Air Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Air

Airtags vs. Tile: What’s The Better Bluetooth Tracker?

Tracking your lost luggage for finding house keys you’ve misplaced is made a lot easier with Bluetooth trackers. These small, electronic homing beacons let you locate items in your home or far-flung locations through their smartphone apps. Until recently, Tile was the biggest Bluetooth tracking network. Now that Apple has joined the market with Airtags, which one is better and for who?

Comparing Trackers

At their core, both Tile and Airtags work to accomplish the same goal: help you find lost things. They also work in similar ways, via Bluetooth and by leveraging their user networks. Right now, in both regards Apple has an advantage.

Let’s look at the two problems trackers attempt to solve. The first is finding things that go missing locally, like around your house. These aren’t so much lost items but more misplaced ones. Chances are they’re going to be in one of a few usual places or at least within the walls of your home. Both Tile and Airtags have chimes you initiate through their respective apps and using those beeping tones, lead you to the tracker.

apple airtags

Airtags though use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology which is more precise in close range. Tile is rumored to be working on a UWB version of its trackers this year but for now, you’ll have to rely on the chimes. In other words, Tile can tell you lost keys are in your house but not show you where exactly.

Stitched Through Networks

Now when things gets really lost, like blocks or across a city (or further) the Bluetooth signal on your phone (about 10 meters of range) isn’t going to do you much good. In these cases, what Tile and Apple do is leverage everyone else’s Bluetooth connection to geo-locate a tracker marked as missing.

With Tile, you have to be using their app. With Apple, if you’ve got an iPhone, you’re already part of their network. In both cases as you walk by (within Bluetooth range) a tracker marked as missing, your phone sends back an anonymous, encrypted location of that tracker back to Tile or Apple. The person walking by has no idea this happened but you will get to see a location of the missing tracker on a map.

What Recovery Is Like

Once you’ve got a location you can retrieve the tracker (and lost items it’s hopefully still connected to). Getting that location in the first place though as you may have guessed, comes down to the size of the network. Tile says they’ve got 26 million users (potential people running their app who might happen to walk near a lost tracker).

Worldwide however, there are a billion iPhone users, according to Apple. A network of users 42 times the size of Tile is a major advantage, as is the use of UWB. Tile for their part does make trackers in different shapes (some flatter, better for wallets) but otherwise lose out to Apple’s massive user-base advantage for most people.

You Can’t See The Curve Of The Earth From Your Airplane Seat (Mostly)

We know the Earth is definitely round but the view from your airplane seat at cruising altitude isn’t good proof of it. Using math from the 4th century B.C., the ancient Greeks were able measure the curve of Earth at sea level. Taking those same formulas, it turns out most commercial jets aren’t flying as high respective to the size of the earth as it seems.

You’ve probably seen a curved horizon at 10,000 meters during a flight but as you can see in the video above, it’s not what you think.

How NFTs Could Change Travel

Everydays: The First 5000 Days

The digital photo above sold for $69.3 million dollars. It’s called Everydays: The First 5000 Days by the artist Beeple and although the digital art was auctioned off at Christie’s, you can see I was able to easily copy and paste it above. That does not mean though I’m the owner of the NFT, a concept that may revolutionize how we travel.

What Are NFTs

NFT stands for non-fungible token, in other words something that is unique and can’t be duplicated. NFTs are in a sense akin to rare baseball cards like a 1952 Mickey Mantle that sold for 5.2 million USD. A baseball card is something tangible however, you can hold it in your hands, you buy it and it’s yours. With NFTs the digital file like the image aboven can still be copied like any other file except the NFT, like a public certificate of authenticity, belongs only to one individual.

To get more detailed: the only way to own an NFT is to buy it through a transaction that’s recorded on the blockchain. Blockchain is a way of publicly documented translations. The person who bought Beeple’s artwork above has a public record of that transaction. You can listen to a more thorough explanation of NFTs on the foXnoMad Podcast but your two main takeaways should be: NFTs establish authenticity and chain of ownership.

