The first storm of the year is finally threatening South Florida sort of. Isaac is pretty close to Cuba at the present moment I believe but already it’s starting to drop a lot of rain on South Florida. Isaac is projected to only get up to category 1 strength and will most likely pass way to the west of South Florida but there should be some decent sized wind gusts that may or may not knock out power. I haven’t done a lot of heavy hurricane prep this time around. Just some basics like non-perishable food, filling up the cars with gas and making sure all my iPads and iPhones have enough charge to last a day.
It is expected that the worst of the storm would hit on Monday. That might but a crimp on my travel plans to head up to NJ. If anything it would cause a delay of a single day and I would have to travel on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. It would appear that my weekend will be quite boring but at least I can get some much needed laundry done. I guess I won’t be able to get any riding done either but I’m hoping that next weekend will be nice and sunny so I can take out both bikes for a nice spin.
I’ve been traveling to the NY Metro area for quite some time now this year and I can say that universally my Internet connection has been pretty disappointing. I have two iPhones on AT&T and a Verizon 4G Mifi and both services have been pretty bad. I will admit that Verizon has better service but it’s not that much better. I characterize better service at this point with an ability to just connect to the Internet at any speed. In my little cave at work my AT&T connection just doesn’t work at all and my Verizon mifi can only be on 3G or else it drops like crazy.
Lately the large networks have been becoming even more stingy with their data plans by offering data share plans (I’m looking at you AT&T and Verizon) which has perceived saving but only if you don’t use a lot of data. I’m a data hog and use around 3gb a month on average. Spring and T-Mobile are still offering unlimited data which I think is pretty awesome. If they have huge LTE networks in the next year or so I might have to consider switching. It won’t matter much to my wife since she’s always at home and all the networks are decent here. It will matter more to me because I travel so much.
I personally think it doesn’t matter what network you’re on when you’re in NY. There are just way too many people in a really small area trying to get online. I can actually see a difference between trying to use my iPhone at 6am and at 12pm. One way that NY is trying to deal with this is to use old phone booths that don’t have phones anymore and making them into wireless hotspots. Now if these hotspots are free that would be awesome but I don’t think they will be. I guess I’ll just have to suffer for the next year with crappy Internet. Maybe the Doubletree will finally get wifi so I can enjoy my Netflix on my iPad while I travel.
On Friday I received the Nexus 7 that I bought for my wife as an eReader. My wife and I are pretty active book readers (she reads way more than me though) and for quite a while my wife has been reading her books on her iPhone. I did buy her a Kindle 3 a year or so ago but that reader requires a light source and since she reads the most at night she needed something that she can use in the dark. She didn’t like the iPad because it’s too big and heavy for her and I’ll admit that it is a bit large to use late at night when you’re sleepy.
The setup for the Nexus 7 was pretty straightforward from my point of view. It just asked me a bunch of questions regarding a google account and it was up and running. One of the more important things is that I needed to be able to load mobi and ePub books that we already had. I downloaded the Kindle and Nook apps for this purpose and a decent amount of our books area already on Kindle so it made sense to use that app. During my research I also discovered that my local library does ebooks which is pretty sweet. I had to download an app for that as well but that wasn’t such a big deal for me.
There is a lot more functionality that the tablet can do but since it is meant to be an eReader, I didn’t download that many more apps beyond Facebook which I doubt will get used. I’ll admit that using the Nexus 7 took some getting used to because it didn’t use the App store or have most of the apps that I normally use on my iPad and iPhone. I did have an Android phone about a year ago and while it wasn’t bad, the user experience wasn’t the best. The Nexus 7 is pure Google though and the experience has gotten a bit better from what I can tell. I haven’t put any movies on it and I most likely won’t anyway. If I can pry it from my wife’s hands I’ll test it out a bit more but so far so good. At least I know we’re going to keep it and not return it. Now to see what Apple pulls out of its hat in September and if they really will announce an iPad mini.