Just Ahead Voted Among Top 5 Best New Travel Apps

Just Ahead (http://www.justahead.com/), an award-winning smartphone app for road tripping through national parks, was recently voted a top five Best New Travel App by USA Today 10 Best readers. USA Today’s 10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the US and around the world.


This distinction wraps up Just Ahead’s first full year of producing distinctive GPS-guided smartphone audio tours of this country’s most dramatic landscapes. To date, Just Ahead has concentrated on narrations on the lore and not-to-miss features of national parks in the West. It has produced 13 audio tours covering 15 national parks and monuments, and is gearing up to extend its coverage nationwide. Scheduled for early 2016 release are Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, Petrified Forest National Park and Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, and South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, and Badlands National Park. 

In addition to the USA Today honor, Just Ahead has been named Best Travel App by the North American Travel Journalists Association and Best App by the editors of Sunset magazine.

The Just Ahead mobile app turns an Apple or Android smartphone into a hands-free audio guide to the most beautiful places on earth by delivering professionally written and narrated audio tours to vacationers who want an informed travel experience as they drive.

Just Ahead utilizes GPS technology to know exactly where drivers are on the road, and delivers stories and maps relevant to their exact location. The groundbreaking app points out not-to-miss features while also helping drivers avoid getting lost. It suggests directions and tells drivers why they should turn or not, what they should do after a turn, and the best direction to take if there are multiple route options.

A satisfied user had this to say about the app and tour guide, “LOVE this idea! It’s like you went into my brain and pulled out something I never even knew that I wanted but now can’t think to live without.”

Just Ahead guides are currently available for the following National Parks: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Zion & Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands & Arches, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Rocky Mountain. Many additional park and road-trip guides are in production.

The Just Ahead app is a free download available through the Apple App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android), and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase. Guides range from $7.99 to $9.99 and include a free trial and free guide updates.

Just Ahead’s award-winning audio guides work without an Internet connection or phone service and use a smartphone’s GPS to deliver hands-free, customized audio tours based on a vehicle’s location. The guides and built-in maps also provide helpful suggested directions, and offer more points of interest and stories than any other GPS audio travel app. Ideal for families, Just Ahead’s audio guides help create shared experiences, conversations, and memories that will last a lifetime. The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase that includes free guide updates.

For more information, visit www.justahead.com.


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Newly Launched Triller App for iPhone Lets You Turn Vacation Experience into Celebrity-Quality Music Video

Triller™, a game-changing music video maker app for iPhone®, lets you turn your vacation experiences into a celebrity-quality music video you can instantly share.

Just in time for the family vacation season, what a way to engage children in their experience, creating their own celebrity-quality music video on their iPhone! Launching today, Triller™, a game-changing music video maker app for iPhone®, can be downloaded today for free on the App Store℠.

(PRESS HERE to download today for free on the App Store℠)

Triller is the first of its kind, allowing users to create lip sync videos for their favorite songs with an editing algorithm that uses intelligent audio and facial analysis to decide when to cut. Music fans simply pick a song, choose a section of the song, and shoot a few video takes. Then with the push of a button, Triller edits the takes together to create a stunning music video.

PRESS HERE to watch a preview of the app.

Triller is the creation of award-winning music video director Colin Tilley, — director of videos for Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, Lil Wayne among others – who helped design Triller’s beautiful filters and its editing algorithm, and app developers David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin (creators of Mibblio®, the first interactive musical storybook, and the chart-topping Disney Frozen: Karaoke).

Rounding out the Triller team is Matt Graham, President of BRND MGMT and manager of major pop artists such as Cody Simpson.

“With Triller, you don’t have to be Colin Tilley to make a music video that looks like it was shot by Colin Tilley,” said Leiberman. “The app truly democratizes the music video creation process. Whether you’re hanging in the park with friends or an artist on tour, Triller makes it easy and fun to create great-looking music videos.”

Triller lets you make celebrity-quality music videos with your iPhone. With auto-editing technology powered by a proprietary algorithm, the app takes the hard work out of making a music video so you can just focus on being creative and having fun.

You simply pick a song, select the portion of the song you want to use, shoot a few takes, and with the tap of a button you have produced your own celebrity-quality music video starring yourselves which you  can share instantly with friends and family right from inside the app.

