Summer Tech: Top Apps, Gadgets and Trends

Summer Tech: Top Apps, Gadgets and Trends

Whether you’re planning on road tripping it, hopping a cross-country flight, or simply enjoying a relaxing staycation this season, technology continues to play a growing role in many individuals’ summer plans. Thank meteoric growth in apps, tablet PCs and travel-ready mobile devices, which increasingly allow leisure seekers to stay connected wherever they go, and cram an entire household’s worth of ways to unwind into sleek, easily transportable carry-ons. We’ve teamed up with some awesome companies to take a look at the latest technology trends that can help heat up the coming weeks. Several worth keeping in mind off the bat include:

  • The rise of home automation systems, multi-purpose mobile computing devices, and interconnected gadgets, quickly becoming more fully-featured and accessible through a growing range of apps. It’s getting to the point where you can control your home, DVR and entertainment collection remotely, and even your scale and refrigerator are starting to conspire together to help keep you looking trim by the pool.
  • Rising advancements in mobile devices, leading to larger screen sizes, higher resolution graphics, and a growing range of choices in every shape, style and size. Thanks to promising handsets from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, be on the lookout for improved battery life and better computing performance, as well as enhanced multimedia capabilities and download speeds.
  • Massive strides in cell phone digital camera capabilities are also being made, meaning it’s easier than ever to capture or share vacation moments and memories. But dedicated waterproof and shockproof cameras from the likes of Olympus, Pentax and Panasonic are also growingly worth considering as an alternative, given shrinking prices and superior performance at capturing underwater or fast-action shots.

Of course, summer is also always a prime time for workout apps which promote fitness and exercise, several of which even use the GPS or other features of your mobile device to track distances and workout performance so you can compare progress with friends. Music apps that offer streaming audio from your favorite artists or quickly help identify songs playing in the background at BBQs and beaches should also prove popular as well. Expect deal apps to come in especially handy as well, potentially saving you tons of money and keeping you connected to the best activities and vacations available this summer.

As an example, if you’re looking to get away, definitely check out Expedia’s free mobile travel app. Not only can you book killer last minute deals at rates up to 60% off, but also track and manage travel itineraries with ease as well. Besides getting real-time updates on things like flight status, you can also add activities and car rentals if your plans change, plus access useful information like airport maps, addresses and confirmation codes on the fly. Plus, if you’re already on the road, it’s super easy to find and book last minute hotels with mobile-exclusive deals.

Like we mentioned earlier, tablet PCs are also increasingly becoming a preferred choice for many shoppers. Systems powered by the Windows 8 operating system like the Acer Iconia W3 make a great choice, letting you enjoy a full range of entertainment options – music, movies, TV shows, books, games, etc. – wherever you travel, without having to pack multiple devices. A great way to keep kids occupied watching movies or playing games, it can lie flat on any surface and two people can touch the screen at the same time. As with any Windows 8 system, you get power, performance, and the ability to customize your interface using live tiles with downloadable apps from the Windows Store, making for great times and great value.

While we touched on new features that are hot in phone technology previously, many of the most crucial new advancements are being made in processors, the heart of these devices, which directly impact performance, as well. As an example, the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor has steadily been raising the bar for mobile devices. Already in more than 800 phones like the super-popular Samsung Galaxy S4 and many other Android and Windows Phone devices, the Snapdragon processor provides the best mobile user experience possible. This means enhanced GPS, web browsing, music playback and gaming capabilities, as well as better battery life. When shopping for a mobile device, you’ll want to know if one’s inside, and can check out this handy tool to find a good fit.

Be sure to tune back in regularly for more of the best new high-tech gadgets, apps, online services and accessories. With so many promising ways to relax and recline, we’ll keep you posted as more news breaks.

Technology for Dads and Grads

Technology for Dads and Grads

Looking for great gifts for the Dad or grad in your life? Start with technology – loads of cool new innovative gadgets and accessories offer fun ways to connect with them and provide memory-making presents. We’ve partnered with some top tech companies to help you find several exciting high-tech options for every interest.

If your Dad or grad is looking to stay connected while on the go, definitely consider picking up a new laptop. Great for both entertainment and productivity, the ATIV Book 9, new from Samsung, makes travel incredibly convenient and delivers great computing performance. Just a half-inch thin, it weighs only 2 ½ pounds, but boots up in under nine seconds and packs a gorgeous 1080p HD display that’s great for watching movies, playing games, or getting work done while on the move. Packing six hours of battery life, it makes a fantastic traveling companion on cross-country flights.

