Apple Watch your Airbnb plans take shape

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The new Airbnb app for Apple Watch simplifies communication between hosts and guests.
The new Airbnb app for Apple Watch simplifies communication between hosts and guests.
Photo: Airbnb

When Airbnb set out to design an app for the Apple Watch, its team did so like a master woodcarver. Whittle away until you leave what is essential.

The popular community hospitality network launched a watch app today that provides a simple messaging hub for hosts and guests. Travelers can send a host a message with name, photo and requested dates. A host can accept or decline right on the wrist and respond to messages, either through dictation or a preset response.

Apple Watch’s new ads focus on travel and fitness

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Apple Watch is for setting goals and sticking with them.
Apple Watch is for setting goals and sticking with them.
Photo: Apple

Apple continued its marketing blitz for the Apple Watch today with four new TV ads that highlight how useful the new wearable is for fitness freaks as well as travel junkies.

Two of the clever new ads titled ‘Beijing’ and ‘Berlin’ show two sets of friends using Apple Watch and its many apps to explore the city, talk to locals in a different language, and communicate on the fly. The other two ads feature number fitness and goal setting apps, as well as how the watch brings people closer together.

You can watch all four ads below:

This World Charging Station is a jetsetter’s dream (and it’s on sale) [Deals]

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We’ve all been through those wretched travel-charging woes. When traveling abroad, you:

A: Pay overweight baggage fees thanks to your collection of travel adapters, chargers, and cords.

B: Spend the first hour of your trip on the floor by an outlet, trying to figure out which plug goes where.

C: First A, then B.

D: Pack a lightweight charger that charges multiple devices simultaneously almost anywhere in the world.

If you picked D, congratulations—you already own the Twist Plus World Charging Station and you’re probably really smart and good-looking. If you picked A, B, or C, good news—your charging hassles can be over for good for just $34.99 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Get your vacation on with the best of Apple Maps Flyover

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View some of the most beautiful cities and landmarks in the world with Flyover.
View some of the most beautiful cities and landmarks in the world with Flyover.
Photo: Apple

The worst part about vacationing is coming back home and getting hit in the face with cold, hard reality. Excessive food consumption, relaxing atmospheres and sugary alcoholic beverages are out of your life and work is back in. But what if you take the travel part (not to mention the cost) completely out of equation? You get Flyover in Apple Maps.

Why vacation in this costly, unforgiving world when you can live vicariously through your iPhone, iPad or Mac?

Flyover, the immersive 3-D view in Apple Maps, now supports hundreds of cities around the world and Apple adds more all the time. In fact, seven more were added to the list just today so we thought it would be fun to take a look at the hottest vacationing spots of 2015, without even leaving the couch.

Get your summer vacay on at these hot Flyover spots:

This app will tell you if you’re going to die in a plane crash

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Screenshot: Cult of Mac
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Sometimes it seems like there have been a lot of plane crashes lately. Between Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17/a>, and Transasia Airways Flight 235, it sometimes feels like there’s never been a worse time to fly.

Of course, that’s not true at all. There’s statistically almost zero chance at all of you dying in a plane crash, no matter how often you fly. And now there’s an app, specifically dedicated to assuaging your fears of dying in an aircraft.

3 super-easy ways to convert currency with your Mac

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Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

As the world gets smaller and smaller thanks to the global marketplace called the internet, you may sometimes need to know exactly how much your dollar will get you in the wider world. Is that £15 widget really worth it? You’ll only know if you convert it to some form of currency that you understand better.

Your Mac has at least three ways to do this sort of calculation: with a Dashboard widget, the built-in Calculator app, and even with Spotlight. Here’s how to convert currencies into something that makes more sense, right from your handy Mac computer.

Backpack business: How two globetrotting designers do it

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UX designers Holly Kennedy and James Turner run their business from the road as they travel the world. Here, the couple stand in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during an American leg of their travels. Photo courtesy of Kennedy and Turner
Designers Holly Kennedy and James Turner run their business from the road, visiting places like Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. Photo courtesy Kennedy and Turner

The lengthy list of logistics involved in starting any business eventually lands on what to do about equipment and office space.

James Turner and Holly Kennedy run their user experience design consultancy out of a single backpack each as they trek from country to country like nomadic college students with a free summer.

Kennedy says you won’t find the couple “wearing bandannas or growing dreadlocks” but they are happy living life on their own terms — with an unconventional commute and ever-changing scenery. Cult of Mac caught up with the ex-Londoners, both 26, in northern Thailand, where they were working around spotty Wi-Fi and a client 13 time zones away.

Future iPhones will warn you when you’re going to be late

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Photo: CC Wikipedia
Photo: CC Wikipedia

Apple has been steadily working to improve its Apple Maps service since its disastrous debut a couple of years ago, and a new patent application published Thursday further cements that.

According to the application, filed in March last year, future iOS devices may scour through your data to warn you of traffic congestion on routes you are predicted to be likely to travel.

These journeys could be learned by your iPhone or Apple Watch by way of a smart artificial intelligence “machine-learning engine,” based on the frequency of previous destinations (say, regular appointments), location of events in a user’s calendar, location of events which users hold electronic tickets for, and addresses gathered by analyzing messages in the form of texts or emails.

These road-trippers logged more than 10,000 miles and captured it all on Super 8

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Screenshot courtesy Element.ly
Screenshot courtesy Element.ly

Instead of just another HD video project clogging up his Mac, filmmaker Mike Ruocco set out to capture his cross-country road trip with something just a bit more retro: a 45-year-old Canon Auto Zoom 814 with a broken light meter and two cans of Super 8 film.

Ruocco, his wife, her sister and their dog Riley traveled across 20 states, spent time at nine national parks and then spent a week in the Adirondack Mountains, filming it all along the way.

What results is a video so warm and nostalgic that we just had to share. Check out this amazing blast of Americana below.