Not only is Triller easy to use, but it offers infinite creative possibilities with stylish filters, zooming capability, and even the power to tweak the video’s edit to the individual’s liking. Once users create their videos, they can either share publicly to social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, share privately to their friends via text message or WhatsApp, or just save to their camera roll.

Artists like Alli Simpson are already using Triller as a tool to make music videos more easily, and social media stars such as Selfie C are sharing videos set to their favorite songs with their Instagram followers.

“My editing friends and I always knew the iPhone was gonna lead to some kind of game-changer in video editing,” said Tilley. “Triller is it, and I’m really excited to be involved.”

Triller is available for free on the App Store. For more information, visit www.triller.co.

Follow Triller on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vine to stay up to date on new versions, featured videos and the latest contests.

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New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good


AccuWeather Enhances Marine Weather App with By-the-Minute Forecasts

AccuWeather, Inc., a global leader in digital weather information, announced that their Marine Weather™ by AccuWeather app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch now includes the new AccuWeather MinuteCast®. The patented forecast technology gives users by-the-minute precipitation forecasts for the next two hours, highly-localized right down to a user’s exact GPS location, boat slip, or street address, and with Superior Accuracy™.

“Boaters within 400nm of the coast can use AccuWeather MinuteCast to help track and time storms that may be in their area,” said Steven Smith, Chief Digital Officer of AccuWeather, Inc. “MinuteCast includes precipitation type and intensity, and start and end times for precipitation. Users can even select a point on a nautical map or chart to get MinuteCast for that location, in addition to their current location. This type of detail and precision provides mariners with a level of insight into weather conditions they’ve never had before. AccuWeather provides this information exclusively in support of our ongoing dedication and commitment to helping improve safety and save lives everywhere.”

In addition to the exclusive AccuWeather MinuteCast, the updated app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch now offers worldwide buoy data, high and low tides for hundreds of locations around the United States, United Kingdom and Australia coastlines. Animated weather radar and maps are available for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Australia, as well as additional maps that show sea surface temperatures and anomalies, and wave heights and surface winds. Wave heights and surface wind data are available for every three-hour time period through to 180 hours.

Tropical weather maps for the Atlantic and Pacific oceans include the window of movement of every named tropical system, severe weather watches and warnings, radius of the wind, storm surges, as well as storm history information.

Marine weather forecast information is available for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Australia. For the United States, Marine Weather by AccuWeather includes all coastal regions, the Great Lakes, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Marine Weather by AccuWeather is a free app available from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.AppStore.com.

An ad free version of the app, Marine Weather Platinum by AccuWeather, includes ocean current predictions.

AccuWeather MinuteCast can also be accessed through www.AccuWeather.com.


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New Mobile App Quickly Locates Places to Fish, Hunt, View Wildlife and Enjoy Outdoors in New York State

North-South Lake Campground, Haines Falls, NYS, in the Hudson River Valley. New York State has created a new “New York Fish & Wildlife” app © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York State has launched a free mobile application that provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities throughout the state.

The New York Fish & Wildlife App is available for free download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market for use on iPhone and Android devices.

ParksByNature Network, LLC (PBN) developed the technology Pocket Ranger®, a smartphone outdoor mobile guide application as a resource for state park systems and fish and wildlife agencies across the country. The app provides advanced GPS mapping features as well as many other features to maximize any outdoor adventure, including detailed species information, news, advisories and weather alerts, social networking and photo sharing, and cache-able map tiles for offline use.

Brett Melillo, Parks By Nature co-founder and program coordinator, said, “The Pocket Ranger Fish and Wildlife App will encourage a new generation of users to explore and discover all that New York has to offer for outdoor recreation. This public-private partnership has provided a robust mobile app that will enhance the outdoor experiences and raise awareness, interest and participation in New York’s outdoor resources.”

This app gives both novice and seasoned outdoorsmen and women essential information in the palm of their hand. Powered by Pocket Ranger® technology, using the app’s advanced GPS features, users will be able to identify and locate New York’s many world-class fishing, hunting and wildlife watching sites.

Official Geographic Information System (GIS) data allows users to access in real-time accurate trail data, user location, sites nearby and amenity locations, including boat ramps, parking, restrooms and more. For hunters and anglers, GIS data will give geographic spatial information, making it easy to identify county borders and units that apply to regulations, permits and licenses for species.