Wild West Of NFT Trading

Imagine your favorite musician minting songs from their new albums to sell as NFTs. Everyone can still listen to the music but only one person will own the NFT. Think of it as sort of an autograph: you can get the album anywhere but there’s only one Britney Spears signed limited edition.

listening to music

The same concept can be applied to a driver’s license or passport. Fakes are possible but when you check the authenticity of the document against the records of the government who issued them, the frauds become evident. Right now, NFTs are making headlines with high price sales of NBA video clips selling for $240,000 and the grumpy cat meme selling for $83,000.

So why would anyone want to buy one? Well, NFTs have made it possible for specific digital assets to be rare – a rarity people are so far, willing to pay for. The market for NFTs is a rapidly evolving on sure to make even more expensive headlines but aside from the art trade, it has implications for travelers.

True Digital Passports?

Given how digital everything is these days, it does seem a bit odd to carry around a paper book you get stamped when entering a new country. Of course those paper passports are authenticated through centralized computer systems but NFTs could solve that middleman process. Being one of a kind authenticated digital assets that are publicly documented could mean an eventual end to paper passports.

An NFT-based passport and visas would be much, much more difficult to forge and if you lose the device containing your NFT passport, regenerating one through a digital portal is a lot faster than today’s snail mail methods. Of course, how this will all look (an app on your phone?) isn’t clear since it’s the very early days of NFT popularity. The reach into the travel industry for NFTs though is wide from everything to plane and event tickets to yes, maybe your passport too.

5 Ways To Use Frequent Flyer Miles (Other Than Flying)

air force one replica

You might not be flying as much lately – global pandemic or otherwise – but your accumulated frequent flyer miles don’t have to go to waste. Although many airlines have extended frequent flyer programs so your miles won’t expire any time soon, you can put the miles you have now to good use.

Here are 5 ways to use your frequent flyer miles for everything that’s not a flight.

1. Shopping

Most airlines have online malls with a number of retailers including Apple and Best Buy. You’ll find these online malls through the airline mileage website and can use any miles you have for discounts or to purchase items outright. Additionally if you’re using a credit card with mile perks, they most likely will have an online store as well.

sydney australia mall

2. Take A Road Trip

Frequent flyer miles can be used for car rentals or hotels so don’t limit yourself to the sky. As a general rule you’ll get more bang for your mile using points in the travel industry as opposed to a new iPad (see point 1 above).

3. Convert To Cash

You can trade in frequent flyer miles for cash, especially if they’re accumulated through a credit card. NerdWallet breaks down Marriott’s award program (.3 cents per point) but according to Alex Miller, the CEO of Upgraded Points, you want to aim for conversions of a cent per mile.

trove wallet

4. Donate

You’re a good person, I’m sure but just so you know, unless you bought your frequent flyer miles donating them won’t be a tax deduction in most cases. You can though donate your miles, in case you didn’t know that. (Works for random currency you’ve accumulated traveling too.) There are a number of good causes most mileage programs have partnered with and your miles can help others escape political violence or make ends meet (by converting miles to cash).

sunset flight

5. Give To Friends And Family

There’s often a fee to transfer miles to another account (if you’re married though maybe not so contact the airline) but for those people who need to fly, your miles might help them get what they need for a free flight. Like many of the points already mentioned, the best way is through the airline’s online mileage program site, then call to see what better options they might offer you.

While You Wait

Most people haven’t checked up on the miles they have recently or when they might be expiring. If that sounds like you, check your frequent flyer miles right now to make sure they aren’t (or haven’t) vanished. Contact the airlines to see what extension plans are in effect since when travel does resume, you’re likely to get some great deals with the miles you have. So, unless you have a good reason not to, it’s best to stash your miles until you’re ready for sky time since they can protect you from flight cancellations as well.

DroneMate Puts All The World’s Drone Laws On Your Phone

dronemate drone laws

The world of drone laws and regulations is a confusing and ever changing one. Closer to home, trying to figure out what the local rules are often just as difficult, putting you in danger of fines, confiscation, or worse.

