Prior to takeoff, I switched all of my gadgets to "airplane mode," in great anticipation of the double beeps at 10,000 feet signaling their release from every nook and cranny of bag and pouch. My Bose headphones deployed first, followed shortly by my fourth-Generation iPad, loaded with Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5 (I engage in the series in its original broadcast order). I also brought out the Seagate GoFlex Satellite Wi-Fi drive so it could stream video to my wife's first-generation iPad.
We spent the next several hours huddled around our iPads watching video and juggling various pieces of hardware with soft drinks, nibbles, snack packets, and endless napkins and water refills.
I have no idea how people can work on a plane; with elbows tucked into your sides like the wings of chickens in an overcrowded roost. As a researcher on the future of work, I highly suggest planes be a place where you disconnect from work, even if not from technology. Brains need downtime to assimilate and synthesize, and I have always used the plane as a place of reflection and alternative input.
After about five hours of travel, the Seagate drive began flashing red, indicating the battery’s strain from streaming multiple movies. At one point I looked at the system status and saw two connections, which means someone other than my wife was using the drive. (I’m Looking forward to the new Seagate GoFlex Satellite drive, which can hide its network from the public!) I quickly plugged in the Powerocks Stone3; it recharged the drive's battery completely.
As the light on the drive turned green, a flight attendant announced over the loud speaker we’d soon be landing and it was time to power-down devices. So we contorted ourselves in unnatural ways to reach our gadgets and bags, and folded them into place and put them away.
Moments after landing, before the warm thin layer of rubber on the tarmac had time to cool, I turned my iPhone on to check on the status of our other party. The American Airlines app (Free) quickly reported the other travelers’ successful landing — 30 minutes before we touched down. I then turned to the SuperShuttle app (Free) to see if our car had arrived. It quickly reported our driver was indeed in Newark waiting for us to arrive.
After loading everyone into the car we headed down the turnpike to the Holland Tunnel. I pointed out sights along the way to our New York newbies, using Apple's Maps to help ensure I didn't miss anything.
Next, we checked in to our hotel, met in the lobby, and took a short walk to dinner at the New York icon Sardi's. Not only did our family refuel, but so did our phones. I pulled out the Lenmar PowerPort 7000 and plugged in multiple phones during dinner while my brother-in-law Steve (who is known in Orange Country, CA as the Apple Doctor) tapped the Lenmar PowerPort 2400 to resurrect his iPhone 5. With our recharged phones we captured several shots of the famous faces that line Sardi's walls.
After dinner the sky decided to open. Rain came down in buckets on our umbrella-less heads. But when we made it back to Times Square, my LifeProof-clad iPhone was still able to capture great images of New York's bright lights without damaging the phone. After shooting pictures, I just put the wet phone back in my pocket.
The evening ended in the hotel lobby, eating Roxy Delicatessen treats while everybody used their iPhones to Yelp a breakfast spot, sharing family photos, and shopping for tickets to a Broadway show.
And now, here I sit at 1:29 a.m. typing this post in Pages ($9.99) with my Logitech Tablet Keyboard. All of my gadgets are plugged in, recharging in anticipation of tomorrow's adventures.