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APPLICATIONS

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Cool software for the iOS & Apple Watch.

TRIPIT TRAVEL

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iPAD, iPHONE & APPLE WATCH FREE (IN-APP PURCHASES) As a frequent traveller, keeping track of flights, accommodation bookings, car hire and meetings can get tricky. TripIt makes all of this much easier. The app is backed by a cloud service that can extract travel and accommodation information from itineraries and present it in an easy to use form. To use the app, you need to register with TripIt. You can create an account or leverage your existing Google, Facebook or Yahoo! account. Once that’s done, you can access your travel plans from just about any device. Adding travel plans is a snap. You can either enter them manually or simply forward your travel plans to plans@tripit.com from your registered email address. If you’re really lazy, you can even give TripIt permission to check your email to find the itineraries for you. Although that works, we prefer not to give third parties direct access to our email. While TripIt is a handy repository for that information, a big part of its value comes from its ability to share information. For example, we have added family to the list of viewers for our travel plans. That way, if they install TripIt, they can easily look at our travel plans. You can also subscribe to your TripIt calendar, so that your travel appears in your schedule.

With online check-in now an expected feature for travellers, TripIt has integrated this into the app. When check-in for a flight is available, you simply tap a button on the flight information screen and follow the airline’s process. This includes sending boarding passes to Passbook. We’ve stumped up the $61.99 subscription fee for TripIt Pro (available as an in-app purchase), as we use the app so much. This has been invaluable as it delivers alerts about flight delays and lets us know of connections that are in jeopardy of being missed. In many cases, TripIt has alerted us to delays before messages from the airlines were sent. This meant we were able to get onto the phone and beat the rush as we changed flights. The recent updates to TripIt have added alerts to the Apple Watch, so there’s no need to fish our iPhone or iPad out when there’s a message from the airline or a reminder. When you’re on the ground, TripIt integrates with either Apple Maps or Google Maps. So, once you get to an airport, there are travel directions, in the app, to get you to your hotel or appointment – assuming you’ve got them loaded into TripIt. There have been occasions when TripIt hasn’t worked perfectly over the last couple of years we’ve been using it. For example, at one time an airline we regularly use changed the format of its travel documents. But we alerted TripIt’s developers and they updated their systems accordingly. TripIt can also track hotel and airline loyalty programs, as well as store details such as passport and driver’s licence numbers, emergency contact information, such as credit card and embassy numbers. Even if you lose your iPhone or iPad, you can access that information from any computer with a web browser. Even for occasional travellers, TripIt can be useful. If you’re on a long holiday, having all your details in one place can be handy and you can easily share plans with family and friends. In short, if you travel – TripIt can be hugely useful. – BY ANTHONY CARUANA

Macworld australia october 2015[glodls]  
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