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 blogger.com (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.