By Carolyn Grayson on Wed, 11/06/2013
Is it possible to travel with only an iphone? I have to say, it isn't too difficult. For the past week, I've been depending on only an iPhone as my primary computer, and the whole experience hasn't been bad. I'm composing this from the Philadelphia airport before my departing flight. Someone asked about a Bluetooth keyboard after reading my last article and I have to admit I don't use one. I've just been typing on the keyboard, butt keep in mind, I'm 5'2" and weigh in at 95 pounds—fully dressed. A keyboard was completely unnecessary for someone my size; but if you happen to be any larger (which would include all males and most females over the age of 16), you may want to invest in a Bluetooth keyboard.
What Worked Well:
1. A phone is only as good as the carrier it is on. I have Verizon and had excellent service my entire trip. The Wi-Fi connections in airports and hotels were horrible. I just gave up in most cases. I'm not sure my experiment would have been as successful had I needed to depend on Wi-Fi. I actually hesitated setting up my iPhone 5s because I knew unlimited data was a thing of the past. My next iPhone-only travel experience will be in December, at which time I'll have a "share everything" plan. Wish me luck. Despite the fact that my initial email from Verizon stated that I got in on the "unlimited glitch," when my iPhone 5s arrived, I realized that was not the case. Verizon had moved me to a 2GB plan. My suggestion would be if you think you've kept your unlimited data due to Verizon's computer glitch, check your paperwork. You don't want a nasty surprise on your next bill.
2. I used Scout (free) as my primary navigation app. I've already written a review of Scout, and I stand by my word. I truly believe Scout is the best navigation app out there. I made it from Philly to Macungie and on to Reading all without a hitch.
3. StreetSafe. Another app I've written about, only this time I have some bad news. StreetSafe went out of business shortly after I used it for the last time. No warning. I used the service to walk to my rental car at night and a few days later my money was refunded and the company was no more. I've signed up for MyForce (free) in an attempt to replace StreetSafe, but I have yet to try the service out.
4. Loseit! (free). When you visit family and friends, everyone wants to go out to eat. I'm not complaining; it's nice to sit and talk over a delicious meal, but I feel it's equally important to watch what you eat. People often assume that smaller individuals don't worry about calories, but there are other things one may be interested in tracking. I personally use Loseit! to track saturated fats, cholesterol, and protein. The program is very customizable, and I can't wait to try out its new features on the iPhone 5s.
5. Blackboard Mobile (free). I'm a grad student and my college uses Blackboard to post assignments. I was able to participate in discussions, interact with classmates, and watch assigned videos. No one would have known I was out of town thanks to this app. If you're in college and your class requires the use of Blackboard, it's worth it to invest in this app.
7. As far as entertainment went, watching movies on the plane, reading, and listening to music were all simple and easy to do on the iPhone. I really didn't notice the decrease in screen size. I have the font on my Kindle set to a fairly decent size, so possibly I turn pages more often, but I was able to see clearly and read comfortably. While watching movies and TV shows, I liked the intimacy of the smaller screen. When you're on a plane you're so close to the person next to you. I don't like the idea that they can see my screen. I had no problems using my iPhone for all my entertainment needs.
What didn't work:
1. Turnitin.com. This only applies to teaches who use Turnitin. The company has a dedicated iPad app, but nothing for the iPhone. I had to get creative and grade student essays by downloading each essay and opening it in Evernote to make comments and notes. I was able to make it work, but it wasn't easy and it wasn't pleasant.
2. PowerSchool. Pearson makes a dedicated iPhone app for parents and students to check grades, as well as an iPad app for teachers to record grades. But despite requests from teachers, there is no iPhone app. I had no access to my grade book while I was away. I understand that there are other third-party apps that will transfer into PowerSchool, but the idea of having to enter grades twice seems counterproductive.
In the end, I found living with only an iPhone for a week was completely reasonable; and had I not been required to work during that time, the experience might have been perfect. My next trip is in December when I'll be chaperoning students for three days, and I imagine that I'll only bring my iPhone for company.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone