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Preparing your smartphone for #SAPPHIRENOW

As you all are aware, the innovation in the mobile sector has staggering the last few years. Hopefully, this blog will help you prepare your smartphone for SAPPHIRE NOW and any other future conference.



My smartphone is an Android-based Google Nexus One, but the same type of applications will be available for other smartphone platforms (even those which do not support multi-tasking).

In order to make it easy for you the reader to install the relevant apps, I’ve provided what’s called a QR Code for most of them. In order to read this QR code, install the Barcode Scanner application by ZXing Team from the Android Market.

If not otherwise specificed, all these apps are available in a free fully functional version.

Pay attention to data traffic

Please be aware that some of these applications use data traffic which could be very expensive if you’re not on a data plan or are in roaming mode. Use with caution and follow up the usage with an app such as 3G Watchdog which is linked to in  the QR code above.

Organizing the trip

TripIt is the travel planning solution and of course it has excellent apps for major smartphone platform. Once you have created an account at, you can forward any travel plans you received from your travelling agency or airline by e-mail, and it will auto-magically extract the key information.

Take control of your Calendar

Given all the great sessions at Sapphire, having control of your calendar is essential. First of all you need to make sure you are able to synch the calendar to your smartphone. I’ve choosen Google calendar as my primary calendar on the smartphone (Google Calendar Synch allows me to synch my corporate Outlook account with my Google calendar). The synch of the Google calendar to my smartphone is automatically set up once I’ve registered my Google Account.


In order to build your Sapphire agenda, you can use the Agenda Builder at the SAP site for Frankfurt and Orlando. However, this year I created my calendar entries directly into my Google calendar.

As I’ve added multiple sessions at the same time, I find the built-in calendar in Android somewhat restrictive. Therefore, I’ve used an Android app called Smooth Calendar which you can install by the QR code above. It provides a widget on your home screen with the three next calendar appointments.

On the road entertainment

Catch up with the latest SAP-related Podcasts

Got free time during your travels? Why not catch up with the latest SAP information on the road.


Google Listen is a podcast app for the Android, but unfortunately it doesn’t have all the SAP related podcasts. However, you can add them manually by clicking “My subscriptions” and “Add a subscription”. You will then be asked to provide a url.

Use the following URLs to add the two most important podcast for SAP information: SAP Community Network and Enterprisegeeks.


MP3 players are so last year, so if you want to listen to music on the way you should use a music streaming service. There are multiple ones available for your smartphone, but in general they require that you get a paid subscription.


The most popular one is probably Spotify, but I am using a Norwegian service called Wimp. They both support offline playlist in order to reduce data traffic.


If you have some tv episodes or movies on your hard-drive, why not convert them to a smartphone friendly format? Convert them to the mp4 format with the open-source application handbrake and move them over to your smartphone through a usb wire.

Onsite Wifi hunting

Connecting to wifi at the Sapphire location is very important in order to reduce your costs (if you’re not on a data plan). However, Wifi reception can be very spotty and finding the right location can be difficult. There is of course an app for this.

You could install a simple app such as Wifi Analyzer, but why not go for a fully functioning tricorder as seen in Star Trek. By clicking the EMS function in this app, you can see the available wifi networks and their strength.


Expect Twitter to be the primary social tool you need in order the get the most out of the conference. If you don’t have a twitter account yet, I would recommend you create one now at! Here are some suggestions for twitter users you should be following

I use two different twitter apps on android, the recently release official one and Seesmic.

(official twitter)


It is recommended that all message related to Sapphire use the hashtag #SAPPHIRENOW. This will allow others to follow the messages more easily.

Both the apps support saved searches, so do a search on #SAPPHIRENOW and refresh this constantly during the conference for the latest insights.

Finding your way around town

The Google Maps app comes installed with your phone and is an excellent companion especially when GPS is turned on. Through the layers functionality, you can also see the latest Google Buzz messages and the location they occured. Google Latitude could also be used among friends in order to get an automatic update on their exact location.

Google Maps will use data traffic to download the maps, so it might be useful with map solution which works offline.

This can be achieved through MapDroyd, which allows offline access to maps for the entire world (maps come from OpenStreeMap).

Find your way back home

You found your way around town, but now you want to get back to your hotel. My tracks will based on GPS information track every step you make and plot it in Google Maps, allowing you to easily reverse the route in order to find your hotel.


Hopefully, you’ve gotten a few good tips on how to use your smartphone at Sapphire conference. Now just remember to bring your charger and hope the battery lasts a whole day (it won’t, but you can always hope).

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      Author's profile photo Martin English
      Martin English
      I'm assuming that you're retaining your Norwegian based SIM card, and are using international roaming; Let us know how you get on, both with connectivity and with the data charges.