This week I am traveling to San Jose for the oVirt Kickoff Workshop. Future posts will likely detail the events of the event, but for this post I wanted to talk about Tech Gear for traveling.
I recently upgraded my aging Nokia N900 to a new iPhone 4S . Given the plethora of apps in the app store, I was curious to try and travel with and utilize the iPhone almost exclusively for this trip. So, I started loading apps up to keep my busy both on the plane and while at the conference. After a 3.5 hour plane ride and a day of oVirt preparation, along with a bunch of meetings with my fellow Cisco employees (Note: I work for Cisco), here are the apps I used the most:
- Mail and Calendar:. I found both to work great for keeping up with work and personal email, along with calendar events. In fact, they work so well I never had to open my MacBook Pro laptop the entire day yesterday. Only when I retired to my hotel room did I crack its lid for some long-form email replies.
- Spotify: I decided not to load any music on the iPhone, and instead rely on Spotify for my music needs. It worked out well, the offline mode was really nice, and I even snagged a 30 day extended free trial to decide how much I like it before I double down on the $9.99 fee. I’m thinking I may decide to do the fee, as the service works out well.
- Google Voice App: Having ported my original cell number to Google Voice, I loaded up the iPhone app and have been using that to both send and receive calls from my original number, as well as send and receive texts. It’s a pretty seamless affair, but I wish it was integrated more natively than in it’s current form. Michael Arrington has a good review of using Sprint to make this even more seamless, I’m with AT&T so I’m stuck with partially implemented.
- Feedler: I use this app for access to my Google Reader RSS stream. Nice to be able to keep up with all of my feeds.
- Instapaper: This app allowed me to spend the weekend prior to my trip adding articles for later reading while on the airplane. It was pretty slick, and I was able to save enough articles for an hours worth of reading. The iPhone screen size worked out pretty good, my guess is the Retina Display helps here.
- Marvel Comics App: I needed some super hero action, and this app delivers. Nothing like having some Avengers and X-Men along for the plane ride.
- Twitter: I love the Twitter integration in iOS 5, and the native app works great, looks nice, and lets keep up with the happenings in my stream throughout the day.