For fathers who love the latest in home theater advancements, you might consider picking up a remote like the new Logitech Harmony Ultimate, which can control all his gadgets. An awesome addition to any setup, the advanced universal remote provides one touch control of all Dad’s devices including video game consoles – even through cabinets and walls! One of the Harmony Ultimate’s coolest new features is the ability to control lighting, so with a single touch Dad can turn on the TV, start up the Blu-ray player and dim Phillips Hue lights to the perfect brightness. It also comes with the Harmony Hub receiver, which – if you download its free companion app – can connect with mobile handsets, so everyone in the family can turn their smartphone into a universal remote.

If you want to send a grad off to school this fall in style, also check out Eye Candy Color Collection, new from Logitech as well, featuring some of the company’s most popular mice in bright candy colors and patterns. Two examples of readymade gifts here include the Wireless Mouse M325 or the Zone Touch Mouse T400, both of which make a fun fashion statement. Both offer up to 18 months of battery life, and the T400 even supports Windows 8 navigation with both a touch zone and traditional mouse buttons.

For Dads and grads who own an iPhone, definitely keep the Duracell Powermat iPhone 5 solution in mind, which more than doubles the life of your iPhone 5 so that you are never caught without power. Its snap-on-snap-off battery lets you stock up on energy, and take just the right among of power along for the day while leaving bulk behind. Recharging is easy too, as you can charge wirelessly at home or tap into a growing network of Duracell Powermat public charging stations.

Gift givers looking for a unique present might consider giving the gift of stock as well. It’s almost like giving recipients two gifts in one, as you can invest in their future while providing a fun and engaging way to learn about personal finance. Over at Sharebuilder.com/stockgift, Capital One is running a great graduation promotion going on where you can open a free account and enter a promo code to get an automatic $50 account bonus. There’s no minimum fee to get started.

As you can see, courtesy of a growing range of gadgets, gear and high-tech gift ideas, there’s no shortage of great options for those hunting for the Dad or grad on their list.

Top 10 Home Gadgets for 2013

26 February, 2013 Life No comments
Top 10 Home Gadgets for 2013

Technology is playing a constantly-growing role in our lives. We can adjust our house’s temperature from miles away. We can charge our electronics with the aid of the sun. Rooms can even sense when people are absent, and dim the lights accordingly. What comes next? Possibly state-of-the-art playrooms that project a virtual veldt complete with parent-eating lions. No need to worry about that just yet, though. In fact, you should relax and enjoy the savings and convenience that modern household tech can offer you. 

Here are the 10 best home gadgets for 2013. 

MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer – 3D printers generate perfect replicas of objects. Sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s completely real—and the technology is coming home at a rapid pace. The MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer can “print” copies of objects utilizing a sturdy bioplastic. 

Voltaic Solar Charger Kits – Voltaic’s solar charging kits are available as portable adapters, panels, and even as backpacks. Each one utilizes the sun to charge up a multitude of electronic devices. 

Maestro Occupancy Sensing Switch – Remember The Clapper, the device that turned lights on and off with audio cues? This works in much the same way, sans clap. Maestro’s Occupancy Sensing Switch uses sensors to turn on and dim the lights according to whether or not people are in the room. 

Fujitsu Lifebook 2013 – All-in-one devices are convenient, but the Lifebook 2013 goes above and beyond the call of duty. It’s a laptop, a camera, a phone, and a tablet. All of its parts buddy-up together for easy travel and storage. 

Raspberry Pi – Computers are vital components of our lives, and the Raspberry Pi ensures that everyone gets access to one regardless of income level. This simple credit card-sized board plugs into a TV and a keyboard and is capable of performing many of the same tasks as a full-sized PC. 

Google Glasses / Project Glass – Project Glass admittedly looks silly on the face of a human being, but these glasses allow you to surf the Internet hands-free via voice commands.    

Basis Band – The Basis Band is a must-have for fitness enthusiasts, or anyone who just wants to know their fitness problem areas. The band reads heart rate, blood flow, heat dissipation and sleep cycles, and then pushes you go beyond your previous limits. 

iPhone 5S – We’re almost certain to see the iPhone 5S before 2013 is done. Summer or Fall are popular estimates, and rumored features include improved durability and wireless charging. 

Lockitron – Lockitron should see release in 2013 thanks to a successful Kickstarter. This handy device lets you lock and secure your home from anywhere with a simple application. No more driving backwards back up your street to ensure that you locked the door before you left the house. 

SmartThings – SmartThings lets you monitor, secure, and control your house through your smartphone. You can also keep tabs on the comings and goings of your family. The device’s first pre-orders will ship in Spring 2013, so if you haven’t pre-ordered, do so.