In the months leading up to our trip (only two months left!), I have had a keen interest in determining the best and most useful gear for us to bring on our journey. We are both iPhone owners, and while we would love to be able to use the iPhone in all of its glory around the world, the thought of paying $3000 a month to stay connected internationally is a bit of a deterrent. On top of that, I have to say that I have no desire to have constant access to my phone or email while I travel. I do love my iPhone—but the addiction has to stop somewhere!
Because we have made the decision to track our journey through this website, we will not be able to travel completely unhooked from our technology. With that in mind, I hope to turn the gadgets we bring with us into useful tools rather than deadweight anchors. My mission: to turn the iPhone into a pocket-sized digital swiss army knife, without personally keeping Fido in business in the process.
I should warn everyone that my inner geek is about to come out. Read on at your own risk!
The iPhone does have some very useful features that we would like to be able to take advantage of on the road. GPS is the one that I am most excited about, but of similar significance is the ability to access the internet through a wifi connection. The wifi capability will let us check in on the website more conveniently, and from more locations. Our updates will be prolific! As for the built-in GPS, I hope to use it not only for the occasional bit of navigation when we get lost, but also to help us geo-tag our photos as we go.
One of the first problems I ran into was trying to find a way to use the GPS and wifi without allowing the phone to connect to cellular networks. When switched into airplane mode, the iPhone disables the GPS, so that was a no-go. I have since discovered that removing the sim-card from the phone allows it to use both wifi and GPS, while disabling the phone and data-plan-accessing aspects of the device. Success! Now I am able to see my location as a pulsing blue dot on a blank white map. Hmmm.
I have been scouring the App Store for useful programs that don’t require constant connection to the internet to function. Stay tuned to find out which ones make the cut.