Best apps for traveling with Playbook in lieu of laptop
So I am going to try and do an upcoming business trip with my Playbook at my primary device. I travel 1-2 times a month and mostly need to do Presentations, handle email and some word processing (docs and excel). I've ordered a micro HDMI to VGA adapter to be able to hook my Playbook to projectors as well as a straight HDMI cable for working in hotel rooms on the TV (provided it has inputs). I've got a variety of business-related apps in place:
- Splashtop (want to leave my laptop on at home and be ready to access remotely if I need to)
- Docs to Go and Smart Office 2 (the latter has been a real let down for PowerPoint, wish I could get a refund and just go back to DTG)
- qPDF for annotating PDFs
Anyone who has done this before that would recommend additions to this list or have some tips to offer for this application?
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-12-13, 07:36 PM #2
- 169 Posts
A good "cloud box" like drop box or blue box or just box. You cannot edit or personalize the presentation with Docs to Go and the presentations are usually too big to easily email. If you have a BB phone you can it as a remote for the presentation. Just set the time out feature on the phone to a fairly long setting so it doesn't keep going in standby. It'll be a distraction to you from your presentation. Always keep a spare HDMI cable (its worth having).
The best travel app for the PlayBook without a doubt is BB Travel. It's great having all of your itinerary in one place and having a screen bigger than a phones for creating and updating reservations. Its just the best. Of course they haven't released the PB version of this app. But I'm sure with all of the traveling the great thinkers of Rimm/Blackberry have done lately it'll be here any day (dripping with sarcasm). It makes me wonder if they even have Playbooks or still use them.
- CrackBerry Master
02-12-13, 11:29 PM #3
- 1,273 Posts
- 02-12-13, 11:59 PM #5
Other good apps would be Readitnow! to read the content of websites offline, sideloaded repligo reader trial to edit pdfs and sideloaded archidroid to uncompress rar files.
Edit: link to bar of the newest version of freenote alongside the app you need to export to pdf: http://www.mediafire.com/?wnymkzc0kla73wx
- CrackBerry Addict
02-13-13, 02:27 AM #6
- 573 Posts
Which, I agree, is almost hypnotic as concerns handwriting and drawing.
(also remember: like Groovynotes that you'll have to buy, Freenotes is actually a paying Android app, so, sideloading and tricking it in some eternal demo mode isn't really fair IMHO. Months ago I contacted the dev, pleading for a quick port 'since sideloading already worked', but wasn't able to convince him. Maybe all the fans here could try, specially in the wake of BB10?)
Other than this, to the OP it may be of interest to get some GPS software with an offline map from the visited regions; while none is perfect I'd advise MapDroyd (based on Openstreetmap) that'll really show up to your hotel building in the street when you get out...
Last edited by Herve5; 02-13-13 at 03:28 AM.
Wow, much appreciated everyone! I do have Files and Folders and agree that its excellent. For mapping I have Magellan's app (you can store maps offline, but I haven't really played around with it much), as well as a few other free ones and of course the native Bing. I think I will check out some of the other note apps mentioned, I use Upvise since its available on all my devices and I like the one-stop-shopping aspect of it, but sometimes the jack-of-all-trades approach doesn't work well enough. Thanks again
- 02-13-13, 11:17 PM #10
More about hardware, a pocket Wi-fi router is indispensable for hotels that offer free LAN Internet but paid Wi-fi. Some of these are really tiny and can be powered off external battery packs. I also use them to create infrastructure hotspots to share data between phones, PB and clients' laptops without having to bother with connecting to secure office networks because the PB can't hook up to ad-hoc networks or use USB OTG.
One more happy FreeNote user here It's easy to make freeform notes and drawings with it. I still prefer Quill for Android because it supports multiple notebooks and PDF/PNG export out of the box, but I can never get it to convert and sideload properly.
- 02-14-13, 05:10 AM #11
Stayed in China for a while last year - free WiFi in a very rudimentary hotel (7DaysInn) - the room "powered up" with the room key in a slot, and there was an air-conditioning unit, reasonable size flatscreen TV, some sort of cable box for the TV, and there was a WiFi router there, so no problems if you had several WiFi capable devices. Later on, in the same travels, I stayed in Honk Kong (Hong Kong Island, rather than Kowloon) and stayed in fairly upmarket hotel. Lovely room, lots of glass desks for any office type work you wanted to do in the room, lots of power outlets, BIG branded (Panasonic, I think) flatscreen TV, and a WiFi router, and there was wired connections too. I didn't have any wired devices with me - but from what I read, I think you had to pay for that in the same way as for WiFi - which wasn't cheap, and was only for one device.
