Business travel with a tablet

October 8, 2012 Timothy Mobile Apps

Recently, I was on two long-distance driving trips with a media tablet. During the trips, I used several tablet apps that proved to be extremely useful. Here’s a summary of my experiences and recommendations:

Google Maps. Hands down, this was the mother app, the app to rule them all. If you’ve been following the news regarding the newest iPad tablet, you’re likely familiar with the recent hub-bub over the poor accuracy of several non-Google map apps. Google Maps’ accuracy extended to our ability to zoom in and determine that a restaurant was located in a shopping center and approximately where in said shopping center.

One of the best advantages of using Google Maps over a paper map was the large back-lit display was easier for the navigator to read at night. No turning on cabin lights or dealing with folding unwieldy maps — efficient simplicity.

Tip:Take advantage of McDonald’s free WiFi. Several times on our trip, we pulled into a McDonald’s, fired up our tablet and loaded the map tiles for the next portion of our trip.

Yelp. When away from home and familiar local restaurants, locating food increases in priority. Yelp proved handy when looking for suitable places to refuel our bodies. Thanks to Yelp, I discovered a very nice Indian buffet in Memphis that I will likely visit again when passing through at lunch time.

Tip:We searched for meal stops in advance and left our pinned selections displayed in Yelp for quick access. Our trip navigator was able to quickly switch between Google Maps and Yelp to provide timely directions.

TripAdvisor. After chowing down with Yelp, TripAdvisor was my go-to app for finding a clean, safe room for the night. The number two recommendation for Jasper, Ala., proved to be ideally located and a pleasant experience. TripAdvisor also steered me to an older Travelodge in downtown Lafayette, La., that we might have overlooked. The rooms really were as clean and nice as reviewed and the location proved more convenient.

Having used a 10-inch tablet on both trips, I’d like to do the same with one of the new 7-inch tablets. The 10-inch tablet was a bit heavy and awkward to tuck behind us and later retrieve.

What experiences have you had when traveling with a media tablet?

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Timothy

About Timothy Lee

Tim, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center's webmaster and technical training specialist, has been with ASBTDC since 1995. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. He's a bit gung-ho, turns cat food cans into cook stoves, and keeps packing ASBTDC equipment for rapid worldwide deployment, but he's your "go to" guy for technical solutions and full-scale disasters.

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