I recently got hold of an iPhone 3 because a friend’s phone smashed so I fixed it using parts from Ebay. The reason I am talking about the iPhone and not any other type of smartphone is because it is so ubiquitous and the platform itself is the most technologically advanced.
What can you do with an iPhone 3 on an adventure?
Its got a compass which works through something called The ‘Hall’ affect. More information about the compass is here. It does work through magnetism, and not from satellites or phone reception.
The GPS uses satellites to locate your position. It is used for the obvious: Google Maps and Earth, but it is also used in a whole variety of other apps.
Camera and Video Camera
Its possible to do a trip using only your iPhone for blogging, photos and documenting. Its also a good way to show hosts and people along the way photos from your journey.
Blogging and Journal
Create blog posts using the Wordpress app and notes and research using the Evernote app. An app like Autodesk Sketchbook is quite a beautiful way to make sketches which could be included in blog posts.
Booking flights and accomodation
Kayak is a hotel and flights price comparison search. Couchbug is a iPhone app for Couchsurfing which is an excellent way to find a host on a trip. You can be a good guest by using one of the many recipe apps available to create your host some vegetarian food.
An obvious one: music is usually an essential part of the kitlist. You can carry your personal music collection on the phone or tune into one of the many radio stations that have apps. I would recommend taking a back up device such as the Sandisk Clip. There are also many apps for creating and experimenting with sound such as: Reactable and the forthcoming Ninja Jam app from Ninja tunes.
I buy a great deal of my kit from Ebay. I found that the Ebay app was a good way to keep tabs on things I was bidding on. There are many to-do list apps available for planning and kit lists.
The iPhone offers great potential for doing new kinds of local journeys, particularly set up to interact with other people who have the app, or as a way to navigate in an alternative way; for example, the Situationist app. The reason that smartphones are useful for this is because they offer seemless ways to overlay things over the map, plot routes, and track the phones. They free you from the desktop and can actually raise awareness of the environment by reframing the way that you engage with it.
It is arguable whether someone on a deep and meaningful journey should be spending their reflective time playing Fruit Ninja. However, one could argue what the point of the reflective time is anyway? And that Fruit Ninja helps to stop those unsettled, lonely, bored thoughts from manifesting themselves as you wait for your lift or weather to ease up. Or alternatively you would miss the lift entirely. That is a case of your personal awareness anyway, and shouldn’t be at the whim of external distractions.
You can also read on the iPhone 3 screen, although people might prefer the Kindle. However, a soaked, dog-eared copy of ‘A Brief History of Time’ found languishing at the bottom of a pannier is quite an endearing find in Outer Mongolia.
Get a case because the glass is fragile
First lesson about the iPhone 3, having gone through this repairing process, is that the screen is made of glass that will shatter into a thousand pieces without due care and the screen isn’t very well sealed around the edge of the glass. However, a good case should keep it in one piece. This one looks pretty tough.
The battery life doesn’t last so get a solar charger
We all know that battery life on smartphones is terrible so how do you keep yours charged on a trip? You could get a solar charger like: this or this. This post also details a range of battery life extenders and solar chargers.