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Travel tech news: June 20 2012
A new version of the Apple mobile operating system, custom iPad cases with your travel photos, first aid on your phone and a new tablet that could actually replace your laptop, all in this edition of Travel Tech News.
New version of Apple’s iOS announced. You may now rejoice.
Apple recently announced the latest version of its iOS operating system for most of those ubiquitous devices starting with i. If you have an iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (fourth generation), iPad 2 or higher, expect to see a bunch of new features with the release of iOS 6 a few months from now.
A full list of expected improvements can be found here, but the most exciting ones for travellers look to be the new mapping service (including turn-by-turn directions, finally), offline reading lists in Safari and a potentially Skype-busting ability to use Facetime over a cellular connection.
With over two hundred new enhancements and features, this will be definitely be something to look out for if you’ve got a reasonably recent Apple device,
Show off your travel photos on your iPad without even turning it on
Impressing that girl at the bar by flicking through travel photos on your iPad is so passé. If you’re really aiming to impress, surely you want to show off your best pics without even hitting the power button?
Casetegram have just announced that ultimate photo fanboys can now order an iPad case plastered with selected images from their Instagram feeds, in a small range of colours and layouts.
The company has offered similarly-styled iPhone cases for a while, so now there’s no excuse for the discerning Apple owner not to show off their style just a little bit more.
Cases cost around $55 USD, including (for a limited time) free international shipping.
First aid on your smartphone. Defibrillator not included.
The American Red Cross has just released a first aid app for both Android and Apple devices, covering what to do in a range of different emergency situations from anaphylaxis to stroke, bleeding to meningitis. Video and text instructions lead the first-aider through a few simple steps, with the ability to call emergency services direct from the app if the situation is serious.
Because it’s obviously not ideal to be fumbling around with your phone while the person in front of you is bleeding out, there is also a ‘Learn’ section with more detailed instructions and tests for each scenario that you can go through in advance.
Finally a ‘Prepare’ section covers off being ready for emergencies such as earthquake, fire and many more. The app is slick and easy to use, doesn’t require an internet connection, and should really be a must-have for anyone who doesn’t have official first aid training. Impressive.
Microsoft announces a new tablet that could maybe, just maybe, replace your laptop.
With hype usually only seen in the launch of a new Apple device, Microsoft just announced its new Surface tablet, due to ship later this year. Coming in two versions that will be quite different in terms of size, weight and power, the Surface looks like a more than worthy competitor to the iPad and other existing tablets.
The ‘RT’ version runs the standard tablet version of Windows 8, with a similar weight and size to the current iPad and a larger screen. Unlike the iPad it has real expansion options, with a pair of USB sockets, microSD and standard video connectors.
The somewhat larger ‘Pro’ version runs a fully fledged version of Windows 8. This, combined with the keyboard that is built into the case of both versions, means it could truly function as both a tablet and a complete laptop replacement for people on the move.
Could this be the ultimate device for travellers who need to work on the road? We’ll let you know when it comes out.