unplug the Dunkam camera and continue using your smartphone as usual. The Dunkam camera is so small that it is quite easy to carry it in a pocket or purse – even just in case you would happen to need it.

The Dunkam 360 camera requires two things: you must have an Android smartphone (Apple version should be available later), and the USB port on your phone must be OTG (On-The-Go) capable. If you don’t know if the USB port can act as a host device for the camera, there is an app for that in the Play Store.

Since the image processing takes place on the smartphone – using the memory and processor of the phone – it is a good idea to clean the phone from unnecessary apps and data so that there is as much free RAM and storage space for the 360 images as possible.

The Dunkam camera is a beta product at the moment, but it can be purchased for 99 Euros/USD directly from the company that is behind it.

A tech reporter of El Pais met with the inventor of the product Julián Beltrán who demonstrated how it works. Here is a video (in Spanish) where you can see the Dunkam camera in action.
Dunkam 360 camera for smartphone

Technical specifications for Dunkam 360

– Two 8 megapixel cameras
– For smartphones with USB OTG connection
– Android only at the moment, Apple version under development.
– Resolution 1920×960
– Streaming HD 1080p
– Filters, tiny planet mode, exposure control
– Size 2.6 x 2.2 inches
– Weight 63 grams.


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The best camera apps for smartphone travel photography

2016-07-12

Many smartphone owners are happy with the camera application the phone manufacturer has installed on the device in the factory. In general, the factory-installed camera apps get the job done, but may lack an extra feature photographers maybe looking for. Fortunately, this is exactly where smartphones are strong: you can install another camera application on your phone. But which one is the best for travel photography?
samsung, smartphone, open camera app
Many camera apps are available both for Apple devices and for Android phones and tablets, but in this article we focus on Android camera applications. Joe Hindy on AndroidAuthority wrote brief reviews of popular camera apps for Android. First, let’s list the best apps, and then, we make our recommendation for the best apps.

samsung, open camera

Open Camera can show if you are holding the camera at level.


BestMe Selfie Camera
– as the name implies, the app has been designed for selfie photography
Camera FV-5
– manual control over images, including RAW format
Camera JB+
– simple photo shooting
Camera MX
– in addition to capturing photos, the app lets you edit images
Camera Zoom FX
– manual controls, RAW, 360 panorama
Candy Camera
– lots of filters
Cardboard Camera
– 360 photos for Google Cardboard
Cymera
– filters, stickers, photo editing
DSLR Camera Pro
– manual controls, histogram display, volume button as a shutter
Go Camera
– simple photo framing with filters
Google Camera
– HDR mode, slow motion video capture, wide angle mode, burst mode
Manual Camera
– strictly for taking photos exactly the way want with manual controls
Open Camera
– an open source, free, app with plenty of features
Snap Camera HDR
– plenty of features: 4K video, RAW, manual controls

You can read more about the camera apps introduced above here. What is our recommendation? Of course, it depends on what your requirements are. If you only want filters and don’t want to learn to use manual settings, download a simple app that can automatically snap decent pictures and has plenty of filters. If you know how to shoot on an SLR camera, you probably want more control over your images, and you should get an app with manual controls.

Settings in Open Camera app.

Settings in Open Camera app.


Our favourite for travel photography is Open Camera. It is a free app, and comes with features that have proven handy on the road and at home:

– an indicator that shows if the camera is at level with the horizon,
– burst mode,
– and burst interval.

Used together, the burst mode and burst interval features let you shoot timelapse picture sequences. You need a tripod or something else to hold the phone steady during the photo shoot, which can be as long as you want. For instance, we have created a timelapse from photos shot with Open Camera that has pictures taken at one minute interval for 24 hours. Open Camera won’t create the timelapse video for you, but you have to create the final timelapse on a PC.

The best apps for reading ebooks on smartphone and tablet

2016-06-26

Reading books on smartphones has increased along with the rising popularity of mobile devices that have bright, large, and sharp displays. Reading ebooks on a phone or tablet is convenient only if it is easy to download and read long texts on the device. And that is a job for an app. Which app?
reading ebook in kindle app on LG G3 smartphone
First, we will list most popular reading apps for Android (for instance, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony tablets and smartphones ) and Apple (iOS apps that run on iPad and iPhone) devices. Second, we will give a few tips how to choose the app that’s best for you.

All the applications can be downloaded fro Apple App Store and Google Play.

The following reading applications can open EPUB ebooks, and some can open HTML, TXT, PDF books and documents as well.

24 Symbols
Aldiko Book Reader
Bluefire Reader
Bookmate
FBReader
Google Play Books
Kobo Books
KyBook (Apple only)
Marvin (Apple only)
Moon+ Reader (Android only)
NeoSoar
Nook
Scribd
Universal Book Reader (Android only)

If you download your ebooks from the Amazon Kindle Store, you must have Amazon Kindle ereader app on your mobile device. Kindle app is available for PCs as well.

