Friday, December 19, 2008

Kayaking, Blogging, iPhoning

While I tend to cleave towards extreme simplicity (I ride a single speed bike and paddle with a piece of wood) I also love my high tech toys. I dig my digital camera, my GPS, and my shiny MacBook Pro. My favorite piece of digital wonder is my iPhone. It does more than a Swiss Army knife. It is my phone, my music source, my address book, my date book, my mobile e-mail, my link to the vast store of human knowledge, my guidance system, and my game boy.
What does any of this have to do with kayaking? Well in addition to all of the other things it does, my iPhone is also a global tide table. The app store has several tide apps. I decided on installing TideApp. The interface let's you select tide stations across the globe. The first page sorts the stations by US ports, non-US ports, and favorites. The tide reports seem to be pretty accurate. There are only two potential drawbacks: the times are always in EST and the app appears to access the Internet to get the tide data. For me, neither is a problem. I live on the East coast and the iPhone is usually connected to the Internet.
One other bit of iPhone and kayaking related business. To keep my precious safe while its in the day hatch, I wrap it in an Otter Armor series case. The case is water proof and protects the phone from shock. It adds some bulk to the phone but it is worth it. The phone is mostly usable while wrapped in it's cocoon. The only functionality that does not work in the case is the phone speaker. You can still use the phone with a headset or in speaker phone mode. Sadly, Otter decided not to make a version of this case for the iPhone 3G. It is one of the reasons I'm holding off on upgrading.
The iPhone has one other neat trick up it's sleeve for the kayaking blogger. It makes a good mobile blogging platform. I tried to use the Web version of the Blogger interface and it was passable but not a tool I'd use regularly. Then I found an application called iBlogger. It is made by the same people who make the ecto blogging client for OS X. The app usually cost $4.99 but I managed to get it on sale for $0.99. It works with all of the major blogging services, makes posting and editing old posts easy. The interface is uncluttered and makes working with a blog on the go easy. It does not, however, support posting pictures. The only pain with mobile blogging is the tiny keyboard.

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