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These apps can alleviate travel headaches

Google Trips harnesses the power of Google's database

Google Trips harnesses the power of Google's database so you can get all your travel information in single place and access it offline. Credit: Google

Memorial Day weekend was just a warmup for the main event — summer vacation. These newly updated and upgraded apps will help you find a destination you enjoy while eliminating some major hassles before you get there.


(iOS, Android; free)

Whoever said “getting there is half the fun” never spent time in LaGuardia or Kennedy airports, especially during peak vacation season. This official app from the Transportation Security Administration won’t let you speed through the airport, but it will let you know where the bottlenecks are with crowd-sourced information on wait times at security checkpoints. The app also lets you search the TSA database to see which items won’t get you flagged at the security checkpoint.


(iOS, Android; free)

The popular app that lets you book vacation home rentals in the United States and around the world now has access to more than 6 million homes. Airbnb has also added several new features, including accessibility filters so people with disabilities can find homes that fit their needs. Want to rent out your Long Island house while you’re away? You can do that through the app.

Google Trips

(iOS, Android; free)

Google knows everywhere you’ve been, so why not let it help you figure out where to go? This relatively new entry in the travel app field accesses the power of Google’s vast search database and Google Maps to create a helpful travel companion. The app aggregates your various travel itineraries, for example airline, hotel, and rental car information, so you can find it all in one place and access it offline


(iOS, Android; free)

If your summer vacation will find you on the road instead of in the air, Roadtrippers can make the journey more enjoyable. With the app, you can find quirky local attractions as you head to your destination. The free app lets you create seven “waypoints” — detailed information on places you can stop and discover along the way. A $30 subscription allows you to create up to 150 waypoints. 

Apple polishing new iPhone software

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference — known as WWDC — kicks off tomorrow in San Jose, California. The event attracts about 5,000 developers and a worldwide audience watching online looking to get an update from Apple on its software and hardware plans. Expected this year: a first look at iOS 13, an upgraded operating system for iPhones. Apple might also unveil new Mac computers.


Got milk … with a QR code?

The venerable milk carton may soon go high tech. Scientists at Cornell University are designing a milk carton with a QR code that will contain specific information about the milk inside. Consumers can scan the QR code with their smartphone to get information about where the milk came from and a more reliable freshness date that will use “predictive modeling” to tell you the exact shelf-life of the milk.


Concerns on female-voiced digital assistants

A United Nations report raises concerns about what it describes as the “hardwired subservience” built into default female-voiced digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. The report says millions of people are getting accustomed to commanding female-voiced assistants that are “servile, obedient and unfailingly polite,” even when confronted with harassment from humans.

— AP

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