Laptops, smart phones, and tablets – oh, my! Technology has changed a lot over the past couple of years, and it’s no secret that it’s become more portable and easier to access. I think back to the days of my very first cell phone and admittedly have to smile at how little it was capable of. Don’t get me wrong, at the time I was fifteen and having a cell phone was just about the best thing ever, but there were no apps. No games, no photos or cameras, nothing other than the ability to make calls and (gasp!) receive text messages. The phones served their purpose without question, but now there’s a lot more that can be done with technology. And it definitely comes to be of good use at SDCC!
I’m one of the individuals in possession of an iPad (the first generation and I’m pretty content with it, thank you very much), and the saying is true – there really is an app for everything. From banking to the social network to Angry Birds (raise your hand if you’ve played today, and if not then feel free to do so), we can hold pretty much everything we want to on a small electronic device that holds a charge for about eight hours. Apple knew what they were doing with apps, and every company who jumped on the bandwagon definitely saw the change coming. But I was thrilled when I saw apps become available for the Android phones (of which I’m an owner), because that meant one less thing for me to carry in order to stay connected. Don’t get me wrong, iPad, I love you dearly and I will never cease to tote you all over when I travel, but if I can have everything I need on my Droid X, then I’m going down that route.
So to maximize my Comic-Con experience, I’ll be utilizing the following apps:
- TweetCaster Pro – Probably the best little Twitter app I’ve ever used (and believe me, I’ve used my share of them). I went with the Pro version because ads drive me crazy and I don’t mind supporting a developer, and I think it’s worth the little bit of money. It’s a very well designed Twitter app that gives you access to threads, profiles, recently searched hashtags, and all kinds of other things that Twitter lovers would appreciate. I use it to access my lists, one which is labeled SDCC, so I can retrieve the latest tweeted updates about Comic-Con. It’s incredibly handy!
- Facebook Pink – Also available in traditional blue for the gentlemen out there/those who prefer a different color. I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t stay connected with those who aren’t at SDCC, right?
- Angry Birds – If you aren’t playing, you’re missing out. This is my favorite way to pass the time and vent some frustration on those snorting, green piggies. Plus, on the Droid X the screen looks great and the game plays well!
- Yelp! – I’m echoing Chan on this one because this will be the first time I’m in San Diego, and I’m not going to be familiar at all with what’s going to be in the are. Our hotel is going to have enough amenities for us to be a little more thrifty if we choose to, but let’s face it – we’re girls who like to go out for dinner and try new things, so we’ll be exploring the area a good bit.
I also recommend a banking app, if your bank has one available (mine does!) so you can keep track of your finances as you go throughout the convention. It’s easy to get caught up in the amazing purchases you can make in a huge dealer’s room, but overdraft fees will put a damper on anyone’s day. If you’re able to have a small, easy to use app on your smart phone, it will help you keep track of what you’re spending – and most importantly! – what you still have to use.
Of course, constantly refreshing the Twitter timeline and sending texts to connect with other convention-goers will put a drain on any phone’s battery, no matter how good the technology is. So to help out with that problem, I’ve invested in a ZAGGsparq. They’re a little pricey but the website frequently offers 50% discounts, so if you keep an eye out you can snag one at a good price. I haven’t received it in the mail yet so I can’t give an opinion, but from what I hear they’re pretty effective. It can charge up to four USB devices, meaning that I can keep all four of us (myself, Chan, my friend and her fiancé) nice and connected to the outside world and – most importantly! – each other while at the convention.
Technology isn’t just meant for staying connected, though – it’s also great for entertainment. And since rumor has it that SDCC can result in many long lines and great deals of waiting, I will be bringing different means to keep myself entertained. My iPod will be charged up and loaded with music (good, upbeat things meant to make a person smile!) and I’m debating on a book or an eReader that can be tucked into a relatively decent sized purse and/or bag to help pass the waiting time. Of course, I’ll be sightseeing and people watching more than anything else, but hey – it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, right?
And as one final note from a Damsel Carrying a Camera, I’ve invested in an extra battery for my beloved Cybershot. It might be erring on the side of caution, but battery can drain quickly when filming video/taking a lot of photos, and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to document one microsecond of Comic-Con that I want to remember!
That’s all for now! Next post from me will involve packing…dun dun dun!