This is an update on the digital devices I depend on for my mobile lifestyle. Several items formerly used have been replaced or eliminated; LG-235C prepaid cell TracFone, Novatel 4620LE MiFi router (Verizon Jetpack), Wilson dual-band cellular Truckers antenna, AC powered desktop speakers, Epson XP-400 Printer/Scanner/Copier, iPod Touch, iPad mini tablet, MacBook Pro 15″ laptop, Seagate GoFlex Pro portable harddrive, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 camera. Efforts to simplify have led to the current setup.
iPad Pro 11″ Gen2 is now my primary computer. It has completely replaced the laptop which hadn’t been used for two years. Typical uses include internet search, maintaining my blog, messages, eMail, notes, journal, calendar and reminders, dictionary, Spanish lessons, reading books, listening to music and podcasts, watching videos, editing photographs, online banking and bookkeeping, scanning documents, drawing with the Apple Pencil 2, and a few solitaire games.
I have been culling down the number of apps I keep on my devices. Apple provided free apps are my first choice; Notes, Photos, Safari, Books, Mail, Messages, Contacts, Maps, Calendar, Reminders, Music, Podcasts, Files and App Store are my go to apps. Other often used apps are Yelp, Gas Buddy, Pixelmater, MoneyWiz 2, Calculator Pro, and Documents. And of course, my art and travel apps. Also see iPad Pro 9.7
iPhone 13 Pro serves many functions like text messages, phone calls, voice memos, language translator, calculator, compass, flashlight, ruler, alarm clock and calendar, tracking health data, a few notes, occasional online deposit of a check, and my data plan includes free Apple Music streaming. A JBL Flip 4 portable bluetooth speaker produces good sound.
The phone is now my primary camera for taking photos which are immediately transferred wirelessly to my iPad Pro, then deleted from the phone. Editing of the pictures is done with the Apple Photos app which does all I need. Also see Camera Kit
Files Storage and Transfer
I mostly avoid online storage, but a few things are kept in iCloud making sure to stay within the 5GB free limit. Everything is saved locally on my iPad which has 512GB SSD on-board storage. Backups are made to a SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD connected with a USB-C cable and using the Apple Files app.
A SanDisk 128GB SSD Thumbdrive with both USB-C and USB-A connectors is used for transferring files to other non-Apple devices; like when going to an office supply to have hard-copies printed. I had a printer, however ink cartridges were expensive and I seldom used it.
Files and photos can be wirelessly transferred between the iPad and iPhone using Apple’s AirDrop feature. Scanning is done using the iPad camera and Files or Notes app.
Both the iPhone and iPad are on my Verizon cellular/data plan; public WiFi is rarely used. Surprisingly, cell service is available almost everywhere, except in very remote boondocking locations. A Wilson Sleek booster helps when the signal is weak. It is connected to a SureCall wide-band omni-directional external antenna with built-in ground plain which is mounted on a roof rail with a rotating clamp to raise and lower. The antenna in the down position works good enough when a cell tower is nearby, but if distant raising it helps. Using the booster and antenna can add reception bars or a stronger signal connection. Also see Antenna and Antenna Update
GPS and Maps
The Garmin USA GPS app on my latest iPad provides a bigger screen for easier viewing while driving. The app is no longer sold, so no more map updates; but, it still works quite well. Since my iPad has a built in GPS antenna the app does not require internet, so can be used offline. Other maps on the iPad include Apple Maps for general look up, viewing route details and getting trip distances, CarryMap is for details of BLM areas, Guru Maps provides topography details, elevations, easy GPS coordinates, and I can pin locations with my own notes. Also see GPS Plus
Reducing the number of devices and apps makes my mobile digital life simpler. So many things are easier to do, and I really enjoy using them. Not to mention less clutter in my small RV.