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Travel Tip: New Smartphone Features

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With new smartphones and operating systems out there, you might be wondering how it will affect your travel planning.

Chances are, you’ve heard about the release of the iPhone 5, which has a bigger screen and a somewhat improved battery. One benefit is that Facetime, the video chat tool, will work over the cellular network as well as Wi-Fi. Now here’s a drawback. The new phone is now using a new, proprietary connector. You’ll have to get an adapter just to connect to your old charger.

Apple’s latest operating platform, IOS6, has a new mapping application. Translation? No more Google Maps, and some say it’s a step back. But keep watching this space as other competitors, like Amazon, also develop their own map programs.

Now what’s really cool is Passbook, which is basically an electronic wallet in your phone. It holds everything from gate changes and flight delays to theme-park tickets, boarding passes and loyalty cards.

On the flip side, Microsoft is set to launch the Windows Phone 8 OS with Microsoft Wallet, where you can actually store credit and debit cards, along with coupons and loyalty cards.

If that sounds familiar, it’s similar to Google Wallet, which is available on Android.

A lot of changes coming, but don’t just run out and buy the latest—because it may not be the greatest out there.

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