When I first approached this topic, my thoughts were focused on writing up all of the Android apps that I use on a daily basis in order to run a successful Android site. But as I started to put it together, it didn’t seem like it would even come close to capturing the entire process. Instead, I thought, “Why not toss out all of the tools that I use on a daily basis?” Meaning, let’s talk computers, cameras, travel accessories, and everything else I use when covering the topic of Android. Ready?
iMac and Macbook Pro
It all starts with my workstation. I made the switch to OSX in July of 2011 when the newest iMacs were introduced, a feat considering that I was coming from years of Windows-only use. In fact, I had no experience with OSX, but thanks to Apple making everything dummy-proof, it took all of an hour to get everything set up and running to my liking. My daily desktop is the 2.7GHz quad-core Core i5 27″ iMac with 8GB of RAM. That will probably double to 16GB before long, because I’m a little crazy when it comes to monitoring RAM usage. When I travel, it’s a Macbook Pro 15″.
I can’t really pinpoint a number 1 reason for switching off of Windows – it simply seemed like it was time for a change. So far, I’m loving every minute of my new OSX-powered life. I have enough power, stability, and battery life (when on the road) to do everything this job requires.
My entire day is spent in Chrome. If it weren’t for Chrome, this job would be a whole heck of a lot more difficult. I constantly run with anywhere from 15-20 tabs open at a time. I can jump from laptop to desktop to phone to tablet at any moment and access exactly what I was taking care of on the previous device. There are specific Chrome apps I have for bookmarking items – Pocket, checking site stats – Who’s Amung Us and Page Monitor, seeing new emails, shortening URLs – goo.gl URL Shortener, etc. It’s the most powerful browser on the planet, in my opinion. Droid Life is living proof that you can run an entire business from within the Chrome browser.
Multiple Phones and Tablets
When I leave my office for the day, I almost always have 2 phones with me. Yep, I’m one of those guys. One on AT&T and the other on Verizon. You just never know when you may be in an area that has spotty coverage of one or the other. And in this job, you can’t be without service.
My daily device these days tends to be my white GSM Galaxy Nexus because it runs official Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), however, my Verizon Galaxy Nexus is always close by. I also have an AT&T Galaxy S3 fully charged at all times too, just in case. Throughout my house and office you’ll find multiple tablets in various sizes as well.
If it seems like overkill to have this many tablets and phones handy at one time, I can understand. But think of it this way – when a new app or OS build or hack comes along, I need to be able to test it on multiple device types, so that our team can relay correct information on to readers. In a way, I get to see the hurdles that Android app developers have to jump over, every time they release something new.
For snapping pretty pictures of phones, tablets and accessories, I use a Sony a33 with a 30mm macro lens. By no means do I consider myself a photographer, but this camera has been a lot of fun for someone who has been learning DSLRs on the fly. It’s fast, shoots 1080p video if I need it to, has all of the manual settings I can handle, a wonderful swivel screen, and is small enough that I can pack it.
On my last two business trips, I loaded up my Klasden Levanaus backpack, from Spigen SGP. This thing, and I’m not exaggerating here, holds everything. There are at least twelve pockets throughout, all of which have been strategically placed to allow for maximum storage.
On an overnight trip, I was able to pack a change of clothes, Macbook Pro, 2 chargers, mouse, a tablet, 3 phones, snacks, and toiletries into it. It was a tight squeeze, but it was the only bag I had to take on this trip. This backpack also worked like a charm during Google I/O, as it sits comfortably on your shoulders and lower back, is stylish (mine is blue), and had the extra space needed to take home all of the loot that Google gave us.
On shorter day trips where I just need my laptop and other accessories, I use a Klasden Neumann messenger bag, also made by Spigen. And yes, that’s faux blue fir on the inside. It feels magical to the touch.
Besides the big stuff like phones and computers, there are other accessories that I can’t live without. Topping the list would be portable chargers, with my personal favorites being the Juice Packs made by Mophie. One is 4000mAh and the other, which can charge two devices at once, is 6000mAh. I keep them in travel bags and on coffee tables for quick refueling. Every gadget guru on the planet should own at least two portable chargers.
I also carry around a USB OTG cable, my Lytro camera, at least 3 USB cables for charging or transferring data, spare batteries for both phones and cameras, and some pens, because you never know when you may need to write something down.
Now that I have wrapped up the non-Android specific stuff, let’s turn our focus back to the reason we are here to begin with. While computers and phones take up a major portion of my day, these apps help me stay on top of my game at all times – WordPress (on-the-go post editing and creating), ScribbleLive (live blogging), WorldMate (travel schedules), Gmail, Box (cloud team storage), HootSuite (Twitter), Pocket (read-it-later organization), and Google Reader (so many feeds to read). I use dozens of other apps on a regular basis, but these are the select few that keep Droid Life rolling along at a steady pace while I’m not sitting at a computer.
And there you have it, my blogging tools all gathered into a single post. Anything you are surprised to see on there? What tools are you constantly turning to throughout the day for your work?
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Droid Life consider themselves to have the greatest Android community in the world. They talk general news, feature apps, review phones, and even teach you how to hack a little. But most importantly, there is no place on the internet that has the reader participation they do and consider themselves to be completely community driven. If you were looking for the best place to learn about Android and talk with like-minded folks about all things tech, then Droid Life is for you. Being a writing machine, creating a site about the Droid just made sense for Kellen B. He pours his heart into something if he truly believes in it, and the Droid was one of those things. From there, it became about community, meeting amazing people, finding it a joy to chat with the same crew of tech-obsessed fans on the daily, and making Android my life. Follow them at @Droid Life.