Apr 11 2011

Personal Hotspot is the Killer App for Verizon iPhone

Published by under iPad,iPhone,Tools,travel

Update: If you want to know more about how the Verizon Personal Hotspot works there is a detailed review posted by Glenn Fleisman on Macworld today.

Another good update from Macworld on the experience of using Gazelle to sell an old iPad.

After another dropped call recently I decided to make the switch to a Verizon iPhone. The phone quality and network are a definite improvement. It passed the Zuma Beach to Malibu PCH stress test last week, a recent Ojai weekend, and it consistently out-performed my wife’s ATT iPhone 4. But the addition of tethering with the personal hotspot feature is the “Killer App”. I can now use it to connect my laptop with a USB cable or a choice of Bluetooth or wifi, plus can get a web connection on my iPad with Bluetooth or wi-fi. The option of surfing on the go is great, although you can’t talk and surf at the same time. (See iPad post.)

I recently turned on my iPad’s 3G connection during a power outage in Washington DC and used it in a meeting where the wi-fi network was closed. For me, it’s a great bridge for those times in-between wi-fi connections. I don’t need a heavy use plan – just a way to check email and light web surfing – I had the $14.99 a month plan for 250 MB of data on the iPad and just signed up for the 2 GB, $20 a month plan on Verizon. The advantage is that I can connect multiple devices – most importantly my laptop.

tethering Personal Hotspot is the Killer App for Verizon iPhone

I can now connect my iPhone to a laptop or iPad – and talk on the phone!

After having a public email for years I get tons of spam and while most of it is filtered by my host at least 50 emails a day still make it through. My laptop Mail program filters out much of the other spam, but they all come through on my iPhone and iPad. I’m also a beta tester for my frequent flying wife. She has a 3G USB modem that she uses often while traveling and in her East LA office with bad internet service. In a test today the iPhone connection was equal to the 3G modem. Verizon has a 4G modem on the market, but it is only for Windows now, which means its not available.  The modem costs $60 a month and she has her 3G feature activated on her iPad as well. With the hotspot feature she could be saving $54 a month.

I finally made the deal to sell my 4G ATT iPhone through Craigslist. The process is a big pain, but I thought that I could get more for the phone than the easy approach of using Gazelle.com or some other online service. All of my potential buyers were pros that knew the market and bargained hard. Expect plenty of questions and close stares at every scratch. I even had one no-show and the second guy rescheduled. The next time I will be using Gazelle to sell my electronics instead.

In the end the difference was $150 with my early termination penalty from ATT. But I now have a real phone again and the hotspot could help pay for the difference over time.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

On Twitter:

@HarmelPhoto

@MarkHarmel

Now on Facebook

3 responses so far

Oct 04 2010

i once again have an iPad – do i need it now?


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You may recall that I had a first day iPad and then gave it up because I really needed a new laptop. Now through the kindness of friends we are now a two-iPad family and I have a new iPad to use once more.

The question is do I really need it now?

My biggest activity has been using it as an e-reader. I use both the iBooks and the Kindle apps for reading and I like them both. My reading is done at home so I could very well read the paper versions, but I’m happy with the experiment.

I reported a downside of the original model that it only accessed the internet through a wifi connection. I thought that the added 3G capability would add greater roving functionality. I have 3G on the new model, but to-date I haven’t activated the service. Much of this has to do with traveling less now.

hero2 20100225 i once again have an iPad – do i need it now?

iPad highlighting the Mail app that needs a junk mail filter - Apple photo

The big advantage of the device is the long battery life. I’ve recently used it at the USC Body Computing Conference and alternated between using it as a live tweeting platform with my laptop. The iPad frees me from being so concerned about my battery charge, but I have many fewer typos with the laptop and I can more easily find websites and shorten the URL’s with my TBUZZ Safari plug in.

The other browser plug in I often use is Evernote. When I find a great website or blog post I now catalog and archive it in my Evernote application. The iPad has the Evernote app, but it does a better job of retrieving the notes than creating them.

In general the iPad is a media-consuming machine and the laptop is a better creating machine.

There are many great features of the iPad and I recommended it to a friend today who doesn’t own a laptop. I love my Pinball HD game, watching videos in bed and I even used it to make a phone call with Truphone. But it still lacks the junk mail filter to keep Spam out of my Mail program that I hoped would be added in the software update.

I’m happy to have an iPad back in my life, but it remains a luxury more than a needed tool. I may be missing the killer app or need to travel more to appreciate the wonders. It might also replace my handmade printed portfolio one day as well.

Let me know what is working – or not working for you.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

4 responses so far

May 09 2010

Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

Published by under process,technique,Tools


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First off I have to admit that my iPad was the wonderful shiny new toy that others are raving about. As an iPhone owner the new device was intuitive to operate and a delight to behold.

I was even an early adopter. I made a cross-country reservation to pick my 1st-day release iPad up in Arlington, VA after taking a red-eye from LAX to Dulles.

ipad hero 201004031 Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

The one that got away

The first issue was that I was taking on a new work assignment where I didn’t have a wifi network set-up in either my place of work or living arrangement. It was like being all dressed-up with nowhere to go.

I managed to impress some customers at my local Starbucks and the iPad was great for taking notes at a new media conference.

I loved playing games on Labyrinth HD Lite, The Pinball HD and the 10-hour battery life was impressive. I downloaded the Kindle app and Chris Brogan’s “Social Media 101” and enjoyed the true interactive reading experience between reading words like they were on a page and jumping to the web references.

I enjoyed the New York Times app and applaud Time Magazine’s reinvention of the news-magazine.

There were three things missing for me to be a hit though. Even after I set up my wifi network, I saw the real value of the iPad was as a road-warrior traveling companion. I wanted to use the wonderful Google map application while I was driving and connect to email and Twitter even when I couldn’t get a wifi connection.

I also recently discovered the value of Evernote to organize the new media information I’ve been collecting.  The iPad has a good Evernote app, but I wanted to send new information from Safari to Evernote like I could on my laptop or MacPro.

Clearly the 3G version would be more useful for travel. The other drawback is not having the junk mail filter as part of the built-in Mail program. By having a very public email address for years, I get way too many offers for Viagra, and unclaimed funds from Nigerian princes that I needed to delete before reading the important emails.

The biggest reason that I offered my iPad up to my friend Martin Trailer was not having a compelling need for the device. What I needed was a new laptop.

My old laptop was one of the original Intel chip machines that I used mainly for downloading photos in the field and web browsing and email when I was on the road.

When I started working on my professional communication project for the American Diabetes Association I was using my laptop as my main computer.  The old machine just couldn’t keep up with my increased demands and I saw the opportunity to essentially trade-in my iPad and get one of the new 15” MacBook Pro machines.

overview gallery3 20090828 Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

What I'm using instead

It too has the advantage of a much longer lasting battery compared to my old laptop, and it’s the tool I need now instead of the experimental toy that the iPad represents.

Six months from now, with new killer apps and junk-mail filtering activated, I may get one of the new 3G machines, but for now I’m happy with my new MacBook Pro.

What has your experience with your iPad been? Are you still a true believer or did you trade-up to a 3G model? How have you used the iPad as a tool? Or is it still a great toy that is well worth the price?

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

3 responses so far