Pure Google Birding … alas, it is no more!
Four years ago I purchased a Google Nexus 10 tablet. I loved the “pure Google” platform w/o bloatware which also insured I received the latest Android operating system updates. This tablet went birding everywhere with me in northern Minnesota. My trips often took me off the grid deep into the boreal forest on unmarked logging roads. Thankfully my Google Nexus 10 had a gps chip, and by having downloaded Google Maps for offline use, even when off the grid and approaching remote dirt road intersections, I could figure out my location. Thus, when I spied some interesting new bird, not only did I know how to get home but had my birding apps to help with identification.
Yes, I originally had cravings for a Google Pixel C, but their new tablet unlike the Nexus 10 no longer has a GPS chip. During my research I discovered that most “wifi only”(i.e. no cellular plan) tablets no longer have GPS chips . One of the few tablets with GPS is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7 inch screen with 32 gb). This morning I found out that if you are willing to be “uncool” and order a “gold colored” tablet, the price is marked down from $499 to $385. Now it is quite possible that some New York City fashionista will track me down near the Canadian border in Minnesota and look down their nose at my non chic tablet color … who cares!
Given my years of being known by my nickname, The Northstar Nerd, I will need consolation from my readers during my time of mourning over the loss of pure Google! However, I will still be on the Android platform. Apple? Eh gads, no!
Seriously … if your travels while birding or photographing often take you off the grid, when purchasing your next tablet, check VERY carefully to insure that device has a GPS chip.
On the weather front, the promised winter storm / blizzard appears to be starting to make itself known early this morning in Minnesota. Birding will be difficult today. Thus, in the meantime here is a pic from a few nights ago … a calm, warm night down on the Duluth waterfront. A classic ore boat is approaching the Duluth ship canal with the moon rising immediately behind the freighter.