Category: Tech

FaucetSafe Shows You Where The Tap Water Isn’t Safe To Drink On Your Phone

faucetsafe app

FaucetSafe app, available for iOS and Android, is a worldwide guide on where you can and can’t drink the local tap water, that is updated in real-time. Whether or not the local water is potable is one of the most common questions travelers have but a lot of the information online is either inaccurate or out of date. I developed FaucetSafe to be a travel guide in your pocket, that can give you current information on water potability around the world.

faucetsafe    faucetsafe ios app store     faucetsafe google play android
How FaucetSafe Works

The information is compiled from multiple sources – including government and independent tests – plus FaucetSafe also has a comment system where locals and travelers alike can add further detail. Water potability often varies in small geographic areas (e.g. within cities) so FaucetSafe is designed to be a guide to where you can and can’t drink the water – both to save you costs as well as reduce the amount of plastic consumed by every traveler (in the form of water bottles). The information contained in FaucetSafe works offline and is updated with the latest water drinkability information when you have an Internet connection.

faucetsafe iphone

In some parts of the world, local municipalities will say their water is drinkable when it may not be (for political or economic/tourism purposes) so where possible, data is pulled from both official sources and based on the results of independent tests conducted on water supplies.

FaucetSafe Features

FaucetSafe is based on my map of where you can drink the tap water, with several more features and detail.

  • FaucetSafe shows where you can and can’t drink the water when traveling, from general country information to cities and down to the neighborhood level in some areas.
  • FaucetSafe is updated regularly in real-time with new information.
  • FaucetSafe has a user comment system where users can add local knowledge about water drinking habits in any given area, neighborhood, city, country or pretty much anywhere.
  • Users can also post questions in the comment section for other travelers or the administrator.
  • All comments are rated by other users, so the most useful, informative responses are highlighted on top of the others.

Available Now For iOS And Android

You can download FaucetSafe now from the Apple App Store or on Google Play for Android devices. FacuetSafe is $1.99 but if you’ve purchased any of my other travel apps, iOS users can get FaucetSafe at a discount or free as part of either the foXnoMad Water Pack or foXnoMad Air and Water Pack.

faucetsafe ios app store              faucetsafe google play android

Please let me know if you have any questions about FaucetSafe in the comments below or contact me directly. I hope that FaucetSafe can help you travel smarter by helping you avoid dirty tap water, reduce unnecessary use of plastic, save money, and give you more time to travel rather than spending it in shops purchasing bottled water.

Anker PowerCore 13000 Review: Solid Blend Of Travel Charger Power And Portability

Until a company makes a cell phone with at least a week of battery life, particularly when traveling, portable chargers will remain essential backpack accessories. The problem is the more charge capacity a portable battery has, the larger it is physically – with most people opting for capacity, despite the bulky trade-offs.

Anker’s PowerCore 13000 though sits in a sweet spot. The PowerCore can charge up most modern phones 5 times over, has dual USB ports, and is the size of a beefy pack of playing cards. You can watch my entire review of the Anker PoewrCore 13000 in the video above, or read on.

Bringing Back Basics

Numbers representing milliamp hours (mAh) might not mean much to you but most chargers this size have have half the capacity. To break it down simply, mAh is a measurement used for battery capacity, the PowerCore 13000 has, well, 13000 mAh, and your iPhone has around 2000. Do some simple division and you’ve got around 6 charges in a perfect world. Of course other (*cough* most *cough* Android) phones have larger batteries so you’ll get 4-5 charges out of a PowerCore 13000 on those devices.

powercore 13000Anker PowerCore 13000

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In comparison, the PowerTrip and PowerStick+ I recently took a second look at, can charge the average phone around 1-3 times – and the PowerTrip is larger than the PowerCore.

The PowerCore 13000 does have noticeable heft, weighing 255 grams (9 ounces), but generally outclasses most other chargers this (physical) size in the ways people care about most.