DroneMate, available for iOS and Android, shows you all of the drone laws worldwide, from where it’s free to fly, illegal, or where you need permits. The app also contains all the forms you may need to register your drone in every country it’s required.

dronemate  dronemate ios app store     dronemate google play android

In the biggest update to the app since its first release, the DroneMate Premium upgrade now includes 24/7 customer support through the app. You can now subscribe to any of the comment threads under a country, US state, or local jurisdiction, ask your drone questions and get a prompt reply from one of our drone experts. You can also connect with drone pilots worldwide to share you experiences, find out good flying spots, and discuss the latest drone news.

Automatic Location Notifications

Additionally, DroneMate will automatically notify you when you enter a new country, US state, or get near a place where there are specific drone laws (like your local park) so you always know the rules to fly by. You’ll have the complete drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed will be displayed and it works completely offline!

dronemate

Works Offline

As always, DroneMate works without an Internet connection, so you have all the drone rules in your pocket, even if you’re flying in remote places. Once you’re back online, the app automatically updates any rule changes, comments, and of course any threads or locations you’re subscribed.

Try It Free For 30 Days

DroneMate is now available available on the App Store and Google Play (the most recent updates are currently in development for Android). You can upgrade to DroneMate Premium within the app, which unlocks all of the features described above and try it free for one month!

I created DroneMate to help drone pilots fly and travel without breaking any of the drone local rules. I genuinely believe that the newest version of DroneMate and DroneMate Premium helps pilots do exactly that – focus on flying and save time and hassle by giving you all the regulatory resources possible on your phone.

  dronemate ios app store     dronemate google play android
Still, DroneMate will continue to involve and improve. Your feedback is important to me so please send your thoughts or feature requests for future updates. Ratings also help get the word out, so if you’re happy with DroneMate, I would appreciate your 5-star ratings!

Is DJI’s Trade Up Program Worth It?

DJI, arguably the most popular producer of consumer drones has a buyback program called Trade Up, where you can send in an old drone for credit toward a new one. It sounds like an alluring option if you’re looking to upgrade your drone but as you can see in the video here, it’s probably not your best choice.

How Trade Up Works

The Trade Up program accepts more than just drones, DJI does take back a variety of smartphones and GoPros for example, but let’s focus on the drone buyback. Visiting this Trade Up program page, you enter the model of drone, serial number, general condition, and any accessories you’ll be giving back as well. The process take a few minutes; afterward you’ll get an estimated price for your old drone. In my case, I was shown $275.60 for a Mavic Pro 1.

Assuming you accept this initial estimate, you have 10 days to send your drone back to DJI for a final inspection. Unlike Apple’s iPhone Trade-In, DJI won’t send you a prepaid box. Although they do pay for shipping, you’ll have to box and pack your drone for DJI with your own materials.

Once DJI Gets Your Used Drone

After a DJI receives your used drone, they send an email to confirm which says it will take 3-5 business. They get back to you after an inspection and in my case, the original estimate was reduced to $41. Considering they were covering shipping at $36, I rejected the offer.

dji mavic drone

In case you accept an offer, they keep your drone and apply the final amount to your DJI account as store credit. Otherwise, as they did when I rejected the final offer, they’ll send your drone back typically after 10 business days.

Alternative Ways To Sell Your Old Drone

Given the pitiful $41 DJI was offering me, I decided to try my luck on eBay. Doing so after a week I sold my drone for $448. That’s nearly double the first estimate DJI gave me and 10 times what they would have actually credited me. Selling directly on a site like eBay will typically give you better rates than manufacturer buyback programs.

To compete, companies usually make their programs quick, convenient, or reliable enough to warrant the lower rates. DJI’s Trade Up program isn’t any of those things enough to make it the best option for selling back your old drone. (Their repair service though is another story.) Sure, you can check to see their estimate online but it’s a good idea to try other sites as well. It’s very likely you’ll get a lot more back (and not just in store credit) if you skip Trade Up altogether.

Loading

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

YouTube Twitter Instagram Facebook

blank

Image Map

blank

Image Map