Google Translate Adds Phrasebook To Save Your Most Common Phrases

Google Translate now saves items to PhrasebookGoogle continues to be one of the most innovative companies in the world, developing everything from wearable technology to self-driving cars. And while they’re incredibly busy inventing the future, the Internet search giant also continue to upgrade some of their existing products and services, bringing useful new features to the tools we already use.

Take, for example, Google Translate, the fantastic service that gives us the ability to translate text from more than 50 languages. The web-based version is indispensable for reading foreign websites, while the mobile app is great for translating while on the go. Both versions offer the ability to speak the phrases out loud, which can be a handy feature for those of us who happen to be linguistically challenged. The service can be very helpful for anyone looking to learn a new language too, providing help with pronunciation, spelling and more.

Recently Google Translate was updated with a new feature called Phrasebook, which actually lets you save your most commonly used sentences for quick access in the future. To add something to your Phrasebook simply type in the text you want to use and when the phrase appears in its translated form a small star will appear on the screen. Clicking or tapping on that star will then add it to the Phrasebook for quick referral later on. It doesn’t get any simpler than that, but Google has conveniently provided us with step-by-step instructions none the less.

Frequent users of the Google Translate service will no doubt appreciate this addition, particularly if they are using the mobile app while traveling. It can definitely save a lot of time if you find yourself regularly asking the same questions. In the age of cloud services and account syncing, I would have liked to have seen my personal Phrasebook saved across multiple devices, but perhaps that is something we’ll get in a future update. It would be great to type in important sentences on my laptop and have them automatically appear on my smartphone as well.

Travelers will love Google Translate as it obviously applies nicely to what we do. But the addition of the Phrasebook will no doubt come in handy too, saving time and effort while visiting a foreign land.

[Photo Credit: Google]

ZocDoc Helps You Find Doctors, Make Appointments While Traveling

ZocDoc helps you find medical assistance while travelingThere is nothing more frustrating than having to seek medical assistance while traveling. It is bad enough to have something unexpected come up while you’re at home, but at least your personal doctor is generally only a phone call away. But while you’re on the road it can be difficult to find a specialist and booking an appointment can be a real challenge.

That’s where ZocDoc can come in very handy. The service, which is available on both the web and as an Android and iOS app, allows users to quickly and easily find doctors, dentists and other specialists based on location. The website version of ZocDoc searches based on zip code while the mobile apps use the smartphone’s built in GPS chip to locate options that are near by. Searches can be narrowed by looking for specific specialties (allergist, cardiologist, orthodontist, etc.) and you can even add a search criteria based on the insurance provider you’ll be using.

When the search is complete, ZocDoc presents all the available options in a clean and easy to read format that includes addresses, reviews and a listing of the next available appointment. Tapping or clicking on an open date and time allows the user to then quickly and easily book that appointment.

Putting ZocDoc through its paces, I was impressed with just how simple the interface was both on the website and the iPhone app. It really is very easy to use the service to locate a doctor. Booking an appointment couldn’t have been any easier either and the whole process took just a minute or two to complete.

For now, ZocDoc only works in the U.S. but for travelers who frequently move about the country, this could be an incredibly useful app. If you find yourself frequently on the road and occasionally needing medical assistance of some type, this service will come in very hand. While not expressly built for travelers, it certainly is a resource that we’ll all be happy to have if we ever need it.

[Photo Credit: U.S. Airforce via Wikimedia]

Delta’s New ‘Fly Delta’ App Lets You See The World Under Your Airplane


Ever dream of flying in a glass bottom jet? That technology may not yet be available, but Delta Air Lines‘ new iPad app might just be the best simulation.

The Fly Delta app for iPad was released yesterday as part of Delta’s new $140 million commitment to technology, which includes upgrades to its website, mobile apps and airport kiosks. The app includes new tools to ease the travel experience, from booking your flight to advance check-in to figuring out what’s next on your itinerary.

