American cities do a lot of things well, but public transit isn't one of them. Get outside the major metropolitan areas on the East Coast, and you're pretty much hosed without a car - try to treat cities in the Midwest or Texas or California like New York, and you'll soon walk right through your shoes. Even if you do have your own vehicle, parking and traffic can become your personal nightmare. According to a new report in the Guardian, one of the many subsidiaries inside Google's new Alphabet parent company is working on fixing that. Read More
Each year in the US, it's estimated that somewhere between ten and twenty thousand people are victims of human trafficking, mostly for some form of prostitution or abusive labor. A disproportionate amount of these victims are women, children, and immigrants. Law enforcement agencies and non-profit groups all over the country attempt to stop the trade of human lives, but the clandestine nature of the operators and the cooperation of apparently legitimate businesses makes actual tracking and prosecution difficult, and only a tiny fraction of the estimated victims are freed. Read More
Google Maps is my go-to tool for finding local businesses, but it isn't always the most transparent way to see them at a glance. For example, I'll search for a café in a major retail hub, but half the results will be from the Starbucks inside Target or the little deli inside a grocery store - not exactly what I'm looking for in a quiet meal. Things might soon get a little easier on that account: the Google Asia Pacific blog says that upcoming versions of Google Maps will list business types right in the map view... but only in Japan for now. Read More
If you want to take in the sights and sounds of your destination while you vacation, Google and TripAdvisor have just the thing for you: playlists for popular travel spots on Play Music. And if you aren't yet a subscriber, those who download TripAdvisor now are eligible for a two-month free trial to Play Music's paid service.
To find a playlist, you don't have to do anything more than search for a city on TripAdvisor. A Play Music widget will appear with a music suggestion, if one exists.
Obviously, you can enjoy this feature even if your travel plans are more aspirational than realistic. Read More
Airside's Mobile Passport app offers a way to speed up the process of re-entering the US after traveling abroad. You send Customs and Border Protection your passport and customs information via your Android device. Then you get to skip the main line and zip through the dedicated Mobile Passport one instead.
In order to experience this convenience, you must use Mobile Passport in one of the supported airports. Originally, that was Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Gradually the app made its way to others. Recently two more made the list. Read More
It's common knowledge that Google has been working on a travel application for some time now. Last week, Maps Explorers were emailed and asked to complete a short survey for a chance to test it before everyone else. Now we know what this app is called, and what it does. Meet Google Trips.
Details are a little thin on the ground. After all, it hasn't been officially announced by Google. But that still hasn't stopped screenshots finding their way into the awaiting arms of the tech press. So, what does it supposedly do?
Perhaps the biggest feature of Google Trips is that it scours Gmail for hotel reservations and flight bookings. Read More
Many of us Android users (and Android Police readers) have been accustomed to using Google Translate to fill our language knowledge gaps, but we often forget the other challenger in the arena: Microsoft Translator. The app was first released last August and when I looked at it back then and compared it to Google's offering, I found it a worthy challenger, but one that lacked a couple of key features.
Translator has since been bridging the gap with Google's Translate, by adding natural live conversations in version 1.2 and now enabling offline download of language packs. Read More
Lonely Planet is known by travelers all around the world for its small travel tip booklets that cover many cities and destinations, using experts and local guides to gather the best advice about each location. After what seemed like an eternity with half-hearted mobile apps, Lonely Planet is finally ready to make the big leap over to your smartphone. The app is now available for both Android and iOS and for a first version, it's a thing of beauty.
Lonely Planet uses a white background and theme throughout the entire app, making every photo and detail pop on the screen. The app starts with a list of supported city guides which are somewhere in the high thirties now. Read More
Should you step across an international border, most carriers seize the opportunity to nickle and dime you into oblivion, but T-Mobile has a different take on things. Simple Global makes most services free or very cheap in supported countries, and the carrier is adding 20 more locations to the program today. Remember, this is only for Simple Choice postpaid customers, no prepaid subscribers need apply. Read More