Travel Tech

Travel Tech

Facebook Has a New App for Finding Places to Go and Things to Do

If you’ve ever been in an unfamiliar neighborhood wondering where to eat, scoured the internet for the best hair salon, or flip-flopped over whether you wanted to go to that speakeasy downtown, Facebook is proposing a new solution.

The social media giant announced their latest app, Facebook Local, on Friday. The service recommends restaurants, coffee shops, events, and services based on recommendations from your Facebook friends.

Much like Google Maps or Yelp, Local uses your location data from your phone to suggestions for where to go and what to do. Unlike the other apps, the recommendations are coming from what friends like.

Related: Facebook ‘Likes’ Won’t Make You Happy — but Sharing Vacation Photos Could

This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to tap into friends’ interests to offer users tips. Last year, for example, the platform rolled out Featured Events.

Local will recommend events that your friends are going to while also offering tips on things like new restaurants or the best places to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

You can also recommend places you’ve been so your friends can see them, and respond to Facebook event invites through the app.

Local has potential to give users new ideas for exploring their own city or giving them insider tips on less “touristy” spots in places their friends live.

Facebook Local is available for iOS and Android.

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Travel Tech

How to Fix the iPhone Glitch That’s Preventing You From Typing the Letter ‘I’

This story originally appeared on

If you’re trying to type the letter “i” to a friend on your iPhone and instead get the letter “a” and some weird symbol, don’t worry. You are not alone.

Related: Hands on With iPhone X, Apple’s Radical New Smartphone

Along with the addition of a few new emojis, the latest iPhone iOS update — iOS 11.1 — brought along a major glitch that has some users struggling to type coherent sentences. The glitch has impacted a number of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices with the updated software — and has not yet been resolved by Apple.

Related: Here Are All the Camera Improvements on Apple’s iPhone X

However, the company is suggesting a quick fix: changing the settings for the letter “i” in your keyboard settings.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go into your Settings
  • Click “General”
  • Click “Keyboard”
  • Click “Text Replacement”
  • Click “+” to add a new one
  • Type an upper-case “I” under “Phrase” and type a lower-case “i” under “Shortcut”

Related: There’s a New Netflix Email Scam Going Around. Here’s How to Spot It

That fix should solve the glitch for now. It is unclear when the glitch will be resolved by Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TIME.

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Travel Tech

This Wireless Charger in a Tray Table Could Make Flying Economy Much Better

The one thing travelers might want even more than cheap airfare is power — for their devices.

As airlines gradually add new aircraft and retrofit their existing fleets with power outlets, passengers can expect a future where they’ll never have to worry about charging their smartphones, tablets, and other devices. But power outlets aren’t the only thing in the works.

Related: Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Passenger Discovers Husband Is Cheating on Her

According to Runway Girl Network, Astronics Advanced Electronics Systems has created a new wireless charging system that could be installed on tray tables — even in economy.

“If you get on an airplane and look around, who is charging? Everybody, not just first and business,” Mark Peabody, president at Astronics Advanced Electronics Systems, told RGN.

The wireless holder, developed with SmartTray, would be a welcome alternative to what economy passengers typically find now: Either no outlets, or outlets practically hidden underneath their seats.

Astronics expects the changes to take time, of course, but customer demand could drive airlines to move quickly.

“Over the next year to two years, I think what we’ll see on the ground is proliferation of charging spots,” Peabody told RGN. “What you see on the ground is what you expect in the air not long after.”

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Travel Tech

The Cruise Cabins of the Future Will Let You Stargaze From Bed

At an immersive experience in New York City, Royal Caribbean showed how cruise-goers will in the near future be able to unlock rooms with a smartphone or watch, and board the ship using facial recognition.

But one of the most exciting advances the cruise line is working on is the so-called “stateroom of the future.”

Related: Royal Caribbean Will Break Its Own Record for World’s Largest Cruise Ship

“We really try to innovate on every aspect of our vacation experience,” Jay Schneider, senior vice president of digital at Royal Caribbean, told Travel + Leisure.