But the app’s most exciting feature is the “Glass Bottom Jet,” which allows passengers connected to Delta’s in-flight Wi-Fi service to view visuals of the ground below the aircraft, enhanced with maps, social networks and Internet content. Read about the history of Mount Rushmore as you fly through South Dakota, check out photos of the Grand Canyon over Nevada or reach out to friends as you pass their homes. For geography geeks, it’s a pretty nifty way to pass time in flight.

An improved Fly Delta app for iPhone was also released yesterday, which includes iPhone 5 support and integration with Apple’s Passbook feature. An improved Android app is scheduled to be released later this year.

[Photo Credit: Delta]

Roamz iPhone App Will Help You Discover Things To Do At Home Or On The Road

The Roamz app uses socal media to suggest hotspotsIf you’ve traveled with any kind of regularity, I’m sure at some point or another you’ve found yourself in a new city with some spare time on your hands but unsure of what you should do. A guidebook can sometimes be of assistance, but they’re often out of date even before they are published, and asking a local can usually yield results, although they routinely view their city much differently than a visitor. What we need in these instances is something that is not only current but also easy to access, providing us with suggestions for activities, good places to eat, interesting local shops and other hotspots. That is exactly what the Roamz app for iPhone and Android aims to do, adding in a nice social twist to the mix.

Roamz is a simple to use, location-sensitive app that has been designed from the ground up to help people discover what is happening around them. The interface is clean and simple, providing a basic search bar that allows us to enter terms like “pizza” or “live music,” with results returned in quick fashion. Your most recent searches are saved so that they can be quickly accessed again, while suggestions for common search terms are displayed as graphical tiles along the bottom of the screen. Tapping one of them displays nearby results for the specific category with some basic information about the restaurant, shop or activity itself. Those results also show the location of the event (which can be opened in the maps app for navigation) and give options to visit the venue’s website or dial its phone number.

If you’ve owned a smartphone over the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen similar apps. But where Roamz sets itself apart is that rather than simply searching a database of local addresses sorted by category it actually scans social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to determine what places or events are getting the most buzz around you. This means you’re not only receiving info about a great place to eat, but you could also learn about special activities that are taking place near by. This social aspect of the search gives Roamz a more timely quality that isn’t found elsewhere.The app will also allow you to save a list of your favorite locations and it will automatically alert you to special activities at those places whenever you’re in the neighborhood. Those suggestions can come in handy when you’re looking for things to do both at home or on the road. Not surprisingly, Roamz also connects with popular social media outlets, allowing you to share your own activities with friends and family.

That’s the basic premise of this app and in practice it works quite well. I’ve used it to find new places to eat in my hometown, as well as to discover things to do when visiting another city. The social aspects of Romaz offer a nice twist over similar apps, as you get to see what others near you are saying about the hotspots. The app even displays images that have been shared through social media, giving users an opportunity to see the place long before they ever visit it.

The app is completely free and is available on both Apple’s app store and the Google Play store. It is definitely one that will come in handy while in your home city, but it truly struts its stuff while traveling elsewhere.

[Photo credit: Roamz]


Discover great places nearby on Roamz from Roamz App on Vimeo.

Google Invites Us On A Field Trip With New App

Google Field Trip for AndroidEarlier this week, tech giant Google released an interesting new Android app called Field Trip that cleverly combines Internet search and GPS services to deliver location specific information to users. The app, which runs in the background on compatible devices, uses alerts to suggest things to see and do in the immediate vicinity around the person using it. Those suggestions can include such things as places to eat or drink, where to catch a show or event, special deals and a whole lot more.

Field Trip taps into databases maintained by companies such as Thrillist, Zagat, Curbed and Yesterland to help make suggestions that may be of interest to the user. Those suggestions can come as frequently or as seldom as you’d like and appear on the screen in the form of a card that presents relevant information about the location or event.

The potential for this app while wandering around our home cities is great of course, as it is always fun to discover new locations and hidden gems that aren’t far from home. But Field Trip sounds like it could be a fantastic option for travelers who enjoy strolling around a new destination while organically discovering unique venues and other points of interest. While the early version of this app is a bit rough around the edges, it does hold a lot of potential for becoming a virtual tour guide in the future.

Field Trip is absolutely free and available now on Google Play store. An iPhone version is in the works and should be available soon.