Other outdoor adventure features include:

  • · Real-time calendar of events
  • · News, advisories, and weather alerts
  • · Social networking and photo sharing
  • · Potentially life-saving alert features
  • · Cacheable map tiles for offline use
  • · Advanced GPS mapping features including built in compass

Download the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App on the Apple App Store or Google Play store, or by going to the Pocket Ranger website.

This effort stems from Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative aimed at improving recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and boosting tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.

In support of this initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 Budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

This year’s budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.

“New York State is home to a vast array of fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation locations, providing unmatched opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while supporting local economies statewide,” Governor Cuomo said. “Tourism is a major industry in New York State, and drawing more visitors to our Upstate communities to enjoy the outdoors means new jobs and revenue for local communities. This user-friendly app will build on our efforts to help connect New Yorkers and visitors to opportunities to enjoy our world-class fishing, wildlife and outdoor recreation resources.”

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New Mobile Apps to Make Your Summer Travels a Breeze

The MyCityWay app can help you find free activities, including cultural centers, landmarks, museums, art galleries and parks in New York City and dozens more around the world © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

An app that clues you into happenings in 100 cities around the world, let’s you book a theater ticket in the Great White Way or on stages around the country, an app to help you navigate European train travel or calculate whether it is cheaper to fly or drive – these are just some of the new mobile apps now available to make your summer vacation travels, whether by car, plane, bus or boat, a breeze.

MyCityWay, New Mobile App, Helps Visitors Navigate 100 Cities Worldwide

Travelers have a new mobile app to help them navigate a city: MyCityWay is a situationally-aware smart app available for use in over 100 cities worldwide including 40 U.S. cities.

Bringing in the utility of more than 30 different Apps, MyCityWay applies artificial intelligence technologies once reserved for high-powered algorithmic trading to making navigating a city easy, fun and personalized.

Funded by the City of New York and BMWi Ventures (the venture capital company founded by BMW Group), the MyCityWay app harnesses information from hundreds of content partners, cross-references it to ensure validity and instantaneously prioritizes information according to the users’ needs and preferences by uniquely marrying location, intent, timing and information from their social graph.

MyCityWay helps travelers quickly and easily…

· Move: Find local transportation options, schedules and routes

· Shop: Discover the best boutiques by category, neighborhood and location and find sales and deals close by

· Play: Purchase tickets to tours and attractions across the city and identify free activities, including cultural centers, landmarks, museums, art galleries and parks.

· Eat: Choose the best restaurants by neighborhood or cuisine, read reviews, make reservations and get directions

· Party: Learn about the best a city offers after-hours – nightclubs, lounges, sports bars or comedy clubs

· Take care of business: Pinpoint nearby bathrooms and WiFi hotspots

To download the app, visit iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Nokia or MyCityWay Download Page (mycityway.com).


New Broadway League App, Website Offer One-Stop Shopping for Theater Tickets in NYC and Across North America

An app from Broadway.org lets you get a theater ticket on the Great White Way or on stages across North America © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A trip to the Big Apple is not complete without taking in a show on the Great White Way. In fact, summer travels are enhanced by taking in a show on the summer stages across the country.

The Broadway League has launched Broadway.org a comprehensive resource dedicated to providing theatre-goers around the world with information about all Broadway shows—both in New York and across North America.

Broadway.org combines two previously existing sites: ilovenytheater.com, specifically targeted to Broadway shows in New York, and touringbroadway.com, which was the League’s official website for Touring Broadway productions in nearly 200 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. With improved functionality, the new site continues to be the official source of information and provider of direct access to all things Broadway.

“Broadway.org furthers the notion that Broadway is a state of mind rather than a set geographical location. Our ultimate goal is to provide a premier one-stop consumer site for show information and official ticketing links, combining Broadway and Touring Broadway in a central location and under a single site identity,” says Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “If you want to see a Broadway show, regardless if you are home or out-of-town, you can go to Broadway.org to find out where and when it’s playing and easily buy your tickets from the authorized source.”

The new site features a deep integration between the New York City and touring shows. Site users can locate theatres across North America where Broadway shows are playing, and link to their official sites for more information. If they are on the page for a Broadway show, they will also be able to easily view its upcoming tour stops; and when on the page for a show on tour, will be able to see that it is also playing in New York and get information on that production.

