After 19 hours of travel, I'm finally in Bangkok, Thailand for the BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012 developers conference. It was a long trip from Ottawa, Ontario, but thanks to the BlackBerry PlayBook, the time flew right by.
I figured since there are plenty of PlayBook owners crossing criss-crossing the world daily, they would appreciate a few tips on how to while away the hours on a plane.
I started off on my way from Ottawa to Toronto by learning a few simple Thai words with the ThaiVocab app. It was really nice in that it provided a full audio pronunciation guide and a phonetic pronunciation section for every word.
While in the air, I definitely used my PlayBook to snap a couple of pictures. For most of my trip, the DSLR is packed deep in my carry-on, but since the PlayBook is always in front on the tray table, it's perfect for those window-seat opportunities that pop up every once in awhile. If you've got the time, there are some pretty impressive sights to be captured at airports, too.
As you might have heard, Kevin wasn't able to make it to the show, which meant that I had to brush up in hurry on the presentation he was going to be giving on how developers should speak with bloggers. Docs to Go handled the PowerPoint for the most part, though there was one graphic in the .PPTX that didn't translate over. If I was really smart, I would have used TubeMate to download the YouTube video of Kevin's talk from BlackBerry Jam Americas so I could incorporate any of the talking points that weren't on the slides.
Of course, I couldn't go the full 24 hours of travel without my gaming fix. ShadowGun has been out for awhile now, but I never had much of a chance to sit down and finish it, so it was nice to have the opportunity to pour an hour or two into the richly-detailed 3D shooter. I'm thinking Dead Space may be what's on the menu for the trip back.
I was determined to get through the trip without zonking out on sleeping pills, so I loaded up some easy, slow music, put it on loop, and relied on that to put me to sleep well before my usual bedtime. The 13 hour time difference is still killing me, but hopefully everything will be made right before the show starts.
It was hard to come to Bangkok and not have everyone make Hangover 2 references at me. The worst part of all is that I hadn't seen it yet, so the flight over seemed like a good time to see just how horrible this city could possibly be to me. I used the relatively new PlayBook Video Store to pick up the movie for twenty bucks, but I definitely didn't give myself enough time to download it - airport Wi-Fi wasn't nearly good enough, and tethering during my one short, local layover didn't help. I could still watch what had been downloaded through the PlayBook's media app, and even though when I landed, I couldn't make any purchases, it would still wrap up the download for movies I had already bought. I'm thinking Tony Jaa's Ong-Bak for the return flight.
There were a few things that I just plum didn't have the opportunity to try out. My layovers were only about an hour each, but it would have been handy to have the PlayBook while shopping in airports abroad, if only to compare prices with what was available back home. The lack of any in-flight Wi-Fi also stopped me from bragging to friends about my first business class flight on Facebook. That's fine, they'd probably just sneer at me anyway. I would have liked to have some time to shop around on Kobo for e-books on Bangkok, Thailand, and muay thai before leaving, but I guess I'll just have to catch up on that stuff on the way home.
Overall, I found the PlayBook really indispensible for long flights. It's got a smaller footprint than most tablets and laptops, meaning more room on your tray table for meals or anything else. The local, built-in productivity tools ensured that the time wasn't a complete write-off, while a smattering of entertainment options kept me from going crazy in the flying skycan.
Enough about me - how do you guys spend your flights with a BlackBerry PlayBook?