One month with only an iPhone to go online
A few days ago I came back from a wonderful one month long vacation at Belle Isle en Mer. The place I stayed does not have internet access, and I decided I would not spend my time in internet cafes or trying to find some wifi to steal. I thus had only my iPhone to stay connected. This post is about what went well and what did not.
To summarize, I'd say that the experience was a success. I should point out that I did not have to deal with any work emergency, I don't know how well it would have gone.
Win: Simplenote, on which I took all my notes for this post. It's a very simple note application for the iPhone which syncs with the web, where the notes are also available. I've used it so much that it now lives in my iPhone dock.
Win: Gmail in Mobile Safari. I recently migrated my mail to Gmail and I found the mobile interface to work well. Most of the functionality was available, I only missed the ability to add filters. It may be simpler to write mail using the Mail app, but I find reading to be more convenient in mobile Gmail.
Fail: using Gmail with two accounts. Christelle also wanted to read her mail, and I could find no way to be signed in with two accounts at the same time, or to make Autofill remember two sets of username/password.
Win: 1Password Pro and copy/paste using the bookmarklet. I'm a huge 1Password fan, and their iPhone app is very nice. I used it to go around the two accounts Gmail problem above. (Hint: as the page reloads when coming back from 1Password, wait until you fetched the password to enter your user name.)
Win: reading feeds with NetNewsWire. Synchronization with their Newsgator service worked fairly well, and when I came back I did not have thousands of unread items.
Fail: subscribing to feeds with NetNewsWire. I don't know if it's possible, I had to go to the Newsgator web site to subscribe to feeds. Now that they migrated to Google Reader (and that NNW syncs with it) it may be simpler, but I've yet to try it.
Half fail: adding pages to Instapaper from NetNewsWire. Instapaper rocks, but I had to open the page in Mobile Safari to access the bookmarklet to "Read Later". Not a major annoyance, but when the network is slow, loading a page twice (once in NNW and once in Safari) is not fun.
Fail: keeping my podcasts up to date. Why is it so easy to buy apps and have them sync with iTunes, but not being able to update my subscribed podcasts? (I should say that I had a big enough back log to keep me busy and I did not run out of things to listen to.)
Win: Trailguru. It's fun to run with Trailguru running (no pun intended), to get nice map of where I went.
Win: Twitterrific. It just works.
Win: the App Store, to get the apps I read about. It works too well (for my bank account).
Fail: reading the mouseover text of xkcd in Mobile Safari.
These are the most notable things that happened during this month. I'll gladly do it again ... when I go back to Belle Isle in November.
To finish, I'll quote @frama_c again, the day the iPhone 3.0.1 update came out. You remember, the update that fixed the SMS exploit against the iPhone...
What a bummer to be without a computer when a CRITICAL UPDATE appears for the only device still linking you to civilization.