The stateroom plays a key role in helping travelers go to sleep, wake up, relax, and connect to the sea, according to Schneider, who said the cruise line wants to reimagine how to “use technology to make those experiences even more amazing.”

During a demo of the stateroom of the future, representatives from Royal Caribbean explained how technology (like 4K video) could be used to transform an interior stateroom. Screens could act as a balcony, create an in-room river on the floor, become windows on the walls, and even cover the ceiling.

With the push of a button, the ceiling of a stateroom could recede like a moon roof to reveal a a dazzling night sky or a brilliant Caribbean sunrise.

On a stormy day, travelers could request sunshine in their cabins or change the display to see their destination port before arrival. The technology would allow guests to sleep under the stars or experience a tropical rainstorm without getting wet. Instead of an alarm clock, you could even opt to rise with the sun.

Since this is a concept, cruisers shouldn’t expect the stateroom of the future to roll out exactly as demo’d. And it also won’t be bookable on sailings anytime in the next few years.

But in the meantime, travelers can look forward to the Celebrity Edge, an impressive ship arriving next November. The cabins will feature plenty of new technology, including some low-tech breakthroughs like panoramic windows, interior cutouts that allow an ocean-view from every angle.

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Travel Tech

7 Useful Apps to Download Before Moving to NYC

Moving your life to New York City is no easy feat, especially if you rent a walk-up apartment. And even once you’re settled in, keeping up with the demands of daily city life can get really expensive. Before you know it, you’re dropping hundreds of dollars a week just on lunch — and don’t even get us started on how much movies cost.

To give your bank account some breathing room and help you maintain a budget, we rounded up some must-have money saving apps you need to download before heading up to the Big Apple. All you have to do is purchase a monthly subscription and you’ll have unlimited access to all their services. From coffee to concerts, it’s basically like having an unlimited monthly MetroCard for all your favorite things.

Related: 42 Things You Only Know if You’re a Real New Yorker


Gone are the days of racing home to make sure your package was delivered safely or having things inconveniently sent to your office. For $79 per month, Doorman allows you to schedule as many deliveries as you want, whenever it’s most convenient for you. The company intercepts your packages at their warehouse and keeps them secure until you’re actually at home to receive it.

Fair Folks and a Goat

At $35 per month, you can join the shop’s coffee club and get all-you-can-drink coffee, tea, lattes, and espresso. The catch is, you’ll have to make the trek down to their East and West Village locations. If you live or work in the neighborhood, you definitely need to get on this.


This app isn’t exactly unlimited, but it might as well be. For the low price of $9.99 per month, you can choose one drink a day at plenty of the local bars Hooch is partnered with around town. In short, you’re basically paying the price of one drink to be able to have 30 in total throughout the month. Not too shabby, if you ask us.

Related: 9 Things Bartenders Wish You Knew About Tipping

Meal Pal

It’s time to stop spending $15 on that salad you buy for lunch every day. Instead, let Meal Pal take care of all your food for the week while you’re at work for as little as $6 per meal. If you’re feeling extra lazy, they have dinner subscriptions, too.

Movie Pass

Movie prices have skyrocketed in the past few years, but this app found a way to make the movie theaters just like Netflix. $9.99 per month lets you see as many movies as you want anywhere in the country. Sadly it doesn’t include popcorn and candy, but maybe you can use all the money you saved on tickets for snacks.

Surf Air

You may need a break from the city from time to time, and flying out west is the way to go. All-you-can-fly is now a thing for $1,950 per month to any of the app’s destinations, including L.A. and Lake Tahoe.

Wax Club

Pamper yourself with a wax membership that gets you unlimited waxing for $99 per month. An eyebrow wax here and there may be no big deal, but those numbers add up.

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Travel Tech

Bill Gates Wants to Build a ‘Smart City’ With High-speed Internet and Driverless Cars

Billionaire Bill Gates is planning to create a 24,800-acre smart city in Arizona.

Gates’ investment group, Cascade Investment, is putting $80 million towards the new community, according to the Arizona Republic. The new community will include 3,800 acres of office, commercial, and real estate facilities, in addition to 470 acres of public schools and about 80,000 homes.

