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The idea of learning a new language may bring back horrible memories of chanting aloud amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant, and discussing whether the vocative form is indeed a case — but there is a better way to learn. If you’ve always loved the idea of picking up a second — or third, or fourth — language, your phone and tablet could help you out.

Having an Italian girlfriend spurred me into attempting to learn the lingo. I am essentially monolingual — I know enough French to get by, a smattering of German, and sufficient Latin to satisfy my love of etymology. I needed something to help me become fluent in Italian. Duolingo seemed to fit the bill.

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Google Maps has never been totally pointless on a tablet, but it was always a little sad that the app wasn’t optimized for tablets before. After all — and there’s no need to debate this or go into great detail — Google has had the strongest mapping data available for quite some time now. I’ve tried other mapping systems and just don’t get the same ease of use with them.

But the app itself needed to change. Until this week, Google Maps on a tablet was more or less the same experience you’d have with your Android phone. With the recent update, Google has finally made Maps look great on tablets and added some much-needed new functionality — as well as giving some old features the boot. Read on for a detailed analysis of this emperor’s new clothes.

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Planning a holiday can be a momentous job. For the trip to be a success, everything needs to be planned and all the costs have to be accounted for. And if anything is forgotten, disaster and disappointment could rear their ugly head. Another big problem is overpricing – many people try to avoid paying too much for anything while planning their trips. Enter Kayak which aims to solve these problems.

Transferred over from the highly successful website, Kayak is now available on Android in both tablet and phone form. This thorough and well-made application is, in my opinion, one of the best holiday planners around.

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Almost everyone has had the experience of planning for an upcoming trip or holiday. Making plans for a couple who are visiting one location might be easy, but increase the number of people to four and the number of destinations to more than two, and you will certainly have a real headache trying to sort and keep all your travel plans organized.

TripIt, as it says proudly on its webpage, serves to do all this organization for you, with minimal effort on your part. Let’s get it set up and see how it performs.

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I recently heard about a former mechanic in Maine who passed the one million mile mark in his 1990 Honda Accord. A car reaching half that distance would ordinarily be fit for the scrap yard. He put the longevity of the vehicle (which is still in working order) down to regular maintenance, using quality parts and safe driving.

He bought the car in 96 when it had 70,000 miles on it. Back then the world didn’t have smartphones. Hell, having a relative that knew a guy with a PC was a talking point for many of us.

These days cars can look after themselves to some degree with onboard computers letting us know when a tyre is losing pressure, when the engine needs a service or that you forgot to buckle up. For those of us who love to track data — like me — there’s another tool in the arsenal: aCar for Android.

aCar is an app for tracking maintenance, journeys, expenses, fill-ups and a bunch of other cool things. But is it worth it for the average motorist?

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If you are a frequent traveler, FlightAware might sound familiar to you. Why? It’s the biggest live flight tracking website on the web! However, for those of you who are staring blankly at your screen, I’ll go into more detail. FlightAware, founded back in 2005, was the first company to offer free flight tracking services for both private and commercial air traffic in the United States. It quickly became the most popular flight tracking service in the world and on the web.

Airlines and other aviation businesses rely on FlightAware to provide live flight data, airport information, weather maps, flight planning, and navigation charts, as well as aviation news and photos. They also power operational management and dispatch software, airport flight information displays (FIDS), and provides reporting data to aircraft and airport operators.

After success via the world and the web, the company moved into the mobile industry by creating Flight Tracker for iOS, Blackberry and Windows. Now, at last, it’s Android’s turn!
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