Lonely Planet volcano relief – free European iPhone city guides!

Stranded in Europe due to volcanic ash? How about getting to know your host city a little better with the help of a Lonely Planet city guide? The guides normally cost $9.99, but Lonely Planet has graciously turned them into free apps until Thursday.

The lineup of apps covers most major European cities, and a list of the cities included (with App store links) can be found on the Lonely Planet blog.

Of course, nothing is stopping you from downloading the apps if you are not stranded, but be nice to Lonely Planet and snag one of their paid apps as well – they are good people, and the quality of these free guides is quite impressive.

This isn’t even the only bit of goodwill from Lonely Planet – they have also opened up a discussion forum where stranded travelers can find some assistance. To find a bed, car for share or anything else – head on over to the Volcano Refugee Network.


Boingo Wi-Fi Credits for the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad offers connectivity on the go

Boingo just released a new app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad – their second application for the platform. In this newly released app, you can purchase Wi-Fi connectivity credits on the go – using your App store credits or stored payment method. Credits are good for a single hour of access.

Credits can be purchased in blocks of one, or ten (with a buy ten get one free promo). Best of all, the app comes with one free credit.

By linking the Wi-Fi credit purchase with your existing app store payment method, you won’t need to reach for a credit card or worry about having to enter a new payment method on the road. Credits are just treated as an in-app purchase, like many other add-ons for App store purchases.The application manages the purchases, and also acts as a hotspot finder.

The new Boingo Wi-Fi credits app can be found in the App store. If you plan to use Boingo more than a couple of hours a month, you’ll be better off with their smartphone plan – which offers unlimited worldwide access for just $7.95/month.

Kensington iPhone car mount amplifies with no batteries – the Gadling review

As the iPhone slowly becomes a viable navigation system (thanks to apps like Navigon, TomTom and Magellan), it becomes important to find a safe way to mount your iPhone (and prevent it from shooting through your windshield if you need to brake).

The new Kensington Windshield/Vent Car Mount with Sound Amplified Cradle for iPhone is a suction cup mount with several really smart features that make it the perfect iPhone mount for in your vehicle.
One of the best features of this new mount is an amplifier – it uses a sound chamber to boost the volume of your phone, which means it doesn’t need batteries or switches. The amplified sound is a little “tinny”, but certainly much louder than without the mount.

The mount is capable of holding iPhones in a case, and thanks to an assortment of rubber gaskets, you can still use the amplifier without removing your iPhone. The flexible arm on the mount allows you to adjust it any way you want – which means you can attach it to your windshield, dashboard or a beanbag friction mount (like the one I’m using).

The cradle portion of the mount rotates – which means you can use your navigation package in landscape or portrait mode.

All in all, a simple yet very effective and well designed mount. Kensington clearly put some thought into this mount – and the small touches (like a place to store your iPhone power cable) make it a pretty handy little gadget. It is small enough to fold up and pack in your bag for using in a rental car, and the built in amplifier means you’ll even be able to hear your iPhone when you have the windows (or top) down in your car.

PROS: Strong suction cup, holds iPhone in a case, amplifier really does work
CONS: Amplified audio is a little “tinny”

The Kensington Windshield/Vent Car Mount with Sound Amplified Cradle for iPhone retails for $39.99, or $49.99 with a low-profile iPhone car charger cord.

For more information, or to place an order, check out the Kensington product page. As usual, your favorite electronics retailer may have this product for quite a bit less, so shop around!

Find good food on the go with these free iPhone apps

The days of relying on (often poor) advice from strangers, or carrying around a printed copy of the Zagat guide are long behind us. Thanks to devices like the iPhone, we can pull restaurant tips, reviews and locations right into the palm of our hand. In this lineup, I’ll list ten free iPhone food finder apps.

In the gallery of apps, you’ll find programs to help find kid friendly restaurants, an app that lets you reserve a table on your device, and even an application that can help find the perfect restaurant for dinner with your boss.


Find the best dives with the unauthorized TripleD iPhone app

When the commercials tell you “there’s an app for that”, they are not kidding around. So, when I went searching for an iPhone app to accompany the “dive bar day” here on Gadling, it only took 20 seconds to find something fantastic.

The “TripleD unauthorized fan guide and companion” is the perfect mobile companion for the hugely popular show “Diners Drive-Ins and Dives”. Earlier today, Melanie wrote about TripleD creator, Guy Fieri.

The app covers every single place Guy has visited – including his latest trip to Alaska. You can find nearby places, pick a random one, or use the search button to find a specific location.

Once you find what you are looking for, the app shows the exact location on a map, the original air date of the show, other places included in that show and of course an assortment of photos. It even offers a link to the Yelp review, the phone number, and a link to the TripleD episode on YouTube (when available).

All in all a pretty decent app – priced at $1.99. iTunes app store link.