If you're going on long drives across the country or even traveling the world, there are a few schools of thought when it comes to balancing safety and pleasure. Some people have an innate dislike for tech or simply want to reduce their use, while others are addicted or don't mind the presence of tech.
As part of the middle ground, smartphones like the iPhone can do a lot to help you stay in touch during an emergency while recording great memories. On the safety side, here are a few ways to prepare your iPhone for safety and survival if the trip doesn't go as planned.
Useful Apps And Contacts
iPhones can do more than make calls and play games. As a navigational tool, you can use a smartphone to plot directions with GPS (Global Positioning System) and maps. They're not new features by any means, but most people lack a full set of navigation tools--either because it's not always necessary, or just unknown.
In addition to online maps and GPS service, make sure that you download more than one offline map. If you enter an area without cellular service, you won't be able to easily find your position. With downloaded maps, you can still rely on the independent GPS signal without data. It's weaker, but it can eventually acquire your position in most outdoor locations.
If you're traveling to areas with weak or no GPS signal on your phone, be sure to map out the area and know when you're entering a signal blind spot. With paper and digital maps, you can find your relative location and figure out where to go to enter signal range again.
With maps and GPS service information saved to your phone, be sure to save a few vital services to your contacts. Have a mechanic, towing service, family, and friends available for emergency dialing in case you need to quickly call or hope that a stranger can call for you if you're unable to use your phone due to a medical emergency.
Battery Backup Power
One problem with smartphones compared to older phones is the battery power. In terms of communications, the battery life is abysmal compared to the flip phone and slim brick phone generations. This is largely because smartphones aren't actually phones.
The "phone" part of a smartphone is actually a small radio that performs the call function. The device is actually a handheld computer that is more related to Windows and Macintosh desktops and laptops than the previous generation of cellphones seen in the 1990's and early 2000's.
Computers use a lot more battery power because they do a lot more than the old definition of phones. The power consumption goes even higher when using more apps, and especially when the other radio--the GPS radio--is turned on.
In an emergency, turning off the games and music streaming is necessary. It may seem obvious, but it can be tempting to soothe your nerves or a child's nerves with a distraction. To extend your battery power and possibly get a bit of entertainment time, invest in backup batteries.
An iPhone battery replacement battery can help you get a bit of extra power or replace a heat damaged battery if you're on a summer trip that overheats your phone. You can also get portable battery packs that are essentially multiple replacement batteries inside a case that control power flow.
Contact a battery replacement professional to discuss different power options before your next trip.