travel apps Stories April 14, 2015

EasyJet’s new app provides end-to-end proactive guidance to air passengers

European no-frills airline EasyJet seems to have taken a full-service approach to its new app, dubbed Mobile Host. The app aims to provide proactive, location-based guidance to passengers from one end of their journey to the other.

The app begins with check-in reminders, guides you to the baggage-drop if you have luggage, tells you when your gate is open and navigates you there, opens your boarding pass when you get there, and directs you to the correct baggage carousel on arrival. The service goes live at London Gatwick Airport today, with other airports to follow.

easyJet’s Mobile Host is a joint initiative with Gatwick and combines live data from the airports information systems, using Google indoor maps, together with a passenger’s booking details, location and flight time.  The result is personalised instructions and updates for passengers during their journey.

The app is currently iPhone-only, and is available in seven languages. The new app was not on the App Store at the time of writing, but if you download the current app, it should update.

EasyJet last updated the app a few weeks ago to add support for the Apple Watch. It was one of the first European airlines to support Passbook boarding passes, and started using iBeacons for location-based alerts last summer.

travel apps Stories August 7, 2014

United Airlines adds passport scanning for international flights to mobile app

The immigration authorities of most countries require airlines to check the passports of their passengers before they are allowed to fly, so if you are making your first international flight with an airline, you have to queue up at check-in instead of downloading your own boarding pass at home. United Airlines is aiming to end this by adding the ability to scan and verify your passport using its mobile app, then head straight to Departures at the airport.

Once you’ve scanned your passport with your iPhone’s camera, the app sends the details to credentials management company Jumio Inc, who verify that your passport is valid which then allows you to download your boarding pass.

If your passport is already registered with United from a previous international flight, you don’t need to scan it again, it is verified automatically.

The bad news is that the system can’t yet verify visas, so if you need a visa for the country you’re visiting, you’ll still need to check-in the old-fashioned way.

You can download the free United Airlines app from iTunes.

travel apps Stories October 3, 2013

Duolingo, the fun language-learning app for iPhone and iPad, beautifully redesigned for iOS 7

Duolingo for iPhone and iPad joined the collection of apps designed with iOS 7 in mind today with the release of Duolingo 3.

Duolingo is a free iOS app that makes learning a second language like Spanish or French easy and fun, and its redesign for iOS 7 is certainly delightful.

We don’t always redesign the app for iOS 7, but when we do, we prefer to go the whole way. From an entirely new look to exciting end screens showing your weekly progress, Duolingo has been completely redesigned for iOS 7. It’s faster, better, and more fun!

You can find Duolingo for free on the App Store.

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