Droid X: Pocket Concierge

Droid X: Road Warrior

When I go on an prolonged road trip, I like to take everything with me I need to be productive on the street without having to lug a lunky laptop. On a current month lengthy trip, I decided to use a Droid X as my cell office to hold me productive and connected. I found it to be a top notch companion. It helped me technique data, write, publish, talk via email, sms, mms, and IM. It guided me and gave me precious data alongside the way that made my day trip extra enjoyable. It also entertained me with music, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, and TV.

Getting Organized

Even before packing for a trip, I assume it’s constantly a excellent idea to create some lists: matters to do before leaving home, matters to pack, places to be visited, and electronic gadgets needed, inclusive of apps. If you appear in the Android Store, there are many, many listing apps. Some are higher than others. My favored has continually been ListPro, however unfortunately, it is now not yet available. I hope it will be soon.

Among the many choices that I evaluated, I subsequently determined on the Springpad app, which is free. In my opinion, it is the fine available, even amongst the paid apps because of its strong features. It robotically creates a reproduction of all your lists, task, memos, and links that are stored on the Springpadit.com Website that is constantly on hand from any pc or handheld anywhere. It lets in you to make notes, and take a look at lists in more than a few categories such as business, restaurant, wine, products, books, movies, tasks, track albums, shopping, packing, and recipes.

You can also add photos, webpages, emails, or snippets of text with hyperlinks and then ship them through e-mail or SMS. You can add media by taking a photo, scanning a product, the use of an current photo, or making an audio recording. The latter is a remarkable feature whilst on the road.

However, it has one serious shortcoming that I hope will be remedied soon: it will now not permit you to kind objects inside a list, but strangely it sorts lists. Go figure. Accordingly, for massive lists, you may additionally wish to find some other application that will sort items internally. For just my purchasing list, I selected a Shopping List for this purpose. It does the job, however does not allow imports/exports or additions with the aid of voice.

Here is any other proper purpose to have a packing list. When I used to be in Albuquerque, my vehicle used to be damaged into and a couple thousand greenbacks well worth of objects were taken. During the shock of the moment, it was once challenging to bear in mind what was lacking for the police report. My list helped immensely. Albuquerque is an evil place…stay away.

Another important item to take along is some sort of impenetrable digital wallet. My favourite has been eWallet for many years. Luckily, it’s now on hand for Android. It syncs with your computer information so you have a backup copy. This program has saved my existence more than once. When I obtained my credit playing cards stolen, I was once able to contact the companies, cancel them, and get new ones in no time, thanks to eWallet. It’s a free app that may want to store your bacon.

As lengthy as we’re speaking about security and lost items, I fantastically advise installing a replica of Where’s My Droid in case you lose or misplace your device. This superb app lets in you to send a text message to your lost device. You can both reason it to turn up the volume and ring for a set time or it will return a text message with its latitude and longitude (provided GPS is grew to become on).

Navigation and Guidance

During the first half of the time out I used my trusty Mio dashmounted GPS, but I was once relieved of it in Albuquerque. Droid X came to the rescue. I used the built in Navigation application with Google maps and loved the extraordinary 3D satellite tv for pc pics that show you real images of the landscape as you travel, which include genuine buildings. With this program, a window mount, you don’t want something else to guide you on a street trip.

Navigating and speaking palms free is a proper thinking whilst on the road. For this reason, I tried out some apps to help me. I bet my favorite was already mounted on my Droid X. It’s called Car Home. Large buttons on the home display are for Navigation, Voice Search, Contact Search, and Maps. But, you can installation different apps of your choice as well. There is an extra screen with six large buttons on both side of the home display screen where you can place apps of your desire to get right of entry to easily while driving.

At the top of the home screen, in giant purple display, are a speedometer, a digital compass, and a weather report, which never labored for me.

A comparable application is Car Dock accessible for free in the Store. The home display appears with six buttons for Calling, My Location, Music, Add App, Voice Search, and Close.

