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iPhone X is a great travel companion – Business Insider


54a2c_gettyimages-846148982 iPhone X is a great travel companion - Business Insider
The Apple iPhone X is a
near-perfect travel buddy.

Getty

  • I took my new iPhone X with me on a weeks-long vacation
    to Italy, forgoing a laptop or tablet.
  • The phone’s camera and the battery life made it an
    amazing travel buddy, and I never felt like I needed a “real”
    digital camera.
  • But the experience wasn’t perfect. Among other things,
    the nearly borderless screen on its front made the phone
    unwieldy to use at times.

Every November when my partner and I take our big annual
vacation, I take along some kind of computer, just in case I need
it.

Typically I bring along a laptop, and last year, I tried using a
hybrid tablet-notebook. On this year’s journey — a whirlwind
three-week tour of Italy — I decided to travel even lighter. The
only computer I took along was my iPhone X.

I had just replaced my trusty old iPhone 6S, and I was eager to
see how far my fancy new $999 smartphone could take me. The
answer: Pretty darn far!

Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about having the iPhone X as
my travel companion.

The iPhone X’s camera is amazing, and I never wished I had a
“real” camera

The iPhone X’s camera is really, really good. I’m not a camera
expert, so I don’t know how it stacks up against, say, that of
the Google Pixel 2. All I know is that it’s amazing, and I never
for a second wished I had brought a “real” digital camera with
me. Instead, the iPhone X makes for a perfect vacation
point-and-shoot camera.

I mean, check this out:


54a2c_gettyimages-846148982 iPhone X is a great travel companion - Business Insider
The
town of Sorrento, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, as viewed through the
lens of the iPhone X.

Matt
Weinberger/Business Insider


I’m biased because I took that picture, but it’s pretty good,
right? 

And the iPhone X’s
Portrait Mode
, which blurs the background to create
professional-looking photos, is extra-fun when you have busy
Italian scenes in the background, like so:


54a2c_gettyimages-846148982 iPhone X is a great travel companion - Business Insider
That’s
the Castel dell’Ovo, a major Naples landmark, blurred in the
background.

Matt Weinberger/Business
Insider


Better yet, it turns out that Portrait Mode was the ideal way to
capture every noodle and dollop of sauce in the pasta we ate
across Italy:


54a2c_gettyimages-846148982 iPhone X is a great travel companion - Business Insider
Gnocchi
from Tandem, a terrific restaurant in the heart of
Naples.

Matt Weinberger/Business
Insider


I won’t bore you with another vacation photo, but I particularly
loved the iPhone X’s second rear camera, which has a zoom lens.
Its 2X optical zoom allows you to focus in on objects without
losing image quality. It’s really helpful for getting that
perfect photo.

The phone’s battery life is pretty great

The battery in my iPhone 6S left a lot to be desired. Wherever I
took it, I had to bring along at least one external battery pack.
Heck, I’d routinely run down 25% of the battery just on my normal
commute.

It was even worse when I was traveling. I typically rely on the
battery-intensive Google Maps to get around. And I’m the annoying
tourist who takes photos of everything, which curtailed my
battery life even more.

So my iPhone X was a wonderful change. I still carried around my
external battery pack out of habit, but I didn’t need to use it
once on our all-day journeys. My phone got close to running out
of battery life a few times, thanks to long days or late nights,
but every single time it held out until we got back to our room.

I haven’t done any scientific testing on the iPhone X’s battery
versus those of other smartphones. But I do know that for my
purposes, my new phone’s battery life was great. 

But the iPhone X isn’t perfect

My colleague
Dennis Green sold his iPhone X
because he hated how hard it
was for him to use with one hand. I don’t feel as strongly as he
did, but he had a point.

I’m a fan of the iPhone X’s big, nearly borderless screen. But
its design can make the phone hard to use at times. For example,
it can be difficult with one hand to access the control panel to
adjust the volume or the screen’s brightness, in part because
Apple relocated it to the top-right corner of the display.

The result of such design decisions was that instead of paying
attention to my surroundings, I had to worry about how I was
holding my phone. They also made it more likely I would drop it
when I was trying to take in the sights, such as Michelangelo’s
David.

I’ve also been underwhelmed by Apple’s FaceID facial recognition
system that you use to unlock the iPhone X. It works OK for the
most part. But when I was on a bouncing coastal bus, a poorly lit
train, or was just speed-walking to dinner, it frequently
required multiple tries to recognize me.

