What can one do if stranded waiting for a flight, or perhaps just waiting for a flight without unexpected delays? It is amazing how much work and how much entertainment you can bring with you on an iPad. Depending on the amount of free space you have, you can fill up with more books, working documents, comic books, recorded or downloaded TV shows, and probably much else. For the academic, proofreading the proofs of a book you edited is easy, and switching back and forth between the document and a notepad to keep track of what needs to be addressed is a cinch. I think the biggest challenge when traveling with children in the future will not be how to keep them entertained, but whether, if you have only the one iPad, you are willing to give it up to let them get caught up on Doctor Who or whatever their latest favorite show might be.
I have not done much viewing on the iPad before now, and am glad I put more work, books, episodes and music on it than I thought I could possibly need on this trip. It pays to “overpack” when it doesn’t actually increase the size or weight of your iPad. But be aware that some file formats are still buggy, and some have to be uploaded directly using a particular app’s file sharing capacity rather than merely dragged across to the iPad. One I have already noticed is an issue with .mkv files on the only free player for the iPad that I am aware of, yxplayer lite. The video and audio can be out of sync enough to spoil your enjoyment. This may have more to do with the proliferation of different codecs rather than any fault on the part of the makers of the player, which works well with other file types.You can also pass your time blogging, although if you do not have Wi-Fi access then actually posting what you write may have to wait until you get back.
Anyone else want to sing the praises of the iPad in such situations of prolonged waiting? Anyone encounter any specific issues that it might be worth warning others about, before they find themselves waiting for a 3am flight and unable to watch the shows they brought with them? Any other good uses for an iPad in an airport that I haven’t mentioned?
And while we’re at it, why can’t airports at least give you access to their web site for free via Wi-Fi, even if they charge you to surf the web? Libraries and other locations do that. It seems airports ought to as well.