New Google Trips travel app makes planning vacations a breeze

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Google Trips puts travel guide for 200 cities in your pocket.
Google Trips puts travel guide for 200 cities in your pocket.
Photo: Google

Planning where to go and what sights to see can take the fun out of a vacation, but Google’s new app is ready to handle all the heavy lifting for you.

Google Trips debuted today on both iOS and Android devices, putting a travel guide in your pocket everywhere you go.

Trips instantly plans each day of your vacation with just a few taps. You set the agenda based on what types of spots you’d like to visit and Google Trips shows you a variety of plans that hit up the most popular local gems.

Best iPhone and iPad apps for frequent travelers

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Seven must-have iOS apps for the frequent traveler.
Seven must-have iOS apps for the frequent traveler.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

British Airways app takes off on Apple Watch

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As smartwatches grow in popularity, the Apple Watch will continue to be the hands-on - or wrist-on - favorite.
App usage is sky high right now.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s refusal to release any hard and fast Apple Watch figures (it has most likely sold in the region of 7 million) has led some people to dismiss the wearable as a failure, despite the company’s vague assertions otherwise.

Now British Airways has thrown out its own stats, noting that its Apple Watch app saw usage increase by a massive 386 percent between June and October, demonstrating that Apple Watch app usage is most definitely on the rise.

Kahney’s Korner: Treat yourself to an iPhone-free vacation

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Kahney's Korner iPhone vacation
If you want to take a real vacation, turn off your iPhone.
Photo: Cult of Mac

My family and I just got back from a too-short vacation in Italy, and we learned something important while we were there: Real vacations don’t have e-mail.

See, my wife was worried about us racking up unspeakably high bills while we were abroad, so we ended up almost completely disabling our iPhones for the entire trip. How we fared without them is the subject of this week’s Kahney’s Korner.

The best Apple Watch apps you probably haven’t heard of

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Time to download some apps. Photo: Apple

There are already more than 3,000 apps for the Apple Watch, which makes it difficult to find all of the hidden gems. How do you find the best Apple Watch apps?

Luckily, there are plenty of third-party Watch apps that deserve attention, whether they tell you when it’s going to rain or help you get stuff done. Apple is promoting Watch apps heavily in the App Store, and while the big players (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) are obvious downloads, we’ve been on the lookout for some of the other apps for the Apple Watch you might not know about.

Here are some of the best Apple Watch apps to trick out your wrist.

This Week In Cult of Mac Magazine: Travel Smart With Your iPhone

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smarttravel
Cover design: Craig Grannell.

The iPhone is a great travel tool, but making your smartphone travel actually smart isn’t about packing it up with dozens of apps you never use or that won’t get you out of the plane seat next to the loo on a crowded holiday flight.

Enter Cult of Mac Magazine. In time for your holiday travels (or maybe escaping from your loved ones for some beach or ski resort time?), we sounded out dozens of road warriors to learn what they really find necessary for the daily commute or continental flight. These black tees and easy-to-launder socks of the app world, if you will, include some surprising picks, many of them free.

If your travel is mostly of the four-wheel variety, you’ll want to read what happens when reporter Alex Heath took smart-driving app Automatic for a month-long spin. (Can it reform his gas guzzling, donut-making driving style?)

In our exclusive Ask an Apple Genius column, we answer your questions about how to get your Mac repaired on the road and how to handle assistance when you live in a town without an Apple store.

You’ll also find our picks for the best in apps this week and what’s really rocking the iTunes store when it comes to books, movies and music.

Mosey on over to Cult of Mac Magazine on iTunes and check it out!