So not sure it would help for that sort of scenario - I've a feeling that the wired connection required payment, too - but a good consideration for when travelling. Have you got any recommendations for portable WiFi routers?
- CrackBerry User
02-14-13, 08:08 AM #12
- 15 Posts
Portable wifi is an excellent idea. I used one in Australia a short while ago while doing some work there. I mostly travel to the US thesedays, however, and don't usually buy a data plan since its very overpriced from Rogers (Canada). Just last night I saw on eBay that you can get a unlocked hotspot device for about $70-$80 (<http://www.ebay.ca/itm/UNLOCKED-NEW-Sierra-Wireless-AirCard-754S-Mobile-Hotspot-4G-LTE-Router-/190754587400?pt=COMP_EN_Routers&hash=item2c69dc030 8&_uhb=1#ht_4123wt_1397>) and you can get a monthly sim card for $25-$45 <http://www.mysimplemobile.com/Simple-Mobile-Plan.aspx> that might work well. For the cost of wifi over a couple/few days you've paid for the monthly sim.
- 02-16-13, 06:01 AM #14
That's another good thing to travel with, a hotspot device or 3G router. My pocket Wi-fi router can work with any USB 3G dongle so it's pretty useful when travelling in Europe or most of the world on GSM/UMTS networks or in China on CDMA.
- CrackBerry User
02-21-13, 09:08 AM #15
- 12 Posts
You've probably gone and come back by now, but my alltime favorite is Print to Go. Once you've set up your desktop version, you can print all the documents you need for the trip right to the Playbook. They all show up as PDF files, neatly arranged by day (or sorted how you want them). I send my maps, schedules, ticket information, and any business documents I need, right to the Playbook. Print to Go just shows up as a printer in your Print window. It's great.
I've kind of stopped using Print to Go since I can transfer the files over wifi using the file sharing and have more and more in the cloud through Box, Dropbox, Skydrive, etc. Still a good app though, I agree.
- 02-22-13, 09:23 PM #18
I'd also recommend sideloading Gnotes. The advantage over other note apps is it syncs with your gmail, if you use it, so you can file nots offline and let them sync later and be available on a PC as well as your PB.
When I'm not connected I still have access to all the files I've transferred through the wifi sharing feature of the PB. It does the same thing as PTG as far as I'm concerned, am I missing something in that regard?
Posted via CB10
Quick update on this, have successfully used micro HDMI to HDMI and to VGA out cables with the PB and they work beautifully. Also picked-up a BT keyboard case to go along with the cables. Able to travel without the laptop a good portion of the time now when I'm just doing presentations and attending meetings. Despite the relative age of the PB, it really does perform!
- 03-19-13, 03:55 PM #21
I'm about to head back the U.S. for a few weeks myself. I plan to take my PB, a Bluetooth mouse/keyboard, and...that's it. I'm experienced enough with the PB to know what, if any, limitations I'll run into. As for apps, Comwave ePhone is no Skype replacement, but it's good enough for making basic calls to land lines/mobile numbers. Plus, I can throw a little credit in it to call back to the island (Mauritius) to check on things, etc.
Other apps include Google Maps 6.11.1 side loaded and with much of my post-flight driving route pre-cached to the device; TapaTalk and gReader (to keep up on the forums and industry news); and Swarm (in case I get the urge to torrent something). Like the OP, I wifi transfer over whatever data files I might need with me. Everything else goes up on Box in my free 50GB account (thanks, BB!). File & Folders is also quite useful in this context and a must-have utility for all PB users.
QR Scanner, Antair Nightstand and a few games round out the stack. We'll see how I fare, and if I really get into a "need a PC" jam, I can always hit the local library.
- CrackBerry Addict
03-20-13, 07:56 AM #22
- 752 Posts
I use Google Docs, you can create and edit PowerPoint presentations in it and best of all if you forget about the PB's native office app and run the presentation in Google Docs it has all the intended animations, sure you get some Google branding in the corner but I can live with that.
I use my Z10 to control the PB then pop the Z10 to presentation mode via bridge. The PB can use the Z10's internet access if there's no local wifi available too via bridge.
Shove a hdmi cable into the PB and into a large screen display and you're good to go, it all works very well and looks slick, and of course is a great demo of PB and Z10 use
boy am I glad I started this thread! Some excellent suggestions, many thanks! Agreed on the value of Comwave, works nicely. Need to check out Google docs again for PowerPoint handling, hadn't looked at that in a while and need to now.
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