The Kindle Fire combines tablet computer functionality with Amazon.com’s e-book reader, the Kindle. The Kindle Fire is a handsome and handy piece of tech, and a great alternative for anyone feels that the iPad is a bit out of their price range. Unlike the iPad, however, the Fire runs on Android, not iOS, so some users might have a little difficulty rooting out the best Kindle Fire applications.
What about you? If you own a Kindle Fire but feel like you’re not getting much use out of it, make sure you study up on what the tablet is capable of. There are hundreds of useful programs for you to pick and choose over, and they can help you organize your day, work on some documents, or just wind down after a hard day’s work.
Here are five of the best apps available for the Kindle Fire:
Quick Office Pro HD – Need to get some work done on the go? QuickOfficeProHD is a must-have for your Kindle Fire. This app lets you view and edit Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel spreadsheets. It also lets you open and view PDF files without the need to download a separate application. Quick Office Pro HD can also connect you to popular remote office services, including Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, and more.
Drawing Pad – Drawing Pad is a must-have for parents who want to encourage their kids’ creativity—and let’s be honest, adults will probably love it, too. It’s a finger-powered drawing program that features a huge assortment of drawing “materials,” including pencil crayons, markers, and paint. You can also mess around with stamps, stickers, and construction paper backgrounds.
Where’s My Water? – All work and no play, right? The Kindle Fire doesn’t boast the same massive game selection as an iPad, but you can still play some tablet gaming’s best offerings. Where’s My Water? is a physics-based puzzle game that stars an adorable alligator named Swampy. Your mission is to re-direct streams of water into Swampy’s bath. It’s harder than it sounds, given that the game takes place in the sewers of New York, so all kinds of unpleasant stuff can end up in the tub instead. It’s perfect for gamers of any age. You’ll be hooked.
Netflix – The Internet’s premier movie- and- television-streaming service is available on the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire’s version of the application loads quickly, is easy to use, and offers welcome options like easy access to subtitles.
Audible for Android – If you own any kind of Android device, Audible for Android should be your go-to app for audio books. You can pick your favorites from a huge library of classics, or try something new. Audible for Android also has a Sleep Mode, so you can drift off without having to worry about your Kindle Fire’s battery life.
For more great Kindle Fire app picks, check out:
The Best Apps for Your Kindle Fire at Hubpages
Top 14 Kindle Fire Apps at PCWorld
Best Kindle Fire Apps at DigitalTrends
Most smartphones are able to record video, and they do a decent job. Note the key word, here: “Decent.” Smartphones are a great option for spontaneous video recording, but you might want to consider a more specialized device for family vacations and special moments. Shopping for a video camera can be a little overwhelming, though, because there are a lot of choices on the market. The big question potential owners must ask: What are the best video cameras you can buy on any budget – and which camcorders produce the best results as compared to mobile devices?
Thankfully, as a whole, it bears remembering: Across the board, most camcorders are still an excellent buy. They offer superior quality video recording next to smartphones, they’re more durable, they offer more storage space (as well as more storage options), and they’re cheaper than a smartphone when you take into account that you’re not locked into a phone plan for years on end. Shopping for a new video camera? Here are five of the best camcorders you can buy:
Sony Bloggie Touch 8GB – The Sony Bloggie Touch has a bit of an odd moniker, but it’s a good middle-of-the-road camcorder. It shoots crisp, clear video despite its compact size, it captures audio well, and shooting is as easy as turning the system on and tapping the big red “Record” button. The Bloggie also interfaces easily with computers. It’s a good option for nurturing a young person who has a growing interest in making his or her own films. Note that Sony also offers affordable Bloggie models that let you live stream video to the Web, and shoot 3D footage as well – all worth keeping top of mind.
Toshiba Camileo P100 – The Camileo P100 is another easy-to-use camcorder, though unlike the rectangular Bloggie Touch, it has a pistol-like grip that makes extended shooting a little more comfortable. The Camileo P100 also features 8x optical zoom, can capture 8-megapixel stills, and has an HDMI connector, which allows for direct video playback through an HDTV.
Canon Vixia HF G10 – The Canon Vixia HF G10 offers a lot of features in its tiny frame. It’s a little pricier than the Camileo P100 or the Bloggie, so it might be more at home in the hands of a professional—though it’s still simple enough for anyone to use. The Vixia HF G10 has a 12x zoom, can capture 14-megapixel stills, and can connect directly to an HDTV.