The new site provides up-to-date show and theatre information in six languages, a guide to hotel and dining options in Manhattan’s Theatre District, and general information about Broadway theatre-going. It provides access to show tickets at all price points to current and upcoming shows, direct from the theatres’ official ticketing offices in real time, without broker markups.

The thoroughness and simplicity of the new site can be demonstrated with numerous features that are easy to navigate including: Google Maps and social media integration, the ability to search by location, an interactive map of the NYC theatre district and multi-media galleries. The League will be able to communicate timely announcements such as holiday schedules, weather advisories, updates on programs such as Kids’ Night on Broadway®, and more.

The site also features a mobile app for Broadway in New York and later this year an enhanced app to include touring data is being planned. The League’s Digital and Technology team created the new site with the aid of website design firm Lounge Lizard.

For more than a century, Broadway has been considered the pinnacle of live theatrical entertainment. Broadway is where America’s greatest playwrights, composers, lyricists, actors, singers, dancers, directors, designers, and choreographers bring great plays and musicals to life. Touring Broadway encompasses first-class, professional productions that bring these shows to fans across North America.

BeFrugal.com Introduces Fly or Drive Calculator

Say you are planning to travel to from New York City to Montreal. Is it cheaper to fly or drive?

When planning a trip, start with a free online tool to decide whether flying or driving makes more sense to get from point A to point B. The Fly or Drive Calculator (http://www.befrugal.com/tools/fly-or-drive-calculator/) factors in time taken, cost and carbon emissions. Use the Fly or Drive Calculator from money saving website BeFrugal.com to determine the best travel mode for your next trip in a few minutes or less.

You enter your starting location, destination, travel dates, number of travelers and whether or not it is a one-way trip. Next you can fast forward to results or insert more detailed, optional information such as the vehicle you would drive, number of hours to drive daily, hotel cost per night, tolls, airports, time at the airport, flying costs (transportation to and from the airport, checked bag feeds, plane ticket pricing, etc.). Then you view your customized results. A detailed comparison of your travel options is shown to compare the door-to-door time, total cost and CO2 impact.

Besides helping you calculate whether to fly or drive, BeFrugal.com offers discounts on travel through coupons, deals and cash back with Travelocity, Marriot, Avis, Expedia and more travel merchants, with average coupon savings of 27% per order for online purchases plus an average rate of 7% cash back”

  • Codes are posted for online coupons
  •  Deals are also posted (these do not require a promo code).
  •  Cash back is a portion of an online purchase that is deposited into a free BeFrugal.com account. When you are ready, get paid by PayPal or a check in the mail: http://www.befrugal.com/cashback/

For example, you can see the BeFrugal page for Marriot http://www.befrugal.com/coupons/store/marriott. Codes, deals and cash back are all available.

You can see a list of travel merchants BeFrugal can help travelers save at http://www.befrugal.com/coupons/category/travel

Rail Planner App Helps You Plan a European Trip

A new European Rail Planner App lets you consult real-time timetables and maps while avoiding expensive roaming costs © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Using a smartphone to plan your European trip by train has become easier and cheaper since the launch of the Rail Planner App.

Originally conceived for InterRail and Eurail Pass holders, the Rail Planner App ensures that pass holders and other rail travelers have offline European timetable information at hand while avoiding expensive roaming costs.

City maps and country facts for all participating countries are included and it’s possible to find your closest railway station with the handy built-in augmented reality feature. Pass holders have also access to a list per country of extra benefits such as free and discounted boat and ferry trips, hotel and museum discounts

Over 30,000 travelers have benefited from using the Rail Planner App since its official launch in February, which represents almost 25% of all pass holders in the first few months of 2013. InterRail Pass holders from the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway are among the top users of this innovative travel resource. Additionally the Rail Planner App has been selected by RailwayTechnology.com as one of the best apps for rail passengers.

Launched by Eurail Group, Rail Planner App is available in the App Store and Google Play and was developed by HaCon, the leading European player in planning, scheduling and information solutions. HaCon have also provided mobile applications to the German Railways (Deutsche Bahn), the Austrian Railways (ÖBB), and the Railteam Alliance, among other major railways and transportation companies.

