iPhone 4S: The Ultimate Travel Gadget

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
So, with those apps and the iPhone 4S, I was able to navigate the plane ride and the work day yesterday seamlessly. I expect the same for the oVirt Workshop this week.
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