World Cup 2010 – where England fails, gadgets win

  As a forever optimistic (and thus forever disappointed) England fan, I jumped at Sony Ericsson’s offer to take me to Cape Town to see them t

As a forever optimistic (and thus forever disappointed) England fan, I jumped at Sony Ericsson’s offer to take me to Cape Town to see them take on Algeria and immediately set about getting myself teched-up for the trip. South African Airlines is not gadget-friendly: phones had to be turned off for the entire journey, even if they had a flight mode. All those episodes of Mad Men I had on my phone would have to wait. Strangely, electric razors and calculators were fine (which is good news if you like to pass the time by shaving calculators). To make matters worse, the in-flight entertainment broke down when I was halfway through canine-based tearjerker Marley & Me. It saved me from weeping in front of a plane full of football fans but left me with little more than the German chap who snored like Darth Vader for entertainment. Luckily, I had my Sennheiser PXC-450 noise-cancelling headphones (£245, www.sennheiser.com)and iPod Classic (£195, www.apple.com) to drown both him and the drone of the engines out.On arrival I caught up on the games I missed while in the air with the OptaSports-powered South Africa Live iPhone app. Sony Ericsson had sorted a hotel transfer, but just in case I’d loaded my phone with the South African version of CoPilot’s multi-platform sat-nav software (£33, www.alk.eu.com). I also signed up for LogMeIn Ignition (£18, logmein.com) – an app that puts your computer’s desktop on your iPhone or iPad. But with mobile data costing around the same as the England team’s combined weekly salary, I tried to stay off the web as much as possible. I wasn’t just trying to avoid doing any work, honest.