Apps can make your phone or tablet be a lot more useful. Some of these I use on daily basis, some weekly, and other rarer. And then there were some that I barely, if at all, has used. All apps take up space and some a lot more than others. I have plenty of great apps from travel and utilities to productivity and games, but they can fill up available space that can be utilized for photos, videos, and notes.
Going through apps on your device and determining which are still good and which take up too much memory, would help to create extra storage space for your next trip.
During the long weekend, we took a road trip north to Dutchess County. I have been there before as I graduated from a college in the area. Though that was awhile ago and quite different.
Our first stop was the Brotherhood Winery. This was our second time there and we stopped in for a refill of their great tasting wines. While at the winery, snow storm began. It is not like the snowy rain in the city. After only a few minutes, I had to clean off my car. And because of the storm we had to shorten our itinerary.
Our next stop was Jenkins Orchards, where we stocked up on everything apple and then some. The next stop on our journey was a place for dinner. We went to Brasserie 292 in Poughkeepsie, aka Po-town. It has great reviews and the menu sounded good. We were not disappointed. While the prices were not something a college person would afford, the atmosphere, the food and the service were great.
For our overnight stay we stopped at the Inn the Woods B&B. The place was very nice with a hot tub outdoors that we used for two nights. The breakfast they made was amazing, a three course culinary morning feast. The overall stay would have been even better, if the house was not up on the hill that was covered with wet snow that my car could not scale. The owners cleaned up the driveway upon request and it was smooth sailing afterwards.
For the second day of our trip our plans included more educational sightseeing. The first stop was the Vanderbilt Mansion.
It was a five minute drive from B&B. The house is massive, with each room having its own motive and color, grandiose entrances and furniture. Another mansion we visited was the Mills Mansion. It was a contrast to the Vanderbuilt's. Where that one had walls made of and covered with marble throughout the house, Mills Mansion was made of wood. Other than decor and lifestyles, another thing that I learned during the visit is that the owner, Darius, was very opportunistically smart. During the gold rush, instead of joining the dreamers in digging around, he opened a general store selling those dreamers shovels and other tools and accessories needed for digging. In doing so, he made more money than most of the other venturers for the reaches
Getting to this mansion was another story. Like a few other places in the area, we found out that we cannot trust the directions provided by the GPS. Even if we had the correct address. The park's website also did not provide much information. It was only after we called them directly did we get the right route. Here it is if you are thinking about visiting:
- Use your navigational device to get you to the park's gates. Afterwards, turn off the navigation and keep it on to view the map only
- Go down the Old Post road that will be on your right as you enter the gate. Follow the road past a golf course on right side. Once you pass it, you will see a sign on left for the park. This is where you would enter the Mills Mansion. You should see the building ahead and slightly to the left.
Our third night in the area we spent at the Ashokan Dreams B&B. They have a great loft style first floor room with great views. See pictures below of the views from the large windows and from the hot tub just a few feet outside the house.
We took our Panasonic Lumix with us on the trip to use in the hot tub. Yes, that camera is good to use here too. For more picturesque pictures, my wife had her Canon DSLR camera along.
We also took the iPad with us as each of the B&Bs had free Wi-Fi included. It was good to have that option available but we didn't get to use it much. I wish we did have an iPad waterproof iPad case as then we might have been able to have the iPad with us in the hut tub.
My newest gadget on the trip was the travel sonic toothbrush. At home I use the rotating full size toothbrush and really like brushing with it. Until I came across these travel size brushes, I had no idea battery operated ones existed for travel. These toothbrushes are compact, light, and easy to use. They operate on one AAA battery. My mouth felt very clean during the trip and I didn't have to compromise for the usual tiny not great feeling travel toothbrushes.
Bluetooth iPad keyboard/case
Tablets are all the rage. They are small, easy to use, come with full web surfing ability, and are convenient. That is convenient to a point. They are great to swipe through a bunch of web pages or apps, however typing on them is not as easy. While I got used to typing on my iPad and do not really mind it, quite a few folks miss the feel and touch of their keyboards. So to keep the tablet convenient and at the same time improve use, there are now cases that have the keyboard built in. You have best of both worlds. Protection for your tablet and a full size keyboard.
For those with tablets that might already have a case or who do not need a keyboard at all times and would rather have a slimmer gadget to take a long, there is the roll-up Bluetooth connected keyboard. It is made of flexible silicone material that rolls ups and can be easily stored in your travel bag. And because it is made of silicone it can be cleaned with soap and water so you have it clean and ready for next trip. It can be quickly recharged via a USB connection.
Power up Backpack To work, iPad needs power, that is what I call a "duh factor"
Travel bags come with many features, though being able to not just store your tablet but also charge it is one of the best. Backpacks, such as the Powerbag Back Pack, have a battery installed that can provide juice not only to the iPad, but also to your smartphone, e-reader, music player and any other device that can be connected via USB. The battery is easily charged with included AC adapter. And it can be connected while inside the bag, no need to take it out, though you do have that option.
Since a electric socket is not always available when traveling, there are bags with newest technological advancement, solar power. The solar powered backpack captures the sun’s rays as you are walking storing the energy within the battery. It is ready to provide some juice to your gadgets while out and about. It does not need to be clear sky and sunshine, though preferred, for the battery to charge. The panel absorbs UV rays even on a cloudy day. And these backpacks also provide great storage and transportation for your travel gadgets :)
Another great source of power when traveling is you. With hand-cranked generators you can manually build up enough juice to give your gadget much needed staying power.
A good set of earphones
iPad is one of the few Apple gadgets that does not come with its own earphones. Watching movies while traveling, catching up on the shows or presentations, listening to music and music videos, and playing games are some of the great reasons this gadget is an essential accessory for the tablet. One of the better pair of earphones, and the one I have included in previous posts, are the Klipsch Image S4. These headphones have noise-canceling technology yet relatively small with great sound.
And if you would like to hear all of the above out loud, wireless speakers are a great addition. Jawbone JAMBOX seamlessly streams music via Bluetooth connection and it lasts up to 10 hours of power from internal rechargeable battery.
Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Card
Featuring built-in WiFi, Eye-Fi X2 memory cards simplify photo and video upload, sharing, organisation and back-up. Simply slip the memory card into your camera,
Tablets are great for watching movies and catching up on your shows. That is what we use our for when we try to keep to our goal for this year of having dinner at the dinner table. We use the Arkon portable stand that is quite sturdy keeping the iPad in place and also padded resting it comfortably. The stand also folds small for easy storage.
FlightTrack is great way to track flights with nice visual representation on zoomable maps. The inbuilt maps work even when the phone is offline. The app lets you stay on top of latest flight information with real-time status updates for gates, delays and cancellations for more than 4,000 international airports. It allows users to find alternative flights with a few clicks. You can also save flight schedules for upcoming trips for quick reference. Moreover, the app shows the weather forecast and its potential effect on upcoming flights. A great travel app to have with you when traveling for business or pleasure and be in the know while on the way or at the airport.
Why good to have on a trip:
• Real-time status for gates, delays and cancellations
• Covers more than 4000 airports worldwide
• Full international flight coverage with 1400 airlines
• Find alternate flights at a tap
• Sync with your phone’s calendar
• Share flight status by email, Facebook or Twitter
• Supports multitasking on iOS 4
• Label your flights, store flight confirmation #, save seat # and add notes
• Zoomable, live flight tracker maps with satellite and weather radar imagery
• Review weather radar and forecasts
• Offline mode for use in airplanes – maps still work!
• Airtime, aircraft, and speed & altitude (US)
• Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.