travel postcards, practical advice, images and snippets of randomness

Technology

I am sometimes asked how I have managed to do something from the phone; annotate a photo, publish to ark3 whilst on the road etc. If published via the ‘phone, apps are usually instrumental in the end result, so here is a list of what I currently use, all Android of course.

These are tried and tested by me and suit my needs, there may be better ones that suit other users, let me know if you find a good one.

I have provided links to the Google Play Store as some of the App names are fairly generic and I am recommending specific Apps.

Productivity Tools

AVG Anti Virus – exactly what it says, Virus activity doesn’t seem to be big problem on phones yet, but worth the small fee to prevent any potential problems.

PasswdSafe – tool for storing your passwords, the HUGE advantage of this app is that there is a PC version as well. The encrypted password file/ vault can be dragged from your PC to your phone (or vica verca) and thereby keep both in sync.

Touch Calendar – tool for viewing your calendars, free and paid for versions.

Google Drive – cloud storage.

Exchange rates – multiple currencies can be added; put in a value to one of them, the rest automatically update… Live updates with current market rates.

Photo Tools

Camera Zoom FX – best camera app I have found, add on frames and effects available too. Free and paid for versions.

Photo Editor – quite simply the best phone picture editor I have found, does everything you could need on the move including crop, resize, adjust (contrast etc), annotate with text and save as (non destructive to original).

Photocaddy – advice on photo taking; suggested camera settings etc.

SunSurveyor – sun and moon positions for any location and time; can be very useful if you want to know the best time to be at a given spot.

Communication

Skype – video and telephone tool.

Zoiper – linked to a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) account. With this app (and associated account) you can make free or low cost VOIP (internet calls) to anyone anywhere.
For the associated VOIP account I use Connexin, these are UK based and provide a UK local number (other countries offer similar services). You can specify what happens to calls received at the UK number: ring direct to your phone (via the Zoiper app), take a message and then either store or forward to you as email, or forward to any number worldwide.

Social & Blogging

Google+

WordPress – connect to and update your blog from your phone.

Facebook

Tweetcaster Pro

Travel, Information & Language

Booking.com – check availability, make bookings and store bookings made.

Skyscanner – air fare and routes checker.

Mapdroyd – superb off line map tool, you select the areas of the world you want (goes right down to street level) and then download them to the phone (advise you store to SD card and download using WiFi – some files are huge), the chosen areas are then available off line so save you roaming charges.

Dictionaries – Bitknights – Selection of dictionaries.

Thai Pro – talking thai phrase book, free and paid for versions.

Chrome

Flipboard

Starchart – star map, I prefer this to the Google one.

Games

Backgammon

Chess

Mah Jong Pro

Simon Tatham’s Puzzles – great selection of old style games and puzzles.

Wordsearch

Pocket Yoga – keep fit on the move.

Sports Tracker – record and share your activities; will satellite track you on your run/ cycle/ walk etc. Then work out distance, speed, calories etc. You can add photos along the route too.

A warning: since most of us no longer bother with Travellers Cheques, instead using ATM withdrawals, it pays to be prepared… Have at least 2 accounts with separate banks (and with funds in them) and also have some cash.

In the last 24 hours I have had 2 accounts blocked for attempting to withdraw over the daily limit (not much over, but hard to calculate when in a foreign currency and needing to factor in their fees), also each bank has their own limits – no explanation given, just blocked.
All cleared after calls to the bank – £1.49/ minute to listen to how important my call is, and they will get right to me ASAP – or at least it would be, if I wasn’t able to call via the internet – another handy tip (InternetCalls.com).

Depending on where you are this could cause severe difficulty… have at least 2 working accounts.

Copyright © ark3 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Instagram
Picasa ark3pix Twitter
Contact and comment: please use the G+ button immediately above, or see the contact page (under About ark3 on the menu bar).