Eurail Group is the organization dedicated to the management of Eurail and InterRail Passes on behalf of its members; a large number of participating European railways and shipping lines. InterRail Passes are available for European residents via InterRail.eu and the participating railways, and Eurail Passes are available for non-Europeans through a network of authorized sales agents.

Visit www.eurailgroup.org/railplanner for more information.

National Geographic Maps Now Available on Avenza’s PDF Maps App

More than 500 National Geographic maps are now available for free through iTunes via Avenza’s PDF Maps app.

How is this different from other digital map apps? This particular app lets travelers -especially those internationally– access maps offline while still being GPS interactive with mobile devices…all without roaming charges. It’s a new way to travel especially in an unfamiliar country, hiking through mountains, flying or boating – places where there usually is no cell reception.

National Geographic Maps, one of the most trusted names in cartography for nearly 100 years, has joined with Avenza Systems Inc. to offer a new channel to access its rich map content. The alliance enhances Avenza’s digital map database by adding more than 500 maps from National Geographic, a world-renowned source, and furthers National Geographic Maps’ established reach with mobile consumers.

The Avenza PDF Maps app takes advantage of geospatial technology and allows travelers, recreationists and map lovers to view, acquire and interact with maps on their mobile devices, including iPhone and iPad, without worrying about data accessibility and international roaming charges. In addition, PDF Maps offers an in-app store to facilitate the transaction and delivery of those maps, consolidating, in a digital format, consumers’ access to hundreds of maps from multiple publishers.

“In the last decade, advances in technology have shifted how consumers receive and use information, and we have responded by making our rich map content available on a variety of platforms,” said Charles Regan, senior vice president and general manager, National Geographic Maps. “Avenza’s PDF Maps app provides a unique way for consumers to access our content with an easy-to-use in-app map store and a set of robust features that will enhance the map user’s experience.”

Hundreds of maps from National Geographic Maps’ extensive library are now available in Avenza’s PDF Maps system, including popular travel and destination titles covering five continents, historical and thematic maps, and educational and reference titles. The app provides constant access to geographic information and points of interest, with additional interactive tools such as measuring, place marking and location tagging. PDF Maps operates without the risk of lost reception, due to cell tower proximity – making it the ultimate traveling tool, as it does not rely on an Internet connection.

“Avenza PDF Maps provides the ability for anyone to share map-related information by documenting locations with customized notes, photos and descriptions,” said Ted Florence, president of Avenza Systems Inc. “This expands the utility of a map beyond location guidance, as it is also a tool to share experiences and locales with notes and photos. We continue to strengthen our community of map publishers and further advance the mapping tools consumers demand, and we look forward to seeing how the industry evolves in a digital age.”

PDF Maps is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge for personal use. National Geographic maps can be accessed via the PDF Maps in-app store. For more information about the app, visit the Avenza PDF Maps website at www.pdf-maps.com or Avenza’s main website at www.avenza.com. Pricing of each map is set by the publisher, and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps in-app map store.

For information, visit natgeomaps.com

Free Roaming App i-Mobb Includes Support for Android Devices in Latest Update

i-Mobb, a free roaming app ideal for world travelers who own Smartphones, tablets, and iPod Touch devices, is announcing a new version now available for download which enables Android users to travel the world without paying fees for international calls.

Accessible online at http://www.i-Mobb.com, the latest update of the popular application includes support for Android operating systems in addition to iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

i-Mobb uses advanced VoIP technology to allow subscribers to make and receive unlimited calls as though they were at home. The app is designed for seamless communication and precludes the need for roaming fees or other unnecessary charges. With the latest update, the app now supports devices running the Android 4.0 operating system or newer, allowing travelers to save money no matter which Smartphone they use. The Android version of the free roaming app includes all of the features that have made i-Mobb a bestselling travel application.

Before embarking on an international trip, i-Mobb users can sign up for a subscription and customize it for their own travel plans. Unlike many of its competitors, i-Mobb does not require travelers to enter into restrictive long-term contracts, and customers can sign up to use i-Mobb for as little as one week at a time. This policy allows frequent travelers to save on each individual trip. Subscribed users can also set up many of the app’s functions prior to departure to make traveling as convenient as possible. For example, by setting up an international voicemail inbox and forwarding a domestic number to the designated i-Mobb local number, customers can make optimal use of their travel cell phones while abroad.

