Phablets, Tablets and Phones PhTW!

I’m still smarting a bit from admitting yesterday that, even with a spiffy Bluetooth keyboard case, my Nexus 7 tablet was ultimately not up to the task of producing a blog post worthy of this site. If somebody out there was on the fence about getting a tablet and, after reading that, decided to get a laptop instead I’d never forgive myself.

So today I’m back with three ways that tablets (and their smaller cousins) are indispensable for that other thing I do here — the daily round-ups of mobile news. What will be described below is in two cases a better experience on an Android (or Apple) device, and in the other not even possible on an old school computer.


Longform Video

A small but significant part of my daily news-gathering routine takes place on YouTube. I usually hunker down and watch a video or two over lunch, and often pick up on the Hangouts version of a podcast after listening to the audio download while doing errands or at the gym.

On these longer videos my computer or laptop display will invariably time out, but my Android devices don’t  — even with their screens set to go dark after 60 seconds.

It’s a small thing but a big convenience for me.



We all know Flipboard, right? This innovative phone and tablet app is built around “magazines” of curated content. A few samples are available through the company’s website, but the service is only really usable with the app.

You can see my subscriptions in the screen grab above. I try to check Flipboard twice a day; if I didn’t I would probably only ever post news from Mobile Syrup and The Verge. 😉



In addition to the day’s news I also scour these forums for notable threads. Despite what you might think I do this manually, going through pages and pages of the day’s posts looking for busy threads started in the past 24 hours.

Starting today I ‘m going to use Tapatalk — I mean, the HowardForums app! — which will at the very least put all these threads on one screen. To save links for harvesting later I’ll be using Pocket, but I could also just subscribe to threads from the app and then unsubscribe later.

I also appreciate Tapa — er, the HowardForums app for the notifications I get when someone posts a reply to something I’ve written.

Most road warriors will likely agree that you can only get serious work done on a laptop, but there are a few innovations unique to more modern devices. The examples I’ve detailed above work great for me; what works for you?