Arizona-based real estate investment firm, Belmont Partners, will be creating the new city just 45 minutes outside of Phoenix, in the West Valley. Named Belmont, the new space will be located along the path of where the proposed I-11 freeway would be, running right through Belmont and easily connecting those in the city to Las Vegas.

Related: Bill Gates’ Private Wedding Destination Is Now Open for Bookings 

Though the firm hasn’t announced when construction is set to begin, the project will include transforming the undeveloped space into a smart city that will include everything from driverless cars and data centers to digital networks. 

Take a look at what you can expect below: 

“Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology,” firm representatives said in a news release, which will include “autonomous logistic hubs” and “new manufacturing technologies.”

Related: Bill Gates Shares His First Ever Instagram Post While Traveling in Tanzania

This is not the first time Arizona has been the location for attempts to create cities of the future.  The state is also home to Acrosanti, a compact city concept that architect Paolo Soleri introduced back in the 1970s, and which remains opens to visitors today.

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Travel Tech

What People in Each State Search Google for Around Thanksgiving

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Nearly every family has its own Thanksgiving tradition and, thanks to the internet, we now know so does each state.

Google analyzed its Maps search data from across the country to determine what people are looking for around Thanksgiving. Analysts compared last year’s searches from the week of Thanksgiving to the two weeks before and after the holiday to determine which requests were the “most uniquely popular” by state.

Related: Disney Tried to Hide the Millennium Falcon Behind Shipping Containers but Someone Found It on Google Maps

Throughout the U.S., the most popular Thanksgiving-time search was for a plant nursery — presumably to pick up a Christmas tree for the season. People in Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were all looking for one — and Delaware was searching for a florist.

And with Black Friday sales, it’s no surprise that many searches around Thanksgiving are for stores. People in Montana and South Dakota were looking at home goods while those in Nebraska looked for home improvement stores. Shoppers in North Dakota wanted to buy furniture, people in Oklahoma wanted fabric, and people in Rhode Island were looking for antiques. Iowans and Kansans were searching for office supply stores.

New Hampshire shoppers were looking for electronics while Tennessee shoppers were specifically looking for “electronics vending machines.” Shoppers in Wyoming were searching for a cellphone store and those in Colorado were looking for a new car stereo. The top search in Missouri was for a kennel.

People in Washington and West Virginia were looking for restaurants while those in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi are searching for delis. The most uniquely popular search in Maine and Vermont was for a nearby bar. People in New Jersey were looking for breweries and those in Oregon wanted to find a vineyard.

People in Arizona and Louisiana, however, just wanted to find a parking lot.

And then of course there are those who are looking to get out of town around Thanksgiving. People in Alaska were searching for a bed and breakfast, North Carolinians were searching for a vacation home rental agency, and South Carolinians were looking for a condo complex. Those in Hawaii were searching for an airline and people in Florida wanted to find their nearest airport shuttle service. People in Maryland were looking for a bus charter while those in Virginia were searching for any transit station.

And then there are the people around the country who want to explore. People in Idaho and New Mexico searched for their closest tourist attraction. The most uniquely popular search in Massachusetts was for an orchard while people in Nevada were trying to find a ranch. People in Utah just wanted to find a “scenic spot.” Texans and citizens of D.C. searched for a bikeshare location.

Perhaps prompted by Thanksgiving football games, New Yorkers searched for a store that sells sports cards and people in Illinois are looking for a football field.

And people in California searched, somewhat stereotypically, to find the closest “festival.”

Happy holidays, no matter how you celebrate.