Getting rid of the headphone jack still stinks

Much as I like the iPhone X, I’m still not happy Apple decided to
get rid of the headphone jack in it and the other new iPhones.
Most of the time, the lack of a headphone jack isn’t a big
problem. But when you’re on an airplane and you can’t charge your
phone at the same time that you’re listening on your headphones
to the movie you’re watching? Sheesh. That’s frustrating.

Microsoft Garage launches Outings travel companion app on iOS, Android

94bf2_microsoft-outings-android Microsoft Garage launches Outings travel companion app on iOS, Android

Microsoft’s experimental Garage division has launched its latest mobile app, Outings.

Microsoft Outings is intended to act as a digital travel guide, offering up a selection of interesting places to visit based on your interests. As first spotted by Microsoft leaker WalkingCat on Twitter, the app is now available on Android and iOS after having been discovered in testing earlier in 2017.

Upon firing up Outings, you’ll be asked to select from a huge range of topics and landscapes you’re interested in. After choosing from options like marine life, leisure activities, and night skies, Outings will then serve up a list of places you may be interested in checking out on future trips with a card-like interface. You can save ideas to make a bucket list of places to visit, or just share options with friends.

Here’s a look at what to expect, according to Microsoft:

  • Stunning images: Let photos give you an immediate feel for the whole adventure that awaits you.
  • Get inspired to explore: Choose topics that interest you and swipe through travel stories tailored just for you.
  • Save and share with friends: Instantly save your next trip to a folder for safe keeping. Share them with friends and family on social media, so they can be inspired and you can get trips on the calendar.

Outings certainly looks like an interesting option if you’re bitten by the travel bug. If you want to check it out, Outings is now available to download for both Android and iOS.

See at Google Play See at the App Store

Windows 10 Photos Companion App for Android, iOS Devices Spotted

With a strong presence of over 600 million devices, Windows 10 is certainly one of the most successful computing platforms. Microsoft is now reportedly preparing a companion app for the default Photos app on Windows 10. The new companion app is reported to be designed for Android and iOS devices to let mobile users quick transfer their memorable mobile pictures to a Windows PC.

The new photos companion app, which is spotted by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia, appears to establish connectivity between a PC and a mobile device using a common Wi-Fi network. For importing content, a QR code emerges on the desktop screen that enables the wireless transfer.

Microsoft is yet to release the reported photos companion app for Android and iOS platforms. Also, it is presumable that the wireless transfer feature will be initially to Windows Insiders to test its success ahead of a public launch. You can meanwhile use OneDrive to view the memories captured from your mobile devices right on your desktop. Microsoft added the ability to create albums on OneDrive automatically based on time and location back in July last year. Microsoft is also testing an Apple AirDrop feature in Windows Insider Preview builds, to share data between PCs.

Microsoft will ‘soon’ release its Photos companion on Android and iOS
Photo Credit: Aggiornamenti Lumia

In addition to the companion app support, the Photos app on Windows 10 is said to receive some improvements as well. Microsoft is reportedly developing premium content such as special effects, themes, and music that can be added to photos and videos directly from the Photos app. Also, there are stickers that can be used on top of photos to create new stories. These features are expected to be available on Windows 10 Insider builds in the coming months.

CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday revealed that Windows 10 is now running on more than 600 million devices. Apart from desktops and notebooks, the platform is available on Xbox One consoles, HoloLens headsets, Surface Hub devices, and Windows 10 Mobile-based smartphones.

Although Microsoft recently dropped its focus on developing new mobile devices, there are plans to continue its developments in the smartphone market. The Redmond company already has some of its key apps for Android and iOS devices. Amongst its native apps, Microsoft Edge is yet to receive a final build for mobile devices other than the ones running Windows 10 Mobile. Virtual assistant Cortana is also in the pipeline to enable Apple’s Continuity-like feature on Android and iOS devices. This would give smartphone users another reason to pick a Windows 10 PC.

Windows 10 Photos Companion App for Android, iOS Devices Spotted

With a strong presence of over 600 million devices, Windows 10 is certainly one of the most successful computing platforms. Microsoft is now reportedly preparing a companion app for the default Photos app on Windows 10. The new companion app is reported to be designed for Android and iOS devices to let mobile users quick transfer their memorable mobile pictures to a Windows PC.

The new photos companion app, which is spotted by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia, appears to establish connectivity between a PC and a mobile device using a common Wi-Fi network. For importing content, a QR code emerges on the desktop screen that enables the wireless transfer.

