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PORTLAND, OR, United States – July 4th is upon us, which means here in the United States, it is Independence Day! This day, Americans celebrate our freedom and independence by gathering with family and friends, firing up the barbecue and watching (or launching our own) fireworks. I, however, am taking a different form of independence this weekend and celebrating my independence from my computer. Why? Because with my mobile phone on me (currently it’s the Nokia N8), I can leave my trusty laptop behind and embrace the mobile revolution.

Mobile technology has come so far just the last few years that I can’t imagine business or leisure travel without it. On a recent trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I was on my phone constantly. Used most of all, I would feel naked if I tried to get anywhere any more with Ovi Maps.

We constantly need information whilst on the go. While checking out the Liberty Bell and needing a bit more context about this historic landmark, I used Wikipedia Mobile to get the facts and context. With my trusty phone and 3G data connection, I was never without the information I needed, when I needed it most.

Making and instantly sharing memories. Using the onboard camera, I captured some stunning images of the beautiful Philadelphia City Hall and shot some video at the Museum of Art. Well, it’s 2011, we don’t just take pictures any more, we share them via social media! With Pixelpipe on board, I could post the videos and pictures to both services with one action on my part – simply fantastic.

Setting context. No one likes entering web links into a phone browser, it’s simply tiring using a virtual keyboard. This is where QR codes and an app called UpCode come into play. While in Austin a few months back, I used UpCode to scan QR codes outside businesses to see special specials, hours of operation and general information. I could then send the code and link to my friends via SMS to see if they were interested in the place. We found some amazing places and the process was easy…yee-haw!

Making dull moments more exhilarating. It used to be that for in-flight entertainment (or in the car if you’re saddling up for a road trip), you needed your computer to watch movies and experience other digital media. Not so any more – with upgraded storage capacity, amazing screens and rock-star battery life, my mobile phone is now my entertainment hub while traveling. Which makes it unnecessary to pull out my huge laptop in an already cramped airplane seat.

Saving paper and copious amounts of time. Here in the US, only a few airlines support using a mobile device for check-in and electronic boarding passes. I’m anxious for the day that this is more ubiquitous. Doesn’t the sound of using only your mobile to check in and to use it as a boarding pass sound lovely!  no lines, no wasted paper, no papers to lose…yes please!

In summary, I declare this Independence Day from our computers and viva la Mobile Revolution!  What have I missed?  What awesome use case or application am I missing when it comes to traveling and how phones are making this situation better?

Photo credit: Amani Hasan