Features For A Friend

Having two USB ports on a charger is important, whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or family, having the option to charge multiple devices at once is a big time saver. Dual USB ports is also a space saver because you won’t need multiple chargers or risk a dead iPad. (Sorry tablet, phone wins.)

anker powercore 13000

Having two chargers on the PowerCore 13000 is particularly useful since it doesn’t support quick charging in either direction. Meaning your phone won’t charge at super speeds (though at 2 amps maximum output isn’t sluggish); plus the PowerCore 13000 itself takes a long time to charge up.

Don’t Plan To Plan

13000 mAh is a lot of charging capacity but the reverse is it takes a solid 12 hours to charge the PowerCore from dead to full.  As I mentioned, there’s no quick charging and if you forget to plug the PowerCore 13000 in one night or even two, you’ll probably be fine. But trying to quickly charge the PowerCore while you stuff clothes in your luggage and take a hygienically questionable shower to catch a flight you’re very late to, isn’t going to cut it.

You’ll want to make sure to top off the Anker every night if you’re a poor planner and aren’t too worried about battery longevity. Also, it’s worth getting the PowerCore 13000 in your hands a week or two before a trip to make sure it’s working properly. Anker’s exchanges are prompt but that won’t do you any good if you’re already flying to one world’s most remote islands.

What’s The Best Mavic Drone To Buy Right Now?

A few weeks ago I answered the question on whether the original DJI Mavic Pro drone was still worth buying in 2018. At the time, there was no new Mavic Pro to compare it to and the 2016 original was still the ideal drone for travelers. Earlier this month, DJI announced the Mavic Pro 2 and the Mavic 2 Zoom, making the question is the Mavic 1 still worth buying even more relevant.

For those of you considering a drone to take on your travels, I break down the differences between the Mavics and compare them to the entire DJI lineup in the video above or you can read on below.

New Drones Simplified

The simplest way to break down the new Mavic lineup is to start with the Mavic original and the Mavic Zoom. They’re very similar drones except the Zoom has a 24-48mm lens you can use to get even closer to your subject. The sensor of the camera is the same size as the Mavic original and if you scroll down the spec sheet, there aren’t a lot of major differences. I’m talking at a high-level of course but if you look at the Zoom and Mavic Pro, it’s the zoom feature all the way.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter with 24-48mm Optical Zoom

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Now the Mavic 2 Pro is something different. Better camera? Yes. And a much bigger, full one inch sensor (vs 1/2.3in) that has a color profile of a billion (vs 16 million)? Yes. In terms of the actual, physical drone, the Mavic 2 Pro is a lot like the original Mavic but the Hasselblad camera and internal hardware makes it clear DJI wanted to focus on a major improvement in video quality.

Physically, all of the Mavics have folding arms although the new Mavics weigh around 900 grams, 200 more than the Mavic 1. The newer Mavics are also quieter thanks to more efficient motors and have a 31 minute flight time whereas the Mavic 1 is only 27 minutes.

drone down

Pricing Points

Both Mavic 2s are improvements to the original Mavic. They’ve got better specs but higher prices as well – DJI didn’t drop the price of the Mavic 1 (still $999) and the Zoom runs $1249, the Mavic 2 Pro $1499. Those are odd decisions in pricing, because generally new tech products tend to maintain price points, especially when you consider both Mavic 2s are refinements, not revolutions in drone technology.

To Mavic Or Not To Mavic

Given the price points, DJI seems like they’re marketing these new Mavics to people who are primarily interested in videography. Obviously all drone owners, to an extent, care about video quality but it looks like they’re drawing a line at the Mavic Air. The Mavic Air and all of the DJI lineup below it are for people who want advanced selfie cameras and to take some fun videos occasionally – beyond the Mavic Air it’s everyone who’s more serious about video. In other words, if you’re planning to use Final Cut Pro to edit all of your drone videos into sleek YouTube videos, you should probably look at the Mavic Pro and beyond.

At $1499, the Mavic 2 Pro is bumping prices with the Phantom series where big drones begin. Unless video quality is your primary concern, you might want to take a look at the Mavic Air. As far as Mavic Pros go, the original is still an excellent 18 month old drone with a very current price.

Road Tested! Is The DJI Mavic Pro Still Worth Buying In 2018?