Microsoft is yet to release the reported photos companion app for Android and iOS platforms. Also, it is presumable that the wireless transfer feature will be initially to Windows Insiders to test its success ahead of a public launch. You can meanwhile use OneDrive to view the memories captured from your mobile devices right on your desktop. Microsoft added the ability to create albums on OneDrive automatically based on time and location back in July last year. Microsoft is also testing an Apple AirDrop feature in Windows Insider Preview builds, to share data between PCs.

Microsoft will ‘soon’ release its Photos companion on Android and iOS
Photo Credit: Aggiornamenti Lumia

In addition to the companion app support, the Photos app on Windows 10 is said to receive some improvements as well. Microsoft is reportedly developing premium content such as special effects, themes, and music that can be added to photos and videos directly from the Photos app. Also, there are stickers that can be used on top of photos to create new stories. These features are expected to be available on Windows 10 Insider builds in the coming months.

CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday revealed that Windows 10 is now running on more than 600 million devices. Apart from desktops and notebooks, the platform is available on Xbox One consoles, HoloLens headsets, Surface Hub devices, and Windows 10 Mobile-based smartphones.

Although Microsoft recently dropped its focus on developing new mobile devices, there are plans to continue its developments in the smartphone market. The Redmond company already has some of its key apps for Android and iOS devices. Amongst its native apps, Microsoft Edge is yet to receive a final build for mobile devices other than the ones running Windows 10 Mobile. Virtual assistant Cortana is also in the pipeline to enable Apple’s Continuity-like feature on Android and iOS devices. This would give smartphone users another reason to pick a Windows 10 PC.

Sennheiser has created the perfect travel companion

2a240_Sennheiser-PXC-550-Wireless-Headphones-2 Sennheiser has created the perfect travel companion

If you travel a lot – whether by plane, train, or automobile – you will spend hours sitting in dull stillness. To get through all that time with your sanity intact, you’ll want to be able to listen to music, watch a movie, or check out the latest podcast with a high degree of audio quality. A good set of wireless headphones can provide that, but many of them just don’t have the battery life needed to last a long trip.

When you’re faced with that kind of dilemma, the folks at Sennheiser have developed a product that’s right up your alley. The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones is a device designed for the discerning, jetset, businessman. Not only will it give you an excellent audio experience, but its battery life will last up to 30 hours. That’s more than enough for a long road trip, train ride, or cross-country flight. Even transpacific!

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones include a earcup-mounted touch control panel along with a voice prompt system. This allows you to have access to a convenient selection of settings. In addition, the headphones can automatically pause any music or calls when you remove them from your head. The headphones support quick and easy NFC pairing to your smartphone or other Bluetooth device, and the audio transmission can be adjusted to your own preferences.

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones is a device designed for the discerning, jetset, businessman.

In addition to the headphones, Sennheiser also has a mobile app, CapTune, that can be used to give you even more control of your PXC 550 Wireless Headphones. The app, for Android and iOS, offers precise sound adjustments with its equalizer. It also has a feature called SoundCheck that allows you to tune your music’s sound by A/B-testing different set-ups.
The PXC 550 Wireless Headphones also supports a plug-in for the app to help access features such as adaptive noise cancellation, audio prompts, and the activation of Smart Pause. The headphones also have four presets for adjusting sound, along with a Director mode that’s control with the CapTune app.

2a240_Sennheiser-PXC-550-Wireless-Headphones-2 Sennheiser has created the perfect travel companion

For those travelers who have to make calls while globetrotting, the Sennheiser PXC 550 handles that with aplomb. It contains a beamforming array of three microphones for crystal-clear speech support. In addition, the headphones support the company’s NoiseGard noise cancellation technology, which both monitors and adapts to changes in outside sounds so that you get just the right level of noise cancellation.

Ready to stop enduring travel and start relaxing like the pros?

Of course, if you are going to wear headphones for hours, they should also be very comfortable. The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones fit this bill well. They are precision-designed to be extremely ergonomic and are made of premium-quality, lightweight materials. The earpads were created with the help of the company’s research into ear shape ergonomics so you won’t have to feel uncomfortable while you listen to your music for long stretches.

Finally, after the trip is over, the headphones are designed to be collapsed and folded flat so they can be easily transported and contained in their own travel case.
If this sounds like the perfect set of travel headphones for you, you can purchase the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones at the company’s web site, at Amazon.com, as well as at a number of Duty Free retail stores.

Ready to stop enduring travel and start relaxing like the pros? Use the buttons below to shop for the PXC 550 at your preferred retailer!

Shop on Sennheiser

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