Sanyo VPC-FH1A Full HD Video – The well-priced Sanyo VPC-FH1A Full HD Video is quite a mouthful, but it’s also a great little camcorder. It has a 16x zoom, it’s lightweight, and its SD/SDHC slot can support cards that go up to 32GB.
Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera – Glub. Capture video underwater with the Kodak Playsport HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera. This little workhorse is built to weather tough environments, and can record action even when it’s submerged up to 9.8 feet. It’s roughly the size of a smartphone, so it won’t weigh you down.
For more information on great camcorder models, visit:
Pocket Camcorders vs Smartphones at About.com
5 Best Camcorders at CNET
5 Best High Definition Camcorders at The Geek Stuff
Although computers and smart phones play an integral role in family life, the individual nature of their use is very personal and solitary. High-Definition Televisions (HDTVs), on the other hand, continue to be a central focus for families as the entertainment hub for television and movies, and the latest models are working to integrate music, web browsing and more.
We’re also seeing the arrival of 3D as more than just a gimmick, and the latest HDTVs are incorporating 3D either via glasses, or in some cases without: LG’s Cinema 3D TVs being just one highly-recommended example. These days, the ability to produce crystal clear widescreen HD images is no longer a selling point; you must look even deeper at what else the HDTV has to offer.
Here’s a closer look at five of today’s best HDTVs and 3DTVs and a buying guide you should consider when contemplating purchasing them. Keep in mind that specific models may vary depending on the screen size you are looking for.
Panasonic TC ST50 Series
Panasonic provides a number of features in addition to HD signals and a reasonable price, making the TC ST50 series a great choice for families who don’t need to buy the top-of-the-line models. If you’re looking for 3D features, the TC ST50 series uses 3D eyewear and also has the ability to convert 2D images into a simulated 3D. We also love the super-slim built-in subwoofer which helps make the audio experience feel more theater-like. And one of the coolest things about nearly any Panasonic Viera-branded HDTV you’ll buy is the ability to download an app to your smartphone or tablet and use that device as your TV’s remote control or even as a control for specific games designed to be played on Panasonic TVs.
Sharp Quattron Smart 3D TV
The Quattron Smart 3D TV from Sharp delivers a number of features that may someday be standard on all TVs, but for now are tough to get all in one place. It’s got built-in apps to quickly allow you to stream videos and programs over services like Netflix, Vudu and CinemaNow, as well as social network integration with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. There’s also built-in wife so you don’t need to worry about hooking the Sharp Quattron Smart 3D TV up to an Ethernet or other cable to enjoy this streaming content. And the Quattron branding is indicative of Sharp’s patented use of adding a yellow pixel to the traditional red, green and blue ones that make up standard HDTV displays, which (according to Sharp) creates deeper and more vivid colors. One other cool feature of this HDTV: the ability to switch glasses into 2D mode, so that family and friends can all make their own choice as to whether to view content simultaneously in 2D or 3D.
Vizio Theater 3D Edge Lit LED with Vizio Internet Apps
With four battery-free 3D glasses included, Vizio’s Razor LED technology allows for the screen to get brighter and darker than many standard HDTVs, producing more detailed colors in full 1080P HD. The Vizio Theater 3D Edge Lit LED also has built-in Wi-Fi features and apps to allow for on-demand streaming of TVs and movies, as well as access to web browsing, music and more. To make all of this easier, there’s a Bluetooth remote with a full QWERTY keyboard. It’s one of the best HDTVs and 3D TVs out there.
Samsung LED 6420 Series Smart TV
Samsung is bringing HDTVs and 3DTVs to the cloud with what it calls the AllShare DLNA technology. Essentially, with a little work in connecting them all to the AllShare network you can access content straight from your PC, camera or other mobile devices, and view them on your Samsung HDTV. The other Smart TV features on the Samsung LED 6420 Series Smart TV include apps from Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, YouTube, ESPN, Pandora, Facebook and Twitter, as well as an integrated search function which lets you easily seek out content across all these platforms as well as your own personal AllShare network. The Samsung LED 6420 Series Smart TV also comes equipped with 4 HDMI inputs as well as 3D glasses and the ability to convert 2D content to 3D.
Sony XBR Internet TV
Sony’s Bravia XBR Internet TV is made of gorilla glass, the same lightweight and durable material most smartphone screens are made of. By combining this with the OptiContrast panel, Sony promises that the XBR Internet TV can minimize light reflections while enhancing picture clarity. If the sleek design doesn’t grab your eye, a full suite of Internet features to allow on-demand streaming and social networking make the Sony XBR Internet TV an easy choice to quickly connect and mount to the wall to become the entertainment hub of your home right out of the box.