Google Now is constantly gaining new abilities that are generally awesome, if a little bit creepy. One such feature, brought to our attention today, is the ability to keep track of flight prices.
This is another automatic feature whereby Google infers your intention and presents useful info on that basis. In this case, if you are eyeing a flight or itinerary through Google Flights (it does not appear that this works with other travel booking sites right now), Google will make a note of that and drop a helpful card into your Google Now screen to let you know when the price of that flight changes.
Last night, Google started a slow rollout of the new Maps with version 7.5. Since the previous version was 7.4, we knew there had to be some key features that prompted the update - it couldn't just be a bug fixer. After thoroughly examining the UI, I was unable to find anything new.
As it turns out, that's because the new feature Google stuffed into the app only shows up upon very specific conditions.
Planning a trip can be stressful. You have to find a good hotel within your budget, get a flight that won't have 17 out-of-the-way layovers, figure out decent restaurants once you in arrive in said destination – it's really just kind of a pain. Since we're all tech savvy users here (right?), of course, we use our smartphones to simplify our lives, and apps like TripAdvisor make a big difference when it comes to having unbon voyage.
Popular beta testing platform TestFlight has officially announced its arrival to Android in private beta form, in a post to the TestFlight blog. If you're wondering how popular TestFlight really is, the same post should provide some reference: the service has been trusted with smoothing the process of beta app deployment for over 300,000 iOS apps. Needless to say, its expansion to Android is big news.
Of course, Android already has HockeyApp.net, and the Play Store offers private app deployment, TestFlight provides the ingredients for an impressively sleek beta testing process with secure deployment, tracking, and – perhaps best of all – centralized feedback.
In a time long before Captain America was even a glimmer in Strategic Scientific Reserve's eye, there was another World War. Did you know that? Yep. There were a lot of airplanes in it. Sky Gamblers: Rise of Glory lets players take those planes up in the air in a flight sim/aerial combat game that actually looks rather polished. Take a look:
Sky Gamblers has been released before, but it looks like it was a Sony-exclusive for a while (nearly all reviews were from Sony devices).
Though we've seen Android run on a number of devices beyond just phones and tablets, it's always nice to see another company turn to Android for specialized purposes. It seems that Boeing is doing just that, having recently unveiled Android-powered entertainment systems for their 787 Dreamliner jet.
Boeing announced that it will offer two different entertainment systems for the 787, both of them running Android - the Panasonic eX3, and the Thales TopSeries Avant.
Hey! Good news! The F.A.A is going to take another look at its stance on "no digital devices during take-off/landing" policy. Sounds pretty promising, right? Not so fast -- this process could take... well, forever. Why is that? Because in order to change the policy, every single device would have to be tested. One at a time. On every plane in existence. No, I'm not kidding.
For example, if the F.A.A wanted to approve Amazon's Kindle for use on planes during taxi, take-off, and landing, then it would have to test every single version of the Kindle (and Fire) on every single plane, on every single airline.
Want to know which online service makes my life a lot easier? Hipmunk. For the uninitiate, Hipmunk is a flight search service with a difference. In addition to sorting available flights by the standard duration and price metrics, Hipmunk can also arrange flights according to "agony", i.e. incorporating factors such as number of stops and total duration. Although its mobile site is adequate, I am pleased to report that Hipmunk has finally launched its Android app, which is available for free from the Market.
As a sign that the United and Continental Airlines merger is progressing well, United (which got to retain its name in the process) has launched an Android app that supports both United and Continental.
In fact, the app is so close to the existing Continental app that I'm pretty sure they simply ripped it apart and put back together after adding support for United into the mix, even leaving the logo the same.
Earlier this year American Airlines released the official version of their app, and to promote it they are launching the "Mobile Million Sweepstakes". One lucky winner will be awarded one million AAdvantage air miles, and one winner each day for 30 days will also receive the Barnes & Noble NOOK Color.