Hub Telegram: Airports are pretty bad in and of themselves, but the hassles and restrictions they place on our gadgets are the worst. No Wi-Fi, weak cell reception, and three power outlets per terminal? The horror!
But not every trip to JFK or LAX has to be a brutal experience — you just have to prepare. Here are some airport tech hacks that can help make that five-hour layover a little less disruptive. Once you’re in the air, however, it’s a whole other story.
1. Use Google Voice to make calls & send texts
Reception at the airport is shit. You know this all too well. But what most commuters don’t know is that they can still make calls and send texts without tapping into their data plan. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection, along with Google Voice and Hangouts. Set up your Voice phone number and communicate through there. Another way is by purchasing a prepaid SIM card with data access to utilize Google’s services.
2. Charge your phone in Airplane Mode
When you’re down to the wire and need to get as much juice as possible before they call boarding, switch your phone into airplane mode before you plug in. It’s proven to charge your phone quicker — with tests showing an increased charge time of four minutes.
3. Buy a portable power strip
Sometimes you find yourself in a fight to the death with all the other suckers at your gate over the last outlet at the charging station. Play it smarter by investing in a portable power strip like the Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger, which offers three standard AC outlets and two USB ports. That’s more than enough to charge your MacBook, iPad, and iPhone simultaneously.
4. Carry a portable organizer for your gadgets
Organization is the key to leading a stress-free life… especially at the airport. Sifting through cluttered carry-ons trying to find the end of your charging cord should not be on your list of concerns when moving from the check-in to security. A gadget organizer like this is both stylish and useful in securing spots for cords, documents, styluses, and a tablet.
5. Download FlightBoard to monitor arrivals and departures
Seriously, don’t be that dude looking over the arrivals and departures board near the terminal. Get with the times. Turn your mobile device into a personal flight board and use the aptly named FlightBoard to obtain all essential info: including flight times, gate numbers, and — of course– delays. This will free up some bathroom and duty-free time.