To Rome with Love (and My iPhone)
A little over a year ago, I had the good fortune to visit Rome. I visited the Italian capital’s great historic landmarks, strolled along the Tiber River each day, and sipped cappuccino in the morning and Aperol Spritz in the afternoon. It was one of the richest experiences I’ve ever had, and also one that opened my eyes to how many opportunities mobile technology provides for travelers. I found that my iPhone held the key to almost everything I did while I was there.
I used Yelp to find the best pizza and gelato (Frigidarium, hands down) and to discover new dishes, such as beef carpaccio drizzled with truffle honey and the authentic Roman pasta dish, Cacio e Pepe.
I navigated the city using Apple Maps, which let me cache routes while connected to Wi-Fi and then track my progress using GPS. European travel expert Rick Steves guided me through the Colosseum and Vatican with his walking tour app. I researched wine tours in the Tuscan countryside, messaged friends on WhatsApp, took pictures by the Trevi fountain, and corresponded with our Airbnb host, all with my iPhone.
That’s what this issue is all about—helping you plan and make the most of your trip using the device that’s never far from your hand anyway (see pg. 41). This might just be our favorite issue of the year, and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we loved putting it together.
A Critical Moment for the Apple Watch
Unlike the iPhone, the Apple Watch has not yet proven why it should become a central part of our lives. It wasn’t until Apple’s “Spring Forward” event in March that we learned of the full capabilities of Apple’s first wearable, including its sale date of April 24. (See pg. 18 for a full rundown.)
Meanwhile, wearable technology is still struggling to find its foothold in the public’s imagination, as a string of Android wearables have come to market in the past year with varying degrees of success.
The Apple Watch has already surpassed its Android competition in terms of design and build. According to early reviews, it is intuitive, yet requires a substantial learning curve to master its digital crown, small screen, and vibrating notifications. It isn’t just a miniaturized version of the iPhone. But design alone will not prove the value of the Apple Watch— rather, its success will depend upon a healthy ecosystem of quality, intuitive apps that make it truly useful. If developers can figure out a way to make us view the Apple Watch as part of our daily lives, it could revolutionize mobile technology the same way the iPhone and the iPad did. With any luck, next year I’ll be telling you about how the Apple Watch transformed my trip to Greece!