Travel and the mobile internet device
I took my first trip with a mobile internet device (MID) and I'm surprised to say that it's not only my new favorite gadget but it also was fun to have on a trip. I bought an iPod Touch which is basically the iPhone without the phone. I went to fairly large tourist areas in New England so it wasn't too hard to find free wireless access.
This warm fuzzy feeling may wear off after I'm used to it but I found it really cool to be able to check the weather, read up on news, sports, and email, and look for local activities in the area. The coolest feature to me was the Google maps program where you can type in the name of a place, find it on the map, bookmark it, and add it as a contact complete with URL, address, and phone number (which is all done for you). To be honest we already knew our way around but this still seemed cool to me.
I was able to get some practical use of the device by checking for places to stay in one town we were considering stopping at on our way back. I could search for places, find their location on the map, browse their web sites, and bookmark them for later in case we wanted to call to book a room.
The main drawback of my device is that it's not always on. So while I can map directions to a location, I cannot keep that feature active all the time when going to the location. If I had an iPhone I assume I could use it like a GPS since I'd always have the phone to do my internet connection. Then again that would cost me $30 a month (but it is tempting).
Anyway, I just thought I'd share this info. I think a mini laptop would be nice on trips too, and would be way more useful for typing stuff like emails, blogs, diary, or trip report type stuff. But it was nice to have my music player and internet device all in one small package.
Funny you should bring this up!
I have had a Touch for a while and I really find it a useful tool.
I have applications on mine that help troubleshoot networks and a lot more and I took it everywhere until the last two weeks myself.
Then my Treo died,again and I had had enough.
I have turned to the dark addiction of.........Crackberry.
I have been on the road for the last two weeks with my new curve and I have to say that until you use one it is impossible to comprehend the appeal!
This is no oversell,the thing is amazing.
I often think about the iPhone but now it is but a distant dream.
I do not like the touch typing on the iPhone and somehow I can thumb type on the Berry but the real deal for me is the Email.
As I understand it there is no other "Push" mail exactly like the Blackberry and during the last two weeks I never really turned on a laptop to read mail.
I also used the GPS often to get spoken turn by turn guidance,I listened to my local NFL team Live while missing the game on TV and I even used it to listen to Audible books while driving.
I looked at several "Netbooks" while traveling but I am fairly sure after two weeks that all I really need is the Blackberry and a normal small notebook for at night.
I can read and respond to all messaging and receive annd edit office documents and PDF's.
I can use it as a modem to connect a computer which works great.
I don't see how I can ever go back now.
I can stop anytime but I won't.
Kind of like with my Bihn gear?
Oh and it is an amazing telephone too.
Can you use the Curve for music? If it can serve as an mp3 player too then it would really make traveling light.
I totally agree on the keyboard thing. I'm finding many websites that would work easier if you had keys you could use to navigate. Hotmail for example seems to have number shortcuts for things like delete, which would be easy with a crackberry.
I'm in the air on my next phone plan purchase (may switch carriers) so I've not purchased a new one yet. The new Google Android phones do fascinate me, but so far only T-Mobile has them.
So far the only thing I can not do or I am not certain I can do on my Curve is output video from it.
If I can it could replace the Touch for me entirely.
The Curve handles Music and Video in many formats like the Touch does and though the screen os not as large,I like it as much,almost.
I have an 8gig memory card in it and it will hold a lot.
I don't ever really listen to music through an ipod, although giving other people AV is what I do.
I do listen to Audible content and Podcasts all the time and I use Ipods as players mainly for that as well as having music with me all the time to output to systems I am working with.
So far the quality of the Audio and the reliability of the player seems great.
Unlike most phones the curve I have(Sprint) has a 3.5mm standard sizes output jack too which makes it simple to use with headphones or standard stereo cables.
I had to look at the thing as a phone first and as a data management tools second.
I have been a loyal follower of the Palm platform even though they have given nothing back for a long time.
I have gone through a lot of Treo nad other Palm phones before them and I thought it would be tough to transition to anything without a touchscreen.
So far it has taken some getting used to but.......I LOVE THE CURVE!
I have not yet found an application to track expenses and time like I had in the TEAK software for palm but I am confident that I will or I will develop something for myself.
The device is that good.
It is certainly not without its quirks but so far it is a very robust platform.
I found a case(of course) by Otterbox that simply makes the curve indestructable and easily works for me in the field whether on construction sites or in a meeting.
Simply put,the Blackberry is one serious tool.
Digital convergence is a wonderful thing!
I use a Nokia N95 for my mobile internet needs. It does wi-fi, basic browsing, instant messages via fring, basic office document editing, PDF viewing... since I have a first generation N95, I also have an 8 gig SD card crammed full of music and videos (waiting 16 gig SD cards to come out for more entertainment goodness!). GPS is also wonderful, and sometimes I wonder how I ever survived without Google Maps.
One thing some people might not like about the N95 is that it does not have a QWERTY keyboard, and instead uses a traditional keypad. This isn't an issue for me, since I've become quite adept at text messaging.
Disclaimer though: I'm not all that enamored with Blackberries, since the general assumption is Blackberry = push mail = on-call 24 hrs. The Nokia actually does email quite well, but I'm lucky enough to be in an environment where emails after 5pm are generally considered next day's business. It's almost sad seeing all those people with Blackberries tapping away at emails on the subways at 7pm.
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