Thursday, November 18, 2010


We didn't write much about Android so far. Here is a quick sum of our experiences to date:

For possibly the most important function, emailing, our android devices are perfect. Checking, reading, sending mails is convenient enough - especially if you have Swype installed. Most other travelers use small sub-notebooks, but although they might be slightly more comfortable and faster, they only work with wifi. IPads are still rarely seen with long term travelers.

Maintaining this blog is an other important function for us. We use email to send post drafts with pictures to blogger, which we then need to edit slightly in the editor at (choosing pic size, adding location, tags) using the browser. This works reliably, and apart from the alterations in the browser, is generally painless. The most cumbersome part is adding links in posts, since it can't be done in email draft, only in the editor (switching windows and doing copy and paste take time...).

Other functions we (would) use are:

- maps and navigation. Google maps is great, when you have unlimited connectivity. Although we have almost that here in NZ, we still had to buy a comprehensive road atlas with specific info for campervan tourers. Signal is also rather sparse in NZ. Another useful app in this space is MapDroyd, which allows preloading and offline viewing of vector maps from openstreetmap.

- gps tracking. We did some serious hikes on the trip, and it would have been great to track them with the MyTracks app, to be later uploaded and displayed on this blog. The main problem with this was battery - gps is very power hungry, and we are generally struggling to keep our devices charged.

- tethering. Works great, very cool for sharing connectivity via a wifi hotspot. The only problem again is battery, the hotspot provider device is quickly going down.

- browsing. It is great to have a full browser at hand. Online banking, searching for info, etc all work perfectly.

- camera. The nexus one is taking superb photos. All pics on this blog are taken by these phones, and we are quite pleased with the quality and usability of the camera.

In general, it would be good to have much longer battery times, and much better/cheaper connectivity. Now we are confined to use our phones and these functions very frugally.

Still, all in all, we are not at all regretting leaving our laptops at home, the androids are great travel companions :)

Your thoughts welcome.

sent from my android.


1 comment:

  1. I travelled a bit with an older version of an android phone and without laptop too, so here is what i found in your categories:
    Email - Everything that you worte + Having a physical keyboard is still more convenient for longer mails. I also liked that with this method I did not have to log in on dodgy computers in dodgy net cafes
    Blogging - Blogger text composing on the UI is horrible. I guess e-mails work well. Maybe an app would be perfect. I always tried to find a computer, but was writing longer text usually as it was the only mean of (outgoing) communication used.
    Maps - I think this is highly useful IF you have a dataplan. The more countries you visit, the less you will have one. Also one should never underestimate the fun of being lost.
    gps tracking - If you are devoted you can find relatively small paths on maps and can redraw your trips. I never missed it yet.
    thethering - really cool, but only for one off uses on the go or in combination with a cheap subscription and power
    browsing - it can be tirening compared to a computer, but it is ok
    camera - quality is great. Usability not so mch. The time it takes to take the picture is long, if there is sunlight you won't see the screen...
    battery - we used the airplane mode quite a lot when travelling. That really extends the battery life. Otherwise of course it is not great.

    What do you do with pictures that you take with cameras? I remember struggling with different possibilities to upload to picasa while travelling (1 for sharing 2 for making it theft and lostproof)

    I was just watching "into the wild" great movie, i believe one of your favourites.