Going Mobile

April 17 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (9)

goingmobile.jpgBeing mobile while on the road hasn't also been so easy.

At the turn of the 21st century, I was an early adopter of the Blackberry. Quite basic, it offered a black-and-white screen to display emails and the phone worked relatively well. I upgraded a few years later to a newer Blackberry that offered a color screen and showed "clipped" versions of Web pages.

But three years ago, I gave up on my Blackberry, and switched to a Nokia phone, as they were known to provide the best reception in areas with weak signals - which included my office. While it worked like a charm, it alas was not a Blackberry, and I missed the handy-dandy mobile access to my email, especially when on the road.

Then the flashy new iPhone was introduced and I got PDA fever. The new must-have device had a bright, full-color screen, Internet access, email, GPS mapping and a zillion new applications. But its exclusive carrier, AT&T, shares cellular infrastructure with my current provider, T-Mobile, which limits my signal in my office.

For business travelers, "going mobile" is now a must.

Did you know that a bar code sent to your mobile phone now serves as your boarding pass on certain airlines?

Best Western Mobile was recently introduced, allowing you to reserve, change or cancel a reservation from a roadside rest stop, a socked in airport terminal, a plane with in-flight Wi-Fi, or anywhere else in the world - all through your mobile device. Business travelers can no longer use "getting lost" as an excuse for tardiness now that we have Google maps and GPS in our pockets.

So I'm back in the market for a new mobile device. And there are a LOT of new choices coming down the pike:

  • T-Mobile is expected to introduce its new G2 phone -- also known as the "Google phone" in May. (I shied away from the G1 introduced last year because I feared spending $300 for a first generation device.)
  • The new and highly anticipated Palm Pre is also due out in May.
  • Later this summer, Apple is expected to introduce a next-generation iPhone with even more bells and whistles. (And maybe a new carrier!)

Stay tuned! Maybe I'll be writing future posts from my new PDA - that is, if I can ever get a signal in my office.

Categories : Road Warriors

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    By Mitch Ady on April 19, 2009 9:50 AM

    I have attempted 3X to reply or e-mail a "yes" to your Advisory Board request, but have a failure to deliver the e-mail notice each time.

    By Chris McGinnis on April 20, 2009 3:05 PM

    Hi Mitch and others.....sorry for the email malfunction. I definitely want to hear from you. You can now contact me at chris.mcginnis@bestwestern.com or at chris@travelskills.com.

    By Robert Berry on April 22, 2009 10:12 PM

    I agree that there is a great necessity for mobility while on the road. I have been consigned to a Blackjack phone that my company furnished for me. It makes a great modem for my laptop! I can pull into a parking lot and send off a fax or a quote. I am attempting to make an effort to use the new smaller technology....we'll see how that goes.

    By Alan Hay on April 23, 2009 9:44 PM

    I also had trouble signing up for Advisory Board but am set now! I have been an comitted Blackberry user for many years now (well over 6 yrs) and have gone through many variations and carriers, now back with T-Mobile. Reception at home variable but fantastic at work and in most travel destinations. I love the ease of syncing and the latest PPT viewer is even usable!

    By Stan Rowland on April 23, 2009 9:58 PM

    I am hooked to my blackberry much to my wife's dismay. I get intant emails and constantly check them for importance, not always at the best timing for her but, it has saved me many times by being immediately informed. Internet access at my Bestwestern locations has become a must. I acutally get my best service through AT&T where my wife's T-Mobile is more spotty. I also had some problems getting through to the correct response email for the Diamond 100, but have had that resolved as I have experienced many times with BW over the years, they do get back to me and with results.

    By Stephen Martin on April 28, 2009 7:55 PM

    I've been using a wi fi enabled Palm Pilot for several years to stay connected to email and the web but I'm restricted to free wi fi spots. My empolyer's mobile contract does not cover text or web so unfortunately I can't use the many features of my phone. At some point I will get an i-phone for myself. Just seems to cool and useful not to take the plunge.

    By William Olson on June 18, 2009 5:24 AM

    I use an iPhone, and as my travel is extensive, it comes i very handy if I am running behind and need to change motel reservations. In the future I will upgrade to a newer iPhone for advanced speed options, but the ability to access the internet from almost anywhere is very useful.

    By Jeanette on June 22, 2011 10:41 PM

    AFAICT you've coevred all the bases with this answer!

    By Marylouise on June 23, 2011 2:51 PM

    Thanks alot - your answer solved all my porbmels after several days struggling

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