Kindle

If you purchase your books from the Apple iBooks Store, you have one choice only: Apple’s own ereading app that runs on Mac as well (in addition to the iPad and iPhone).

iBooks

Listening to books instead of reading is convenient on mobile devices as long as you remember to keep a headset with you. You need an app for that as well. Two audiobook services are popular:

Audible
Storytel

reading ebook in fbreader app on LG G3

Which ereading app is the best for you?

If you already are buying, or you are going to buy, your ebooks from Amazon Kindle Store, you must install the Kindle app. The same applies to Apple iBooks Store: if it is your bookstore, you must use the iBooks app.

If you are subscribing to a service that lets you read ebooks or listen to audiobooks for a monthly fee, you must use the application provided by the service. This applies to 24 Symbols, Audible, Bookmate, Scribd and Storytel.

Many book lovers purchase their ebooks where they happen to discover them or where they get the best deal. In addition to a must-have app, you should have an ereader application that can open EPUB and PDF books. FBReader may not pretty, but it can open many document formats. Google Play Books and Bluefire Reader are both fine EPUB and PDF reading apps.

Ebook news digest: best reading apps, tips from The Atlantic, unique travel photography

2016-06-12

Ebook News Digest June 12th, 2016

Google Word Lens Translator, a Swedish map translated to Spanish
Five e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets: from Wattpad to Scribd (EveningStandard)

– We would like to add FBReader and Kindle to the list of ereading apps as well.

Lemonade and Sketches of Spain: The Week in Pop Culture Writing (The Atlantic)

– Tips for fine nonfiction reads.

Best eReaders 2016: What’s the best eReader? The 8 best e-book readers you can buy in the UK today: Best eReader reviews (TechAdvisor)

– 4 out of 8 are Kindles, but the other 4 ereaders are fine products as well.

The amazing world of Kiwi photojournalist Amos Chapple (Stuff)

– Intriguing travel photography.

Technology – 6 excellent e-book reading apps for your smartphone (Mid-day)

– Try Google Play or Bluefire reading app as well.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

The best smartphones for reading ebooks

2016-01-01

The original Kindle ereader had a six-inch greyscale display and Sony had really nice compact ereaders with five-inch screens. Today’s smartphones tend to have five-inch and larger screens. Additionally, smartphone displays have at least two times higher pixel density than ereaders. It is not surprising that book industry experts are saying that reading on mobile phones will be one of the strongest trends in the near future.

Which features are the key factors that affect the reading experience on a smartphone? Once you have identified them, you can pick up the perfect smartphone for you.

lg g3 smartphone, kindle ebook reading app

Kindle reading app

David Rothman has identified seven features that define the reading experience on a smartphone.

1. Screen quality. Numbers don’t tell the whole truth, you should always take a look at the display yourself – if possible, both indoors and outdoors.
2. Battery life.
3. Volume button position (often used for turning pages in reading apps).
4. Robustness of the phone.
5. Operating system version. The newer, the better, because all apps won’t run on old operating systems.
6. Storage capacity.
7. The amount of RAM memory.

Tips from our experience are that screen quality really is important. Make sure you are happy with it before buying. No matter how durable the glass on the display is, it breaks if it falls on concrete or bends in a pocket of tight jeans. Protective case may help. A smartphone that comes with a memory card slot solves storage problems. Memory card is a highly recommended feature on a phone.

Usually, factory installed applications on smartphones don’t include reading apps, so you have to install one. Here are a few popular choices:

Kindle Reading App (available for phones, tablets and PCs)
Aldiko
Bluefire (for Android, for Apple)
FBReader
Google Play Books
iBooks (for Apple devices only)
Kobo

samsung s2: fbreader ebook reading app

Fbreader ebook reading app


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Book Weather app recommends new reads based on your book ratings

2015-09-25

Many companies have recognized the need book lovers often have when they are looking for their next book to read. Amazon has one way of recommending books, Goodreads another, and then there are dedicated apps that try and help in the discovery process. One of the applications is called Book Weather that has borrowed its symbols from weather forecasts.
book weather application on Apple App Store
Book Weather by Basement10 is a free app on Apple App Store (other versions coming later). It is intended for the iPhone but runs on an iPad as well.

Once you have installed Book Weather, create an account so that the app can remember which books you have and your ratings for the books. You can follow other readers and they can follow you.

Search for books you have or you wish you had and add them to your library. Rate the books as you add them to your library. Book Weather calculates average ratings for the books, and displays a weather symbol to indicate how hot the book is among readers.

The application worked fine on iPad, but the number books it recognized was low. We tried to enter several popular English non-fiction books into our Book Weather library, but since the app didn’t recognize the books, they weren’t added at all.

A video shows you the key features of Book Weather:

book weather application

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.