After I used to be relieved of my Window set up GPS in the robbery, I reverted to my Droid X the use of the constructed in Navigation machine with Google. It carried out flawlessly, rerouted quickly, gave voice guidance, and the 3D image heritage is amazing. As a ways as I know, no different application has this feature. Go Google.

I was once delighted to locate out that one of my longstanding favorites, CoPilot Live, is now on hand for Android. I could not face up to getting a copy. It is a real asset to street travel with all the facets one would expect. However, it would not have the nifty satellite photograph heritage supplied through Google, and it does not have a panel with such data as time of arrival, distance to go, and so forth. You can view this information, but it takes some tapping to access, which isn’t always too cool while driving.

Travel Information

In most locations along the way, it was once possible to join to the Web to search for facts on sightseeing, history, geology, restaurants, accommodations, and so forth. A accessible offline aid for visitor sights is Travel America, which is free and nicely worth having.

If you experience geocaching as you travel, I advocate a replica of C:GEO. It rapidly shows a list of caches close to you prepared via distance. It has a map and a compass for training to the site. There are others reachable in the app store, however this one is my favorite, and it is free.

Accountability

If you track your travel expenses, it can be pretty cumbersome with receipts piling up and tucked away in your glove compartment, pockets, suitcase, and so forth. My Droid X made it truely simple with a free app called Expensify. Expensify lets you manually enter your fees manually through class for reimbursement and tax purposes. You can even scan in receipts quickly. All information are backed up on-line and can be exported. It’s a high-quality app.

There are many different apps in this category that you may also desire to investigate some free, some not, but Expensify seemed to serve my desires the best.

If you are into keeping tune of your vehicle performance, maintenance, and mileage there are apps for that as well. Try autoMOBILE for $.99.

Productivity

Whether visiting for pleasure or business, it’s continually appropriate to be capable to tour gently except being careworn with a cumbersome laptop and but continue to be productive. With my Droid X, I was capable to be just as productive as I wished to be except missing a beat. The most serious bottleneck to productivity with a handheld is an environment friendly skill of inputting. The onboard keyboard just isn’t designed for productive inputting. I’m joyful to record that with the Droid X it is used to be possible for me to use my Freedom, full size, 5 row, fold-out keyboard linked by Bluetooth with the help of an app called KeyPro. KeyPro is handy in the Market. You can download it and check it on your machine for free. But, if it works, you will desire to collect the paid model at a price of $9.95, a most rewarding funding in your cellular productivity.

I’ll have to admit that I virtually struggled getting the keyboard to work. It was an ordeal of endurance and persistence, but as soon as I bought the keyboard delivered to my Droid X, it was once a ideal marriage. Once you get it set up, it is handy to connect. When I get time, I intend to write an article about the imperative steps to make it all take place rapidly and easily.

Another drawback to non-Windows devices is that they are now not capable to read workplace documents. A partial answer may additionally be to view items stored online in Google Docs. However, the key to true cellular productivity is the capacity to not solely to view, but to create and edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and PDF documents. What to do?

Luckily there is a impressive 0.33 celebration app by using DataViz known as Documents to Go. The free model only approves you to view.doc and.xls file. To view, edit, and create.doc,.xls,.ppt, and.dof files, you will want the paid version, which solely expenses $14.99.

The new model three sports activities an all new consumer interface with many elevated features. You can now get entry to all the Google Docs and edit them. You can even create new ones.

This is a should have application if you favor to be a serious roadwarrior. Don’t go away home besides it.

There are instances when it can be a rely of lifestyles or dying if you need to get entry to data from your home or workplace laptop remotely. This passed off to me more than once throughout my trip, and fortunately, there are apps for this. One I can especially endorse is PhoneMyPC. Take observe though, you need to set up it on your PC earlier than you go away home. You can’t do it remotely. So, buy before you fly. It expenses $9.95 and is another profitable funding in mobile independence.

