Using an iPad for navigation and more…

Navigation as featured in our post The Long Cold Winter Part II

The first step was figuring out how to mount the iPad in our E-trek. There are endless DIY suggestions found on YouTube, but what worked best for us was the seat-bolt mount made by The Joy Factory. We also tried the MagConnect cup-holder mount, also made by The Joy Factory, but none of cupholder locations (doors, dash or slide-out) provided stability.

Like most installed navigation systems, we quickly learned that nothing beats Google Maps. When you are out driving and want to find Starbucks, Walmart, or some other favorite spot, you can launch a search, and it will likely list the nearest locations and allow you to bring up directions easily. The databases seem lacking in the navigation systems we have in our cars, despite the annual update fees! Nothing works like Google Maps. Plus, you can do your research via the iPad or some other iCloud connected device, and then you will have everything at you disposal when you start your trip. Nothing is worse than trying to find a better route when you have hit traffic. Plus, some navigation systems, including the Becker system in our Roadtrek, disable the controls when the car is in motion which prevents even the passenger from operating it. The voice-activated system is frustrating to use and just as likely to cause an accident.

 

Entertainment as featured in our post Trip #3-Back to Boston

We are major television watchers, so much so that we have both Verizon FIOS and DirecTV (mainly for NFL ticket) at our home, and between them have the ability to record about more than ten different shows at a time. While I love DWTS, The Voice, and many cable dramas, Karl is a fan of football, The History Channel, and other random shows about dangerous animals and airplane disasters. There are a number of shows we both like, so we purchased a device called the DirecTV GenieGo which allows us to transfer shows from our DVR to our iPad. We can listen to Jeopardy, Pawnography, and The O’Reilly Factor while traveling. I can transfer “my” shows to my MacBook Air, which I watch when relaxing with the dogs. Please note that you do not need to be connected to WIFI or the Internet when watching the shows on your devices, so there are no additional data charges.

Security Camera as featured in our post Trip #6-Part I

We typically like to go on a short bicycle ride (30-45 mintures) together at our destination; however, if the dogs are with us they have to be crated, and we want to make sure they are not barking and that the AC is working if it is hot. We considered purchasing a security camera system, but then I read about Manything, an app that lets you turn your IOS devices into a security camera system. I selected the free plan which lets you watch live and when motion is detected it will capture it in a video file. With the free plan, the videos expire that day, but if you want to save them you can purchase a different plan. Of course, data charges will apply when you are using the camera, but we found that for the hour we need to use it, we stay within our limit (2GB/month). I can login to the account from my iPhone and check on them every 15 minutes or so.

 

 

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