Monday, November 02, 2009

Back from Tahiti - Tips for Traveling with iPhone

I just returned from a two week cruise around French Polynesia. Basically it looks like paradise, colorful people, lovely scenery, and the bluest water in the world. In fact, it is probably one of the most beautiful places to visit, however, it is very HOT and HUMID. I found that it was amazing that I could sweat while walking in the rain. I would also say that it has some amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities around the lesser populated atolls. I even saw a shark!

I had the foresight to download some excellent podcasts to listen to in the cabin of the cruise ship (which does not have TV). My husband and I enjoyed listening to these podcasts from the iPhone and it was very much like having talk radio available to us.  One of the great things about traveling with an iPhone is that you can preload 'podcasts' from your favorite RSS subscriptions or online bloggers.

Originally I was a little frightened by the acronym 'RSS' ... imagining a great technological knowledge was needed to subscribe to a podcast. But, it sounds complicated and tricky, but actually pretty seamless to use if you are capturing the podcast in iTunes. Apple has made that category in iTunes fairly easy to setup. Normally, one would click on a subscription link or RSS feed link for audio podcast using a browser and these podcasts would appear within the podcast category of iTunes. ITunes also keeps track of the different podcasts that you subscribe to, in an organized manner with episodes, time, release date, description and artist ...  ITunes also uses an indicator (circle) to designate whether you have listened to a podcast in entirety or partially.

There are many interesting podcasts on the internet and also via the Apple iTunes store. Some popular ones might talk about technology, travel, or even be a course on learning languages. I find that downloading language podcasts to iTunes to use while traveling to foreign countries an excellent way to learn a few phrases for my trips.

Once the podcasts are located in iTunes, you can hook up your iPhone and use the 'Podcasts' tab to select podcasts to store on your iPhone. You can also selectively choose the number of episodes from a podcast or select only ones you wish to download to the iPhone. If you download these prior to arriving in a foreign country, you will have access to them from your iPhone while in 'Airplane Mode'. You will not need to download while on the trip and have WIFI connection.

 One other tip, when you are in another part of the world, it is easy to use the clock on the iPhone to set the correct 'world time zone' (general setting ... date and time option).   We found the ability to not only listen to music, play game apps and take video/photos with the camera, but also use the alarm clock app, a great asset ... all in one small and useful device.

No comments: