Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cut Your Disney World Wait Time with an iPhone App

Cut Your Disney World Wait Time with an iPhone App

If you're planning a Walt Disney World vacation this year and you own an iPhone, there's an app that may cut down your wait time. Undercover Tourist is a discount travel company based in Orlando, Florida, and they and they've launched a new iPhone app that will help take care of those long lines at Disney attractions. It's currently the top-selling paid travel app on iTunes.

The app was developed by Undercover Tourist and Phunware, Inc., and it's definitely the first of its kind. The goal of the app is to minimize the time spent waiting in line or looking for attractions at Disney World.

"We felt we were doing a great job getting our customers through the gates of popular theme parks like Disney World. Through our app, we can now further serve them once they are inside. This application helps customers avoid long lines, navigate their way to each attraction, and learn more about rides and restaurants all when they can use it most – while they’re actually inside the Disney World parks," Ian Ford, the President and Founder of Undercover Tourist said in a press release.

The App integrates accurate wait-times and real-time park maps with information about rides, and restaurants within the parks. It also offers you the ability to purchase attraction tickets through Undercover Tourist. The information is available for Disney's Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Alan S. Knitowski, the CEO of Phunware, Inc., said in the press release, that the app will eliminate the need for bulky maps and other items tourists use to find their way around the park, "Now guests simply engage with this app, wherever and whenever they need, it that has everything they need for their visit in one simple and convenient location."

The app will be available for $3.99, but is initially being sold for $1.99 within the first 90 days of being released, or if you purchase at least $500 from undercovertourist.com.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New App for Finding Your Luxury Hotel

New App for Finding a Luxury Hotel

Do you find yourself with lots of money to spend on traveling and luxury hotels but little time to spend on making travel plans? If you're one the lucky few, Small Luxury Hotels of the World is ready to help with their new iPhone app, which is coincidentally free. The new app, which also works for iPod Touch, allows you to "discover, enjoy, and share" the over 500 lodging properties offered under the brand, anywhere, anytime.

The app, which is obviously meant to appeal to those who can afford luxury hotels, will make it so that you can book any hotel of your choice and share the information with your family and friends. It also finds nearby points of interests such as tourist attractions and restaurants.

"The free iPhone app was developed with our guests’ needs and wants expressly in mind. It provides a highly flexible and easy way to search, browse and book a hotel while on the go," says Paul Kerr, the company's CEO.

The app was designed by Fortune Cookie and is being promoted as having three main functions:

  1. Discover: Browse and book your luxury hotel through categories such as such as destination, specific experiences or the latest special offers for a quick getaway. Whether you're looking for a relaxing spa weekend or a week at a tropical location, you'll be able to find it here.
  2. Enjoy: Once you've arrived at your destination, you can find points of interest that will help you make the most of your trip with these personal recommendations.
  3. Share: This function allows you to create a list of your favorite luxury hotels and share them with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail.

Justin Cooke of Fortune Cookie has said of the app, "We have designed the SLH iPhone application to allow SLH guests to engage with SLH at every stage of their journey – finding the right property to suit their needs, using the app to enhance their experience while staying at the property and of course, sharing the experience when they return.”

The app is available for both iPhone and iPod Touch and will be available from the Apple Apps store later this month.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Adds Bike Routes to Google Maps

Google Maps Now Has Bike Maps

Seems like Google is always adding something to their search engine and this time they've added to Google maps. The new feature, Bike Maps, allows you the option to get directions not just for traveling by car, foot or public transit, but for traveling by bike as well. If you're riding your bike to a destination, you're more than likely not going to go to the same route you would if you were driving a car and Google is looking to serve those people.

"We wanted to include as much bike trail data as possible, provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trip, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and customize the look of the map for cycling to encourage folks to hop on their bikes. So that's exactly what we've done," said Shannon Guymon, the product manager for Google Maps.

The over 12,000 miles of bike trail data came from Rails-to-Trail's Conservancy's database at TrailLink.com. The group, which is a nonprofit organization located in Washington DC, has been collecting the information since 2000 and has gathered maps, pictures, descriptions, and listings for over 30,000 miles of bike trails. According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, biking has become more popular lately because it's healthier and less expensive than other options.

Google incorporated the data into its routing algorithm, included metropolitan areas with designated bike lanes and roads that were recommended by other cyclists, and took into consideration how busy certain roads are. Oh yeah, and there is the matter of hills.

"Our biking directions are based on a physical model of the amount of power your body has to exert given the slope of the road you're biking on Assuming typical values for mass and for wind resistance, we compute the effort you'll require and the speed you'll achieve while going uphill. We take this speed into account when determining the time estimate for your journey, and we also try hard to avoid routes that will require an unreasonable degree of exertion," said Google software engineer John Leen.

Google Maps for bikes launches today and as you can see from the picture above, all you need to do is choose "bicycling" instead of one of the other options ("by car" is the default option), when you go to look for directions.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Monday, March 8, 2010

T-Mobile's New Phone Doubles as a PND

T-Mobile's New Phone Doubles as a PND

T-Mobile's new Symbian OS-based Nokia 5230 Nuron isn't just a phone. It's also a portable navigation device (PND). The touchscreen 3G smartphone will cost you just $69 after a $50 rebate, but you will have to sign a two-year contract that includes a minimum $39.99 per month voice plan and minimum $9.99 per month data plan.

