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July 19, 2011

Small Screen as Swiss Army Knife


Somewhere in the dark grass beyond the lights of the wedding tent our granddaughter had lost her shoe. She cried in her mother's arms to let us know it was past her bed time. "I think there's a flashlight in my bag in the car," Mary said. The car was 200 yards away and down a hill that would have to be reclimbed.

"I'll get one," I said gallantly but didn't run down the hill. Instead I downloaded the first free flashlight app I could find onto my Droid X. Took about 30 seconds. Found the shoe about a minute later in the bright white light from the screen. Flashlights use to be a separate physical thing. Now there's an app for that.

"It's cool to download a flashlight from cyberspace," I opined.

"Come on Dad," my daughter said; "we've got to get Lily to bed."

Paperless airplanes

Following the rule that the more expensive the hotel room the more extras you will be scalped for, the place wanted $1.25/page to print the six boarding passes we needed to get home,. Didn't want to wait to get to the airport to checkin and print the boarding passes because United's reservation system has been doing strange thinks lately and best to know early if your reservation is screwed up. No worry, though; all three airports we would board at (LIH, SFO, ORD) are equipped to scan your boarding pass from the screen of your phone.

What happens is that the airline sends you an email which has links to each leg of your flight. Click on the link and a boarding pass, which is both human and machine readable, shows up in your browser. Both the TSA screeners and the gate agents have devices to read the boarding info from the screen. You need to be able both to get email on your phone and access the web with a browser to make this procedure work. No problem on either my Droid or Mary's iPhone.

Other stuff

Posted last week on how a smartphone can be a business card and bar code scanner. Everyone knows you can use your phone as a camera; the Android phones with free access to Google maps are particularly good for navigation. Obviously your contacts and calendar are on your phone. So there are a lot of other devices you don't have to carry around.

On the other hand, I always bring two ways to charge my Droid in a car or from the wall and will probably buy something with extra stored electricity to carry around. Wouldn't want to be left in the dark.

Related posts:

Business Card with QR Code

Droid Setup – Day 1 of My Re-Retirement

Droid, Gmail, gSyncit, iPhone, Outlook, Mary and Me

Navigating on My Droid

Swyping from my Droid – The Supplement

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