The Digital Traveller

It is a small world thanks to the age of digital travel. I am not just talking about the rise of social media which has led to countless holiday snaps and status updates by your friends that you always seem to read as you lie on the couch on a Friday night eating pizza and discovering wayward chips from your couch. (Otherwise known as FOMO) The digital traveller is now armed to the teeth with gadgets and apps that can transform any overseas trip into its own multimedia publishing expedition, and has made it easier than ever before to keep in touch with family and friends back home.

I have not been overseas since 2005. (I am talking long haul flights so excluding New Zealand)

The way I see it there have been three major improvements to travel due to the digital age:

1. Smart phones allow even ET to phone home.

Global Roaming Meme Source: http://memegenerator.net/instance/33551621
Global Roaming Meme
Source: http://memegenerator.net/instance/33551621

Whilst previously I would leave my phone at home to avoid racking up thousands of dollars in global roaming charges, this time I have a range of travel sims to choose from including Travel Sim, Back Chat and Woolworths Global Roaming. These sims work in most phones including iPhones and provide discounted call rates in more than 100 countries. A call to Audtralia from Europe can cost as little as 0.42 cents a minute compared to using global roaming at more than $3 a min.

2. Ipad and other tablets

If you have an Ipad or other tablet, bring it with you on your trip – it provides quick access to look up nearby accomodation or sights using the readily available free WiFi that exists in most destinations, and is also a handy way to back up photos taken from your camera. The Apple Ipad Camera Adapter provides an easy way to import photos from your digital camera to your Ipad. That way if you lose your camera or run out of space on your memory card, you can back up to the iPad and keep snapping away!

3. Apps to keep you organised and ready for travel
There are a range of packing apps around for iPhone and ipad.

  • UPackingList – there are tons of packing apps around but this has been the one I have used for domestic travel the last few years and has worked great – lists can be adapted and are sorted for you into Categories such as Health, Gadgets, Shoes etc
  • Trip Advisor Offline City Maps  allows you to download before you go so you can use it offline when you are abroad, avoiding international data charges.
  • Traveling around Europe by train? Download the free Europe Rail iphone app to look up timetables and check out Eurail Pass discounts near you on the go, all offline.
  • Skype is an obvious choice – international phone cards are no longer needed if you are able to access WiFi at your destination, Skype gives you free calls to another Skype account.
  • Many airlines allow you to check in before you depart using their app. So check before you depart.
  • Expedia, Hotels.com and TripAdvisor Hotel apps allow you to search and book places to stay as you go – these require an internet/data connection though so make sure you are in a WiFi area (preferably a secure WiFi area to avoid hackers)

This infographic by MDG advertising highlights some of the ways travel has changed in the digital era.

Vacationing the Social Media Way

Have I forgotten anything? Any apps you love when you travel?

Apple announces ios7 and a new range of Macs

This morning as us Australians were sleeping, Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. (WWDC). This annual event is where Apple announces its new products and features for the year, it is so coveted that tickets to the event sold out in 71 seconds.

As reported in ABC’s WWDC live blog by Lauren Effron and Joanne Stern a range of new features are coming to our iPhones, iPods and iPads.

This operating system is known as ios7.

The updates are so huge that it will seem like you are getting a new iPhone, iPad or iPod.

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If you are like me, you are already impatient about the wait to get ios7, however for now it is only available to developers. It will be available to the rest of us in the US Fall. Cue annoyed ‘I want it now’ face.

The next time you are asked to update the operating system on your mobile device you will get (assuming you have an iPhone 4, iPad or iPad Mini or iPod touch) these new features:

  • New look interface
  • A new look interface that is so unique and beautiful, you will want to cradle it. Assuming you don’t already do that. According to Forbes writer Anthony Forbes Kosner the new interface is “lushly colorful, subtly dimensional and exquisitely modern.”

  • New Control Center allowing short cuts to WiFi settings, better Multi tasking, Flashlight app and filters for Photos.
  • improvements to Siri
  • Password library known as Keychain where you can keep all your passwords securely
  • iTunes Radio
  • this is Apples answer to Spotify and Pandora, an online music streaming service, that is free with ads.

  • Apps will now update within the App Store and can you location services to suggest new apps near you.
  • New range of Mac Book Air laptops will be available and new Mac Book Pros are due out later this year.
  • For a complete list visit the ABC live blog

    What do you think of ios7?

    Facebook Images Cheat Sheet for Marketers

    Managing images and photos for your company social media channels can be tricky at times. Each channel has its own set of dimensions and rules and keeping up with them can be time-consuming.

    Facebook recently changed the rules for Page Admins making it easier for marketers to utilise their company cover image so that it includes up to 20% text – making it a powerful tool for promotion of your next marketing campaign or product release.

    LUCIO DIAS RIBEIRO  of Marketing Easy has posted a useful infographic with all the image sizes/dimensions for different types of Facebook posts. It was created by the Online Circle Digital Creative Team.

    Check it out below and here.
    Facebook Sizes and Dimensions Cheat Sheet 2013
    Facebook Sizes and Dimensions Cheat Sheet 2013