The phone is full-touchscreen and has a 3.2-inch display. Like any PND, the phone features on-board maps, points-of-interest data, and routing algorithm. And because the data is a part of the phone instead of a carrier's subscription-based service, it has tons of advantages. You won't have to wait for maps and other info to download over the network, you don't need a signal to access your info, and you don't have to pay to access your info.

This isn't Nokia's first PND phone. It launched an unlocked one in late 2009 in the United States and added to the selection earlier this year. However, this phone is the first one that features Nokia's preloaded Ovi Maps navigation app. It also comes preloaded with access to Nokia's Ovi Store, which makes it the first Nokia phone to do so. Other Nokia phones offered by AT&T require you to download the Ovi Store app.

Maps for the United States, Mexico, and Canada come preloaded and over 180 other countries are available for download at NokiaUSA.com/Maps. It also features pedestrian and driving route guidance, automatic rerouting, and lane assistance. The embedded database even includes real-time traffic updates, movie listings, and weather forecasts and you can use the full HTML browser for IM and email.

The Nuron will be available in the next few weeks in T-Mobile stores and select retailers. Its launch will more-than-likely lead the way for more affordable PND phones.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Top 10 Destinations for St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

The search engine HotelsCombined.com, based out of Australia, helps travelers find hotel availability and rates, and compares prices from thousands of hotels, all over the world. This year, after consulting with tourism bureaus and international travel resources, the travel website determined and put together a list of hotels for the Top Ten St. Patrick's Day Celebrations from all over the world. Here is a look at what they found.

1. La Stampa Hotel and Spa in Dublin, Ireland - It's no surprise the top St. Patrick's Day celebration in the world is located in Ireland. This luxurious boutique and stylish townhouse is located in the center of town and offers you the experience of a lifetime - the largest St. Patrick's Day Festival in Ireland.

2. Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel in New York City - You can't get more Irish than that; the name says it all. The hotel is home to the Wheeltapper Pub, which is decorated decorated with authentic turn-of-the-century memorabilia from Ireland's railroad system. Unwind here after the United State's largest St. Patrick's Day parade.

3. Drake Hotel in Chicago - This luxurious, full-service hotel is located at the top of the Miracle Mile. It's said to be the "perfect compliment" to the city's historic St. Patrick's Day celebration.

4. The Lenox Hotel in Boston - Boston is home to one of the oldest American St. Patrick's Day celebrations and in true St. Patrick's Day fashion, this innovative hotel knows all about being "green." It was named one of the top five greenest luxury hotels in America by U.S. News & World Report. Enjoy the celebration and clear your conscience at the same time.

5. Hotel Le Crystal in Montreal - This peaceful and cozy hotel is located just blocks away from Montreal's St. Patrick's Day parade route.

6. Bohemian Hotel Riverfront in Savannah - Savannah's most luxurious hotel sits above a 18th century cobblestone street, overlooking the Savannah River. Savannah is home to the United States' second-largest St. Patrick's Day celebration

7. Tropical Mansion Suites in Montserrat - This British island located in the Lesser Antilles puts a unique spin on St. Patrick's Day. Combing the Irish tradition with its Afro-Irish culture, enjoy not only the celebration, but the island's natural beauty as well.

8. Arlington Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas - Arkansas may not seem like one of the top places in the world for St. Patrick's Day, but the Arlington Resort features a one-of-a-kind celebration, with its Irish Belly Dancers and Irish Order of Elvis Impersonators.

9. Heritage Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand - This hotel is located just above the Muddy Farmer Pub. The Pub brings Ireland to New Zealand with authentic relics and memorabilia from real Irish pubs.

10. Hotel Metropolitan in Tokyo - Tokyo is another place that may not be high on your list of St. Patrick's Day destinations, but the city's parade is one of its most popular international events. The hotel is near the festivities but also allows parade-goers to unwind in its peaceful atmosphere afterwards.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ASUS DR-900 e-reader

ASUS DR-900 e-readerASUS is throwing its hat into the e-reader ring with its new DR-900 e-reader. If you are unfamiliar with e-readers, they are basically electronic devices that you can download full books to allowing you to have a multitude of books at your disposal whenever and wherever you want.

ASUS' DR-900 comes in at around 9-inches and is fairly light. As far as size goes the DR-900 ranks in around the same as the Amazon Kindle DX. The images displayed on the black and white screen look very crisp with the DR-900's 1024x768 display. The e-link display takes about one or two seconds to refresh each page.

But the DR-900 isn't all smiles and rainbows. The touch experience with the DR-900 has been reported to be not so great. Light finger taps don't seem to register when typing into the address bar and you have to press pretty hard to select the homescreen buttons. Thankfully there up and down arrows along the right edge that offer alternate navigation.

Some more good news about those little problems is that the DR-900 is still in production. These problems occurred on a prototype floor model so hopefully they are all ironed out by the product's release. There has been no word on when the DR-900 will go into full on production let alone when it will be released. But if you don't want to wait, there are plenty of other e-readers out there to satisfy your insatiable desire to read a book without actually reading a book.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!