During trips abroad, the popular free roaming app allows users to make international calls without changing their SIM cards, so that customers can keep their familiar hardware and software preferences. i-Mobb also allows travelers to use their existing contacts and even to organize them as either personal or professional, making the app convenient for those traveling for business. After returning home, users can remove the application or renew their subscription for any future trips.

i-Mobb is currently available for individuals residing in eight countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, and Japan. Users can sign up for i-Mobb on its website, and the free roaming app is currently taking applications from travel agents and vacation companies who wish to join the company as resellers. These agents will be able to provide their clients with the application and offer the latest communication technology as part of their packages.

For more information about i-Mobb, visit http://www.i-Mobb.com.

See also:

Mibblio, First Interactive Musical Storybook App for Kids, is Ideal for Family Travel


© 2013 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin, www.examiner.com/eclectic-traveler-in-long-island/karen-rubin, www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures.

Mibblio, First Interactive Musical Storybook App for Kids, is Ideal for Family Travel

Mibblio founders (and cousins) David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin get feedback from Sammy’s niece and nephew on their innovative interactive musical storybook mobile app © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The first-ever  interactive musical storybook mobile app – Mibblio– which puts such popular songs as “Wheels on the Bus,” “On Top of Spaghetti,” into their hands,  where the child can actually play a variety of musical instruments and becomes engaged in the story, the artwork, and song, may provide the solution to the age old question, typically whined in boredom and frustration, “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” and help settle children to sleep in hotel rooms.

Inside Mibblio is a world of beautiful mibblets—illustrated story-songs that invite children to read, sing and jam while understanding the layers of developing music.

Targeted to children ages 3-8, each beautifully designed mibblet is a lively, interactive experience that allows kids to read a charmingly illustrated story, listen to a catchy song, and jam along on a variety of instruments.

It’s like a “Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra” or “Peter & the Wolf” and introduces and engages children in music at a time when their musical aptitude is emerging.

Besides occupying the child in a car or airplane or on a ship, Mibblio is a great way to settle a child into a hotel bed for the night with something that is comforting and fun.

With an intuitive design that is built for kids but enjoyed by all, the imaginative app is the first interactive musical-storybook of its kind and endlessly entertaining.

Parents and children are invited to select a “mibblet”—an illustrated story-song—from the Mibblio library while playing along and creating music to accompany the story. Mibblets are written, illustrated, sung and performed by accomplished artists such as Grammy-nominated mandolinist Andy Statman and Grammy-winning drummer Marty Beller.

Mibblio offers a mix of classic songs such as On Top of Spaghetti” and “The Wheels on the Bus” alongside new, instant classics like “Monkey Jamboree!” Mibblio also offers more narrative stories like The Mashed Potato Monster Gang that appeal to slightly older kids. By showing children the components of each song, instrument by instrument, Mibblio helps children understand the layers of developing music. Parents can watch and listen as children discover new instrument combinations and learn the basics of creating a song, while simultaneously improving reading skills.

“Mibblio is a fun and engaging way for children to explore music in a personalized and meaningful way,” said Sammy Rubin, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Mibblio. “Mibblets frame the musical elements and give what might ordinarily be abstract concepts a fun and familiar context. It’s exactly what I would have wanted when I was young.”

Presently available for i-Pads, Mibblio is available for free in the Apple App Store and comes with one mibblet. Additional mibblets which are constantly being added to the Mibblio library are available for purchase within the app for $1.99.

Mibblio was founded in 2012 by two Long Islanders – Great Neck native David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin [full disclosure: David is Travel Features Syndicate Editor Karen Rubin’s son and Sammy is nephew]. As a composer and music producer, Sammy wanted to create a new type of musical story experience for kids that combined illustrated stories with the music-making elements that he used on a daily basis. David left the world of business consulting to design and teach innovative curricula to high school students and joined Sammy on his venture to create a fun, musically enriching and educational new technology. David’s background in education as well as his passion for music made for the perfect partnership and thus Mibblio was born.

Mibblio has already received high recognition and rave reviews: Mibblio was a finalist for an Appy Award at this year’s South by Southwest and a finalist in the Cynopsis Kids Imagination Awards.

You can keep tabs when new mibblets get added and new innovations arrive, by following Mibblio on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information visit www.mibblio.com.