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Conde Nast launches augmented reality travel apps

Conde Nast Traveller magazine has spawned four augmented reality travel apps for iPhone, offering guides to Paris, Barcelona, New York and Rome.

Each app promises more than 500 listings for restaurants, bars, hotels and tourist hotspots, with filters so you can sort them by area, style and cuisine. The apps bundle all their content in rather than downloading it over the air – so no huge roaming data charges – with a built-in To Do list and diary to help you plan your city break.

The apps also include audio tours recorded by Conde Nast Traveller’s editors, and a bunch of recent articles from the magazine on the cities. But geeks will relish the augmented reality feature most, helping them navigate to places by peering through their cameraphone, rather than squinting at a map.

The jury’s still out on whether AR is really that much more useful than a traditional map interface – especially given the strain it puts on your iPhone’s battery. Still, the apps look very polished, and will certainly appeal to iPhone owners planning a break in any of the four cities covered.

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