The Most Uniquely Popular Google Maps Searches by State

  • Alabama: Plant Nursery
  • Alaska: Bed and Breakfast
  • Arizona: Parking Lot
  • Arkansas: Deli
  • California: Festival
  • Colorado: Car Stereo Store
  • Connecticut: Plant Nursery
  • Delaware: Florist
  • D.C.: Bikeshare Location
  • Florida: Airport Shuttle Service
  • Georgia: Deli
  • Hawaii: Airline
  • Idaho: Tourist Attraction
  • Illinois: Football Field
  • Indiana: Plant Nursery
  • Iowa: Office Supply Store
  • Kansas: Office Supply Store
  • Kentucky: Deli
  • Louisiana: Parking Lot
  • Maine: Bar
  • Maryland: Bus Charter
  • Massachusetts: Orchard
  • Michigan: Plant Nursery
  • Minnesota: Plant Nursery
  • Mississippi: Deli
  • Missouri: Kennel
  • Montana: Home Good Stores
  • Nebraska: Home Improvement Store
  • Nevada: Ranch
  • New Hampshire: Electronics Store
  • New Jersey: Brewery
  • New Mexico: Tourist Attraction
  • New York: Sports Card Store
  • North Carolina: Vacation Home Rental Agency
  • North Dakota: Furniture Store
  • Ohio: Plant Nursery
  • Oklahoma: Fabric Store
  • Oregon: Vineyard
  • Pennsylvania: Plant Nursery
  • Rhode Island: Antique Store
  • South Carolina: Condo Complex
  • South Dakota: Home Goods Store
  • Tennessee: Electronics Vending Machine
  • Texas: Bikeshare Location
  • Utah: Scenic Spot
  • Vermont: Bar
  • Virginia: Transit Station
  • Washington: Family Restaurant
  • West Virginia: American Restaurant
  • Wisconsin: Plant Nursery
  • Wyoming: Cell Phone Store
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Travel Tech

Delete This One iOS App to Save Your Battery

This story originally appeared on

Recently purchased a new iPhone or upgraded to iOS 11.1.1? Well, there’s one popular app that you might want to stay away from, as it’s wrecking havoc on battery life.

Related: People Are Freaking Out Over This Giant Teddy Bear on Amazon

As first reported by the blog PiuinkaWeb on Monday, there appears to be a bug affecting the YouTube app that severely affects battery life and causes overheating on iPhones running the newest iOS—even when the app is opened in the background but not actively being used. Users say that using the app depletes the battery nearly a percentage point a minute, and its affecting even the iPhone X’s improved battery life.

Related: The Scary Thing You Don’t Know About YouTube Kids

Thankfully, as of November 12, YouTube is aware of the issue. After a user reported 20 percent of its battery being drained after 30 minutes of use, the company replied that they were “actively working on the issue.”

Related: This Is the Most Stressful Day of the Week

Though the video streaming company released a new version of the app yesterday (12.44) that included “support for iPhone X,” battery drainage is still being reported by users on Twitter at time of writing.

So for now, it might be a good idea to delete your YouTube app—or at least make sure it’s closed at all times, so you’re not caught with a surprise dead battery.

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Travel Tech

What Routehappy’s Jaivin Anzalota Sees Next in Air Travel (Video)

Technology has an incredible impact on travel, and for everything that’s visible to leisure travelers — like real-time traffic updates or in-flight Wi-Fi — there’s much more going on behind the scenes.

Jaivin Anzalota knows that well. As the chief product officer at Routehappy, a content platform for flight shopping, he works on products that directly affect the air travel experience. In fact, you’ve probably used or even benefited from Routehappy’s products, even if you’re not familiar with the name.

Related: Round-trip Tickets to Greece Are on Sale for $393

As part of our series highlighting travel innovators, we asked Anzalota about what he’s been working on — and what he’s excited to see in the travel space the future.

T+L: How would you describe what Routehappy does?

Jaivin Anzalota: “Routehappy delivers rich merchandising content, like photos, videos, icons, descriptions for specific search results across consumer or travel agent channels, so consumers can make smart decisions. Whether it’s airline direct website, a meta search website like Google Flights, an OTA like Expedia or a corporate booking tool like Egencia, Routehappy works with all consumer touch points across the distribution landscape of air travel.

Jaivin Anzalota

Courtesy of Jaivin Anzalota

“What Routehappy realized was that flight shopping today, doesn’t tell the full story — it focuses on price and schedule, hiding unique product and service options that airlines invest in to differentiate their offerings. Routehappy offers airlines and travel companies the ability to show the full picture to consumers at the time of purchase … Consumers no longer have to ask, ‘Does my flight have Wi-Fi?’ or, ‘Is food provided on my flight and is it free or for purchase?’

