Category Archives: Apps

New HelloTel App

HelloTel-MessagesI received news about a new travel app that I would be interesting to share and hear what fellow travelers had to say about it. It’s called HelloTel and it’s designed to help you virtually meet fellow guests at or nearby your hotel – even before you arrive.

It’s like an inner social network.

Here’s the description: After registering with HelloTel, as a member you can check in to your hotel and then start interacting with other travelers who are in a specific area post photos and status updates. Comments can be posted and direct messages can be sent to the original poster.

Offhand, I can see how this app can be helpful if you’re on a business trip or going to a conference or convention. There’s a set up option where people traveling for work can categorize their posts as “Business.” Or you’re a true road warrior.

HelloTel-MenuFor personal travel, I might be shy about using it unless maybe I’m on a group tour or something similar. But, on the flip side, for someone going solo who is nervous or wants to get acquainted with fellow tour group members (there are tour companies that have their own setups to) or maybe going to a community event like TBEX or other travel conferences worldwide.

As the for Hotel in HelloTel app, its backend is said to be able to schedule hotel amenities such as VIP services or restaurant reservations. Right now, an iPhone version of HelloTel is available; for Android, it comes out next month.

Getting a ‘Peek’ at New Mobile Travel App

As there is an app for just about any need or interest, the travel sector surely is getting its fair share. The latest one to travelers as well as the general public comes from, a one-stop web resource for booking activities in 17 U.S. cities, London and Paris.

iphone-home-10085c336cf6aa025177347f91392af6Called Peek Mobile, this free app brings’s services from the web to your smartphone, with some additional functions. It’s said to have geo-location technology, which in plain speak means users can book their activities on the go. Options extend to family, food and wine, arts and culture, adventurous and walking and sightseeing tours and day trips.

For example, if you wanted to book a guided walking tour of the Lower East Side while visiting New York City, you can do so through Peek Mobile app. Or while staying in Paris, explore the city’s different arrondissements  (city districts) or go ahead and jaunt out to Champagne, the vineyard region where this bubbly beverage is produced.

peek_logo-78d7643b983ca8d3712ddc3e4ac26e48Booking through your phone is designed with ease in mind. It’s designed to provide information about your potential activity in real time, with essentials like pricing and available slots. And feedback from others who did what you want to do – or just to help you confirm your decision – is also at your fingertips.

Plus, the fact that the Peek Mobile app is free is also a good reason for giving it a try. It is available for iPhone and iPod Touch and can be downloaded through Apple’s App Store.

So what travel apps do you like to use? Let me know in the comments section!

Umbria Tourism Goes Tech with MultiMedia App Launch

photo-22Known as the “green heart of Italy,” Umbria is symbolized by food, wine, ceramics, history and culture. It’s also quite picturesque, as this central and landlocked region is noted for its scenic character with rolling green hills and historical towns like Assisi.
To better market its visual appeal, Umbria’s tourism board has taken a tech savvy approach that connects old-world traditions with modern-day applications. At a June 3 reception at Eataly in New York City, representatives unveiled English versions of UmbriaApp, a collection of roughly 20 apps using a multimedia storytelling approach to showcase the region’s offerings.

During the reception, officials described the process of creating the UmbriaApp line as a  “imaginary bridge” between Umbria’s past and future innovation, in terms of shaping the direction in which tourism hopes to go.

photo-21As of this writing, the English apps will be released first for iPad, with versions for iPhone and Android to follow shortly. Italian versions are currently available. Developed by Sesinet Snc, an Italian company, all apps are free and can be downloaded through iTunes.

Varying by subject, apps cover art and history museums, festivals, bike tours and particularly food and wine.

One of the new apps that is quite appetizing is “Umbria Enogastronomia.” This culinary app is a virtual cookbook on Umbria’s authentic wines and cuisine, covering the region’s meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. Users can also replicate a taste of this region in their kitchen by browsing through the app’s range of recipes, complete with photos, ingredients, and preparation notes.

The unveiling at Eataly kicked off “Umbria Week 2013,” a week-long roster of activities in Manhattan from June 3 through June 8 that serves as a precursor to a “Sensational Umbria,” a month-long celebration scheduled for November.

In highlighting Umbrian cuisine, samplings of traditional dishes such as lentil soup (with its recipe included in the culinary app) and pesce crudo were offered. Tastings provided by Goretti Winery in Perugia, Umbria’s capital, complimented the evening.