Travelling alone is awesome, but sometimes it’s nice to share experiences with a friend. Technology Blogger Nicole Scott, makes a friends with Cortana, who lives inside her Windows Phone. Watch the duo take on the city that never sleeps, New York, New York.
You travel everywhere with your phone. It’s your lifeline to your friends, and when you’re traveling it is your guide. Cortana is a personal assistant and she’s not just full of facts. She’s actually pretty sassy, as you’ll quickly learn.
Having at least 3 phones in my travel kit at all times, let me tell you why I lean towards Windows Phone as my main device. The thing about travelling is that you aren’t always connected to the internet, and the offline capabilities are strong with this operating system. I’m not just talking about the offline Translate app where you can use the camera (sadly, it doesn’t offer “New Yorker” to English). Here Maps is the best free offline map app on any operating system for one reason alone: you can search places, restaurants and even the names of shops… all offline. Not impressed? That’s because I haven’t mentioned the fact that you can also get driving, walking and public transportation directions offline. The navigation feature will actually pull up the map and show you which direction you’re headed.
I started my day in New York at an Airbnb in Williamsburg. I never met my host, but did spend quite a bit of time with her cool cat. I think it was for the best, since I spent quite a bit of time talking to Cortana.
I do wonder what kind of review I would have gotten if she walked in on me, camera set up asking Cortana who her Daddy was! Cortana provided me with weather information and we figured out my options for coffee shops in Williamsburg. We settled on Toby’s Estate and I even got her to give me walking directions from the subway.
What is great about Here Maps is that you can download entire countries or regions for offline use. There are over 135 countries you can download maps for, which include China and many others that aren’t offered on Android.
Getting directions to places is pretty obvious, but Cortana was able to shed insight on Street Art, of which there is no shortage of in the Big Apple.
If you dig this street art and think you’d like to see your Instagram stream full of such awesome shots, Markus Sekulla is the Mobile Geek taking half year residence in New York. You can follow his experiences with his Lumia 1020 on Instagram here. If you’re wondering what kind of guy he is… he is the kind who will indulge me when I want to take a photo series like this.
In case you’re making notes on things to do when you’re in New York (or anywhere, for that matter), when you’re at these busy tourist spots, interacting with other tourists photos is a great way to pass the time while you wait. Added bonus! We started chatting with a nice couple who gave me a tip on a free clean bathroom close by! You just never know where your next Pro travel tip is going to come from!
After we walked down Wall Street we took the Stanton Island Ferry to take a few classic New York photos of the Statue of Liberty. During our free 25 minute Ferry ride we asked Cortana some questions about Lady Liberty and New York. All in alI, a free and awesome couple of hours were spent.
We also took a walk to Union Square, but on the way we passed the ever iconic Empire State building and the Flat Iron building. Visiting history or significant monuments like these with Cortana is almost like travelling with a tour guide. You can ask her when it was completed, how tall it is, what it’s made of, and very practical things like when it’s open.
One thing that I have to mention is just how much I loved eating in New York. I’m an aggressive eater at the best of times, but with so many amazing cuisines at the tip of my fork, I just have to tell you about a few of my top choices!
A must-eat is Traif in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who can be found ‘Celebrating Pork, Shellfish and globally-inspired Soul Food’. One thing that I have to preface here is that I’m actually Vegetarian; have been for 20 years. Having said that, my career before being a Tech Blogger was working in the restaurant business (actually had my own restaurant for a bit in Sydney..). So I’m not adverse to eating meat, it just doesn’t sit well… so if you’ve got a problem with that I suggest you move on since well… I’m going to talk about a restaurant that is essentially dedicated to Pork!
There’s also some great cheap eats. I became obsessed with a hole in the wall shop called Vanessa’s Dumplings. These dumplings are out of this world. I might live in Taiwan and you might think that I get enough, but hey! I live here (in part) because I love Chinese food! So finding a cheap and amazing quality shop just down the street from my place was amazing!Maison Premiere and shot a few pictures of my Lumia 930, because if talking to my phone wasn’t strange enough, being out in public taking pictures of it must be! If you were wondering how my Arsenic and Old Lace was…to be honest, I’ve had better, but it wasn’t a tragic example. Everyone else who had a non-Absinthe based cocktail had exceptional drinks… which is pretty bizarre for an Absinthe bar, if you ask me.
What can I say I like drinking and eating as much as I love technology!
This is the first time I’ve ever made a video like this. I mean, I can’t say that I go around having flirtations with all of my devices… especially not on camera! Having said that I’m in the works for my next adventure with Cortana. I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you’ve got some plot suggestions I’m all ears!
This isn’t the only video that I made while I was in New York, I was originally there for the launch of the HTC Re Action Camera. I got to take a Helicopter Ride and made a pretty awesome video about that, so if you haven’t seen it, I’d head on over to that post here.