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Which device would be the best choice?

Posted by Stephen Eglinton  
Stephen Eglinton February 26, 2012 02:56PM
What would your advice be in considering a mobile device when travelling to Munich or Tucson, so as to keep in touch with Mindat?
A iphone or tablet?
I would like to purchase the iphone due to its compactness, but have found the screen to be just to small to view and navigate the new photos on Mindat with ease. Also i have noted the Mindat Pocket version for the iphone and ipod.
The tablets of course give a larger screen, posing no problem in viewing and navigating Mindat. But you lose-out on commuting lite.
There's probably many other factors i'm not aware of. Which would be the better choice to go with?:-S
Michael Adamowicz February 26, 2012 04:24PM
Hello Steve

I have both the Iphone & Ipad. Both are are not the newest versions but both work well depends what you need. The Phone i have is the 3GS & it works great. I find the Google maps feature incredibly useful for navigation. One of its best features for sure. The phone also has a camera to record video & take pics. Both really useful on the fly. Its can be used for music too & viewing videos. Its true, the screen is small put its a phone, that its onyl downside if you ask me. I use a lot of its aps, the notepad, & many weather forecast aps. I got survival aps on it for who knows what can happen too, Its an all in one tool. Very pleased with it. In the almost 3 years i had this phone which i have running for 24/7 i had no problems.

the Ipad on the other hand is very fun to use, big screen, good battery life too. Just make sure you get the 3G version so that you can use it anywhere you get a signal, or you will be greatly limited by staying connected. If you use the right aps you can stay in touch well & write documents. Again, its should be the 3G version. I have the Wifi version & ime very limited in its use. Its quite big to have & its weight is a bit tiring if you hold it in one had for a long while. It has some processing limitations too, i have loaded it with many pdf files & a lot of them run very slowly. Some it can't handle & they crash. Probably if i could go back i woudl buy a small laptop instead for my needs. The Ipad is more an entertainment tool in my opinion. a glorified note pad & picture viewer.

I guess it comes down to just how much you need the bigger screen. The phone is all in one, the ipad is the big screen but no communication & non-compact.

Hope this helps a bit.

Stephen Eglinton February 26, 2012 06:32PM
Cheers Michael. Yes, it is the screen size that bugs. Everything else about the iphone is great.
The only other hurdle is not to accidentally incur a hideously expensive bill when browsing the internet (Mindat), as the iphone is exactly that... a phone. I have been told to overcome this by replacing the sim card with one from where ever you may be. My telco also advised me to turn off the Automatic Default feature... i need to look into this.
Jolyon & Katya Ralph February 26, 2012 07:28PM
Don't even THINK about using your iphone or ipad to browse the net while overseas, the mobile operators charge extreme amounts of money for the service. Especially since they were stopped ripping off people for text messages and phonecalls overseas, they're now trying to claw back those missed profits from data customers.

Which means you practically have two options (whether you use an iphone or ipad)

1. Buy a local simcard 'pay as you go' with data access. Which is easy if you know how to do it, but not easy for foreigners coming to the country. Best option - find a friend in the country you're travelling with and ask them to help sort it out for you. You should be able to buy a card with a few GB of data allowance for a 3G iPad for not very much money. And no, you're unlikely to find them at the airport.

2. Stick with WiFi, bearing in mind that shows such as Munich either don't have Wifi or charge a stupid amount per day to access it. One thing I very much appreciated about coming to Tucson is that the Convention Centre where the TGMS show is held now has free wifi.

Stephen Eglinton February 27, 2012 10:49AM
Hi Jolyon,

Thank you for the revelation! Did not realize, and neither did the so called experts here. I would have so easily fallen into the mess... good to know about Tucson.

Again, thanks.;-)
Ralph Bottrill February 27, 2012 11:24AM
Hi Steve
When I went to Tucson I bought a 3G iPad and cheap prepaid phone there, plus an international phone card. All were invaluable. When I got home I picked up a new sim card for the ipad and tossed the phone (~$20!). The iPad was very light in a backpack, laptops are too heavy and bulky to lug around. I had email almost everywhere in the country, plus internet, Mindat, gps, maps, photos, notebook,music, iBooks, news, weather etc. About my best purchase ever!

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