T+L: What about Routehappy is innovative?

“We are able to offer specific targeted rich content by cabin, aircraft subfleet, route, time of day, duration — to name a few. So, consumers only see compelling, relevant content about the exact flight they are looking at … The flight shopping ecosystem has been slow to innovate and catch up to other industries that have merchandising and targeting down to a science, but we are excited to see the industry slowly taking steps to progress and come out of the dark ages of merchandising. With each use case and integration of our content we are better able to champion the need for change, especially given the positive gains in conversion, customer satisfaction and upsell our products are providing. Consumers want a better shopping experience when purchasing flights, airlines want the ability to differentiate and showcase their innovation and investment and travel companies want the ability to provide a better product for their consumers. We’re excited to be leading the industry and transforming flight shopping.”

T+L: How do you approach change in your work?

“Change is inevitable during the product development lifecycle. We embrace this fact by running product iterations weekly, focusing on delivering incremental improvements while working toward broader long-term goals. Having a small focused product team also helps us maneuver quickly as the needs of the business and industry change … With the advent of new onboard products and experiences, we are constantly challenged to evolve the way we think about our products.”

Related: How to Use Google’s New Flight and Hotel Search to Save More Money

T+L: How do you see technology impacting travel?

“Technology is improving the end-to-end travel experience in many ways, from richer and more convenient booking tools to improved onboard experiences. In the near-term, travel technology is evolving toward enabling flight shopping applications to showcase product differences beyond price and schedule to the onboard experience and ticket choices offered. Consumers expect these kind of rich shopping experiences in other verticals, like electronics, clothing, and hotels. As the capabilities of travel technology reach parity with other verticals we can expect to see more advanced merchandising take shape, like personalized travel offers based on unique preferences or requirements … The days of forcing consumers to wade through 1,000 flight combinations based on departure time and price will soon become a relic of the past. Consumers expect more from technology and in the not too distant future I see flight shopping applications that can interpret my needs and preferences providing the best options quickly in a seamless and frictionless experience.”

T+L: How has your own travel affected how you see the products you work on?

“When traveling I can’t help but analyze the experience and relate it back to how we collect and present information. Prior to Routehappy, choosing a flight felt like a crapshoot, often agonizing over my choices not knowing whether I was making the best decision. I would often go out of my way to stick with carriers I had flown with in the past, believing that would ensure the best experience. Routehappy has changed the way I view flying, from something I used to spend hours researching and worrying about to being an informed decision-making process that I can feel confident in. Not surprisingly, onboard amenities and product offerings now weigh heavily in my decision making and planning.

Related: Flights to Hawaii Are Now Even Cheaper

“For example, I often work on flights so I opt for carriers with the best Wi-Fi available. When I know my entertainment and connectivity options are limited, I plan accordingly and sync files before boarding. Or, if food isn’t available I plan a meal at the airport. Traveling can be hectic for the most experienced travelers among us but removing variables from the process has certainly helped me improve my approach to travel. On the flip side of that, if I am traveling with my children I want to know if I have seatback entertainment or USB ports to charge their devices keep them distracted and me less stressed!

T+L: What other innovations — either by individuals or companies — have you seen in the travel industry that you think are exciting?

“The latest innovations surrounding onboard experience are exciting. A big trend right now is airlines retrofitting older aircraft to new high-tech standards, making them appear roomier and modern. While the core of the aircraft remains unchanged, everything from the lighting to overhead bins and windows are getting a major face lift. Airlines are removing the old gloomy fluorescent yellow lighting and adding LED mood lighting, removing small overhead bins and adding pivot bins that can hold far more bags. These changes have the potential to improve the experience of flying dramatically for all passengers.”

T+L: How do you see travel changing in the next 5-10 years?

“In the next five to 10 years, flight shopping will de-commoditize significantly and be a much richer and personalized experience, enabling consumers to be matched with the right flight and ancillary products based on personal preferences and requirements … While I’m not sure if the glamourous days of air travel will make a resurgence, I can say with confidence that with more consumer choice and richer shopping experience will lead to more enjoyable and predictable journeys.”

Note: This interview has been lightly edited for length.

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