With all the above productiveness tools, you are ready to do fighting and face any exigency whilst on the street and continue to be prolifically creative whilst traveling.

Entertainment

I will resist the temptation to speak about games due to the fact there are simply too many and absolutely everyone has his or her personal thinking about suitable games. However, I noticed that a totally free full version of Angry Birds grew to become handy when I was on the road. I gave it a try and found it senseless however addicting. There is a associate software called Angry Birds Walkthrough that will supply you a solution to every level.

One of the frustrations I face while in hotel rooms is that all the channels and times are special for my favored programs. Even if I am lucky sufficient to discover one I like, I nevertheless have to go through thru commercials, which I abhor.

My exceptional solution is Slingplayer, which I’m pleased to report is accessible for Android. On my Droid X I am now able to get entry to and manipulate my home TV in HD and watch live or recorded TV from anywhere in the world with a Wi-Fi connection. It takes the pain out of travelling at the end of a long day. In order to use this astonishing supply of entertainment, you must have a Slingbox set up on your home TV. Go to Slingmedia.com for details.

If you are hooked on viewing TV There are some free and paid apps that will allow you to view a confined number of selections. TV.com is a accurate one, free, but with few full episode available. You can also wish to strive the new paid version of Hulu for $9.95 a month. You may wish to check out SPB TV and Orb as well.

If you have already downloaded a bunch on your favored tunes, you are all set to go for listening pleasure while using or relaxing with the constructing player. Or you can download new tunes online. If you are truly a tune freak, you can also want to lift an extra micro SD card full of music.

Of route there are all sorts of song listening possibilities from a plethora of on line radio stations from all over the world. You have to in no way be at a loss for track whilst traveling.

Hands down, my very favorite all time app is Pandora. It’s a free download and allows you to enter your preferred artists, albums, or tunes. It will find different similar track to play for your listening pleasure.

As it’s dangerous to use ear buds or Bluetooth headphones while driving, a better solution it to pick out up a nifty little FM modulator at WalMart and somewhere else for ten bucks. All you do is plug your Droid into it and tune to an empty FM frequency on your radio to broadcast your phone’s audio over your auto speaker system. This works extraordinary for audiobooks as well.

Speaking of audiobooks, if you do not like the high charge of buying audiobooks, which can be as high as $85 for unabridged editions, attempt Audiobooks for free in the Android store. I spent many quality hours driving listening to offered old classics. Audiobooks in reality make the time bypass shortly and enjoyably. Be sure to use a Bluetooth speaker or FM modulator hookup even though for safety.

If you’d rather curl up with a appropriate book once in a whilst as a substitute of gazing the boob tube, clutch a suitable eReader app from the store. Basically, you are all set to go because a copy of Kindle eBook reader comes set up on the Droid X. Kindle is semi-satisfactory however would not commence to compare to readers I’ve recognised in Windows Mobile. There are different readers handy in the Market, most are free. You can go to Amazon.com and download ebooks for pay for free. There are many other places on the Web with eBooks available. There are even some in the Android Market.

I don’t know about your library, however my local library points NetLibrary that approves you to down load WMA and MP3 unabridged eAudiobooks. Of course, I can do this from somewhere whilst on the road, and it’s free. It labored flawlessly on my Droid X. Check it out at your library.

About the only time I would read a tree book would be if I had been in prison. Thank goodness eBooks are available on the Droid. My mantra for years has been, “Ebooks rule; treebooks drool,” and I’m sticking with it.

Conclusion

I found no trouble travelling with my Droid X rather of a laptop. I can’t suppose of some thing I lacked in the way of productivity, entertainment, and making my day trip environment friendly and enjoyable. It’s like having a concierge in your pocket at your beck and call. While I cited all the apps that made my day out more practical, there are in all likelihood many others that would make a contribution to one’s tour well being. I welcome your comments if you have any suggestions.

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