Since it was introduced in last 2016, the market has shifted DJI’s Mavic Pro from tiny drone to a middle of the pack device. The release of the DJI Spark and more recently Mavic Air are a sign of things to come, yet the Mavic Pro still has superior battery life and video quality. So, is the DJI Mavic Pro still worth buying in 2018?

dji mavic  DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo: Foldable Propeller Quadcopter Drone

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After 18 months, a few crashes, and over a hundred of hours of flight time, I answer that question in the video above.

SwissGear Scansmart 1900 Backpack Review: Lots Of Pockets For Little Gadgets

The SwissGear Scansmart 1900 is a durable backpack with a lot of benefits for most travelers that leads to one big drawback for everyone else. One of the most popular travel backpacks, especially for people who carry a lot of electronics, the Scansmart 1900 has pockets for just about everything.

scansmart 1900  SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack 1900

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Plentiful pockets is not surprising for a brand associated with functionality, but the Scansmart’s dividers rob it of a large main storage compartment, meaning it’s a great backpack if you only use 75% of it.

Durable Unlike Most Others

The SwissGear line of backpacks are designed to last – I used the Synergy for over 10 years – and have been using the 1900 as my primary electronics backpack for the past 18 months or so. (I switched because I needed a larger bag to carry this stuff.) The 1900 has held up very well over the extreme amount of travel I’ve done, though there are small indications of imperfection I never noticed on the Synergy.

swissgear scansmart 1900

A slightly loose plastic logo on the handle and a few errant strings in the stitching are things I wouldn’t even mention for other backpacks but SwissGear have set their own bar very high. Still, the Scansmart will last, despite my constant over-stuffing of this bag, the seams have held strong and survived where many other backpacks I’ve reviewed wouldn’t.

Divided On Pockets

Originally I moved to the Scansmart 1900 when I picked up a Mavic Pro drone. I organized the drone, as well as my Panasonic Lumix G85, in two SwissGear toiletry kits. They fit perfectly into the front main compartment of the 1900 but two additional dividers in that compartment steal space if they’re not used. In other words, a notebook, cable organizer, and some other small items would fit well; it’s when you stuff the main compartment those dividers force the bag into an awkward, uncomfortable shape. Sure, the Scansmart 1900 can handle it, though your back might be slightly sore after a long journey.

swissgear scansmart 1900

Then, there’s the biggest complaint I have about the 1900: the thick dividers between the laptop compartment, tablet compartment, and main compartments. Those dividers take up space, again, which is fine if you’re not going to really fill the main compartment. Using the laptop and tablet compartments push those bulky dividers forward into the main compartment and if you try to fill it up too much your backpack will look like a water balloon ready to burst.

The Size Of Your Stuff

Alternatively, the North Face Recon I’ve previously reviewed, has roughly the same internal capacity though allocates much more space to the main compartment. It’s got one roomy laptop pocket in the main compartment without cutting it up into smaller sections. For travelers with a lot of small items, the Scansmart 1900 might be a better backpack, because it’s designed not to be filled anywhere near capacity.

The Recon on the other hand, has a large main compartment that can easily fit a DSLR, small drone, or otherwise be jammed with clothes when you don’t feel like packing properly. The Scansmart 1900 is a large backpack designed for small things, best compared to the Dell Premier backpack, if you’re not planning on pushing your bags limits.

How Good Is The Panasonic Lumix G85 Macro?

A few months ago I reviewed the best travel cameras under $1000 and recently you asked me how well one of those cameras, the Panasonic Lumix G85, is with close up video. In the video above I’ll show you the answer, as well as the focus stacking and post focus features which can really take your macro shots to another level. For those of you who photograph or video a lot of flowers, plants, bugs, or other small objects when you travel, the G85 might make a good overall camera to carry on your next trip.

lumix g85 kit  Panasonic LUMIX G85MK 4K Mirrorless Camera Kit

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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Review Of The Dell Premier Backpack: Built For Business Travelers

FaucetSafe Shows You Where The Tap Water Isn’t Safe To Drink On Your Phone

Anker PowerCore 13000 Review: Solid Blend Of Travel Charger Power And Portability




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