I’m usually very good at keeping up with my gear. To date I’ve never lost a phone, iPod, camera or other portable electronic piece of gear. However, last week I had a couple of close calls and both were quickly solved with the free Find my iPhone app by Apple. Don’t let the name fool you. “Find my iPhone” isn’t just limited to finding lost/stolen iPhones. It can find just about any piece of Apple gear that’s equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth or Cellular.
I almost lost an AirPod
I remember when I got my AirPods at the beginning of the year, the number one question/concern people asked me was “aren’t you afraid of losing them?” I wasn’t afraid of losing them at all. They fit snuggly enough in my ears not to fall out on their own and whenever I’m not using them I return them to the charging case. However, I almost lost one last week in a weird way:
As a frequent traveler with gadgets I’m always looking for opportunities to charge up. Anytime that I have more than a 15-minute wait in one spot I check my surroundings to see what power options are nearby. If nothing is around then I don’t worry about it, but if there’s an opportunity to juice up I’ll usually take it. I fly Delta 99% of the time and Delta has been doing a good job in equipping their gate areas with not only standard AC power, but also USB power. This means that you can easily just plug in your phone or tablet without having to plug in a power adapter/brick. This leaves the regular outlets for those that need to charge up other devices such as laptops.
While regular power outlets and USB powered outlets are a welcome sight in the gate area, I do wish that airlines and the rest of the transportation industry would move faster towards having power available at every seat on planes, trains, etc. Delta was one of the first if not the first to equip most of their entire fleet with WiFi! Yay! Gogo WiFi is great. However, it’s only as good as having enough juice to actually use it. Since I’m a top tier flyer on Delta (Diamond Medallion), I get upgraded a lot and more often than not there is power at the seats in First/Business Class. This is great, but it shouldn’t be limited to just one part of the cabin. What happens if I don’t get upgraded and I have a lot of work to do? Also even when I do have the benefit of having power at my seat, it doesn’t always work. It’s really hit or miss if the outlet will actually function and power my MacBook Pro.
Some hotels are starting to get the point. One of the fanciest hotels I’ve ever stayed in from a technology standpoint was the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. However, it was one of the worst in terms of power! The only available outlet during my stay was at the desk across the room. Want to charge your phone next to to bed? Sorry. Yet, recently I stayed in a Hampton Inn in the middle of nowhere and they not only had multiple outlets on the nightstand, but it also was equipped with USB ports to boot.
Anyone that follows me and follows my photography knows that I’m a fan of shooting tethered. Last week I had the good fortune of meeting with a TetherTools rep. She showed me some samples of their newer products for mounting iPads to various things such as tripods and tables. As you know I recently reviewed the clamps from TripodClamps.com. A product that I’m quite pleased with. However, I try not to put on blinders and I’m usually willing to look at other solutions. I’ve followed TetherTools for some time now as they relate to Digital Photography, but it was neat to check out their iPad products too. I left that meeting with a few samples: Wallee iPad Case for iPad 3 – Black, Wallee iPad Connect Bracket, Wallee Connect Lite BracketRock Solid Mini ProClampRock Solid Articulating Arm with Center Lock 7″ and the Handstrap. Now keep in mind that a couple of these pieces have overlapping functionality. For example you wouldn’t use the Handstrap and Articulating Arm at the same time. Nor would you use the Connect Bracket and the Connect Lite Bracket at the same time. I left with solutions for mounting an iPad in a variety of different situations.
Using Tether Tools in a way that they hadn’t thought of
On the flight home I decided to test a theory that RC, Brad, Pete and I had during the meeting. I decided to use the Tether Tools Wallee iPad Case, Wallee Connect Lite Bracket, Rock Solid Mini ProClamp and Rock Solid Articulating Arm to mount my iPad on my tray table. The idea was to get the iPad up and at a comfortable viewing angle and freeing up the table for the in flight meal. It worked great! As a matter of fact, had I had these for sale the flight attendant would have bought one from me on the spot. Actually that brings me to the problem with using it this way. If you’re buying this gear as a professional photographer and plan to mount your iPad as part of your digital photography workflow, then this makes a great solution. However, if you were buying this just to mount your iPad for inflight use then it would be a tad bit pricy and cumbersome to travel with. This solution could work very well for mounting your iPad as an inflight entertainment system, but it would need to be streamlined a bit. It would need to be sold at a lower price and as perhaps a single kit. There’s no doubt that you could use this solution in a variety of settings. Just last week I used it to record the video on the Pocket Socket generator that I reviewed. Yep, that was an iPad video with the iPad mounted to my desk. However, for the personal looking for a single solution for iPad travel then it would be overkill unless Tether Tools repackages it for that audience.
Be sure to check out Tether Tools’ other solutions for digital photography and iPad mounting here at tethertools.com.