TripAdvisor Stories May 25, 2016

If you’re not yet tried Google Play Music, a deal with TripAdvisor lets you get two months of premium subscription free of charge. The offer is to promote a partnership between the two companies which allows you to play music relevant to the city you’re visiting …

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TripAdvisor Stories November 25, 2015

Over the weekend, executives from Yelp and TripAdvisor noticed that Google was pushing restaurant, or POI results from its services down in favor of its own. Neither of the popular location information services was particularly pleased to see it happening, but Google claims it was due to a “bug” and that it will be fixed…just as soon as possible!

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

TripAdvisor Stories January 30, 2015

Google announced today that it’s adding new cards to Google Now, those context-aware notifications that pop up in the Google app for Android, using information sourced from other Android apps. That means rather than opening various apps to check out the latest updates in each, you’ll be able to view updates directly in the Google Now feed. expand full story

TripAdvisor Stories September 29, 2014

Google has long been the subject of antitrust complains and investigations in Europe, but now, some of the company’s competitors are starting to take note of its actions and step forward with their own issues. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and several other companies on Monday teamed up to launch a new website, Focus on the User, on which they express concerns regarding Google’s tendency to promote its own services at the expensive of its rivals. Which in turn, the companies argue, make it harder for customers to find Google’s competitors in results.

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TripAdvisor Stories August 20, 2014

The popular transportation service Uber has quickly been growing this year with new features like adding your destination right on the smartphone app when requesting a ride and poaching long time Apple engineering manager Chris Blumenberg who managed the Maps team. The service is even integrated into the Google Maps app on iPhone and Android, and check out the Uber care package the company sends new employees.

Today Uber is taking a major step toward integrating its service into even more apps and services as it introduces an API for developers to use in their own apps and a list of partners already planning to take advantage of it.

As of today, we officially open—to all developers—access to many of the primitives that power Uber’s magical experience. Apps can pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more.

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TripAdvisor Stories February 18, 2012

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It is very easy to make a snap judgment on the 5.3-inch-screened Samsung Galaxy Note. Yes, it is significantly bigger than the smartphone you use now. It even makes the Galaxy Nexus seem petite in comparison.

The dimensions of the Note put it somewhere between the biggest smartphones you ever saw and the 7-inch tablet form factor made popular by Amazon, BlackBerry, Motorola, Samsung, and pretty much everyone else except Apple.

However, the Note makes and receives phone calls, so it is a phone and it should be judged as such, right? End of story?

That is where you are mistaken. The phone functionality on the Note is a tertiary function at best. I see it as more like a reason to not carry a phone as well as the Note in your pocket. With that said, for a growing number of people, myself included, the actual “phone part” of a smartphone is very low on my list for what I want to do with the device in my pocket.

I make or receive only a few calls per day, and most of those are while I am at home/office with Google Voice and a headset or home phone. Therefore, other things rank higher on what I want to do with a device like this:

  • Maps are becoming the most used and most important feature on my phone, except for secondary review websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. I get all of my travel lookups from the Maps.app. I do almost all of my turn-by-turn navigation and lookups on this device much more efficiently with its huge display and fast network connection.
  • The Web Browser is the most important app outside of Maps. I would love the Note to somehow get the Chrome Browser before Samsung gets around to upgrading it to ICS. Alas, the stock browser is still unbelievably fast/crisp.
  • Gmail/Calendar/Contacts. You know…work.
  • AIM, GoogleTalk, GoogleVoice, and other instant messaging.
  • Social: Twitter, Google Plus Facebook, etc.
  • Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and other Music and Videos.
  • Various other apps, such as my bank’s check cashing app, WordPress, Kayak, and a bunch of Angry Birds-type games.

Without exception, I can do any of the above better on a 5.3-inch 720P display than on a typical smartphone display. The one caveat: (As you can see from the gallery) moving my mid-sized thumb from one side of the portrait screen to the other is a bit of a stretch when using it one-handed. This does not turn out to be a problem very often, though, perhaps only 5 percent of my time. This is not a one-handed device.

Therefore, the Note is about tradeoffs:  Amazing, huge display = better experience vs. portability. In my particular use-case, I am happy to make the trade. Here are the details:

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