Surviving Five Days on iPad and iPhone Alone

I’m into the last day of a 5-day inter-state break just before teaching begins again in week or so. It is the first time in more than a decade I decided not to bring a laptop or netbook and rely only on my iPhone and iPad. My digital camera too was left at home with the iPhone taking over that function. The only feature I miss is a stand that could hold the iPhone when taking time delay photos of all people in the group – anyone know of a solution?

While I was happy I could read email, tweets, blog posts and statuses on various social networks, I worried about generating the more lengthy, meaningful pieces in this spectrum of vital communication channels. As it happened going down with a heavy cold half a day before leaving, and headed for a cold part of Aus, Launceston, dampened my creative juices. Nevertheless I created this post to test the composition capability of iOS.

I defined a minimum set of tasks that my iOS devices had to perform.

Email with attachments. This is not a problem since I already read and answer much of my email on iOS with apps like Pages, Quickoffice, Godocs and Keynote to handle the inevitable MS Office attachments.

Twitter. Again no problem here since about 95% of my use of Twitter is on iOS already. Useful links in tweets are captured in Diigo simply by making them favorites. Later processing with the Diigo iPad app is trivial.

Blogs. This was where I had concerns. My blog is on but the WordPress iPad app forces editing in HTML – try typing an HTML tag on the iPad keyboard. Also I continually posted prematurely before the piece was complete. With this post I am using Bloggerplus to see if it is viable alternative. So far so good but inserting lists without typing HTML is missing. At least image insertion and editing is easy.

News. Again I am about 80% converted to iOS for general news reading with a plethora of apps like Google News, Flipboard, BBC News, Engadget, Mashable and so on. Recording links to useful news articles is still problematic usually requiring emailing links from these apps and needing later reprocessing from the Mail app – a better solution here is a major requirement.

Social networks. My key networks of Facebook, Linkedin, Foursquare and so on all have iOS apps so these have no problems. The only insurmountable problem occurred having to use Safari to enroll and set up in Empire Avenue. Creating a account is OK but uploading a profile image proved impossible, note the disabling of the choose file button:

Overall I had no real difficulty and the weight reduction in traveling is really significant, especially with cables and USB keys. Only a couple of chargers are needed. At our accommodation in the CBD Telstra 3G was never a problem and iPhone and iPad functioned well at all times. Only a couple of times on remote stretches of the Lake Leake road between the Northern Midlands and the east coast did the Telstra signal fade while using the Maps app.

So bye bye netbooks while traveling for me from now on.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

2 Responses to Surviving Five Days on iPad and iPhone Alone

  1. Online Blogger says:

    I know what you mean. I’ve been able to do it also. Have you ever looked into “Jailbreaking” google it and let it blow your mind. Have a good day Sir!

  2. Pingback: Working from the iPad « Visible Procrastinations

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