Millions of us unwrapped the seasons hottest gifts during the holidays - the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, Droid RAZR, Kindle Fire, Nikon 1 and more. For many people these new gadgets were also the first they've owned in a whole new generation of touchscreen and voice activation technology. How many of you were excited but found that after 5 minutes you had to set them down and decided to figure out how to use them later?
With technology overload these days, many of us use our electronics on the "easy" setting. We do what we can easily figure out and never end up using the "really cool" settings and getting value from our investment.
There are some basic steps that can help you get the most fun out of your new "toys." Here are our tips for improving your electronic gadget experience:
The trick to getting the most out of your phones and tablets are apps. Here are our five must-have useful, user-friendly apps for 2012:
Most importantly, remember the goal of apps is to help you simplify and organize. You can get bogged down by downloading too many apps and actually defeat the purpose. Make a list of things you would like help with and then narrow it down to categories. Then purchase an app for each category.
We want to hear from you and which electronics you find are the most user-friendly? We want your recommendations.
If you share your user-friendly electronics reviews and recommendations this week you'll be entered for a chance to win one of our 4 giveaway prizes - a gift card to either iTunes or Amazon for Android Market. Submit your favorite electronic product to SheSpeaks Reviews OR add a comment to this blog post by 6pm EST on January 23rd, 2012. You can enter a review AND a comment and you will have two entries to win!
*Winners will have a choice of either an iTunes or Amazon for Android Market gift card. 4 winners total.
Apple iTunes $15 App Store Gift Card
Amazon for Android Market Gift Card
The contest starts January 17, 2012 and ends January 23, 2012; at 6:00 p.m. Must be a US resident. No purchase necessary.
On the iPhone, to reduce the amount of memory running apps are using, you can stop the apps from running in the background by doing the following: 1. Double click the circle button at the bottom of your iPhone. 2. Press and hold any app you no longer need running until it begins to wiggle. 3. Swipe through the listed apps to find those you don't want running. To shut down each app, just press the red and white circle in the upper left hand corner of the selected app. Don't worry, this won't delete the app just shut it down. 4. When you are done just press the circle button at the bottom of the iPhone again and enjoy the improved performance!
My favorite Android app is Amazon Price Check because it is very useful for buying & selling on Amazon's Marketplace. I love that it has four ways to search: type it, scan it, snap it & say it. Type it is handy if you do not have a barcode to scan. Scan it is my favorite way to use this app because you just line up the barcode within the orange indicator arrows. Snap it is great because you can snap a picture of the product, then Amazon Price Check analyzes the image. Say it allows you to speak what you are searching for. The only thing this app is missing is that it doesn't provide local store retailers. Overall, this app has saved me money by finding bargains that I would not have glanced twice at before and has prevented me from buying something that I thought was a good deal but could buy it cheaper elsewhere.
I love the allrecipes app because it is easy to use and I can have many recipes at my fingertips. I also use restaurant apps like Chilis to find locations, browse menu items and check out nutrition data. I think the Ipad2 is great to use, and is perfect for anyone.
I LOVEEEE the allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner app. It is so helpful when you have no idea what to make or just want a suggestion of what to do with what you have on hand instead of running to the store!
I have been using HTC Incredible 2 and like it a lot. Wish the battery would last longer.
Viper SmartStart, which allows users to start their car from virtually anywhere with their iPhone, has been updated. it now features 2-Way functionality with command confirmation that acknowledges when a SmartStart command has been received by the vehicle. Also, you will receive an error message if a command doesn't get through. Other new features include vehicle name and picture customization, optional passcode operation with a user-programmed 4-digit PIN that must be entered in order to open the app, and password utilities for managingyour account log-in.
Just put up a short review about the Asus EeePad Transformer. I love it!
I have to say that my most useful electronic right now is in fact my iPhone 4. It was there for me when my internet was down and it was there for me when my computer died, and just today, when I was looking for a way to compliment my blog with a special photograph, I found "an app for that" and love it. I think I'd be nothing without my iPhone, it keeps me in touch with my family & friends and all of my SheSpeaks comings and goings, I need to know at all times!!!
I have an iPad and an iPhone 4s and I dont think I could live with out them. I have so many apps between the two that it is crazy. I cant remember how I functioned before Smart phones????
I love the KeyRing app for the iphone. It allows me to store all of those store/shopping loyalty cards and get them off of my key ring! I also love the Weather Channel app, especially for sitting at those soccer and baseball games. You can see the rain clouds coming at you!
Thanks for the app recommendations! Love apps, there's an app for everything nowadays.
I have an Ipod Touch and my favorite app is Textfree. I don't have a texting plan on my phone so I use this one. It only works when I am in a wireless area but my home and my office are wireless so it works for me most of the time.
I got a nook tablet for Christmas and it rocks!!!! I an still figuring out all it can do because I have been reading nonstop for FREE! As a person with a serious visual impairment this is so awesome to me. I can adjust the font and the lighting to my needs for the day. My computer geek son has put the kindle app on it so I have access to all nook and kindle free books....I am like a kid in a candy shop! Highly recommend
Received a Nook Tablet for Christmas and I love it! They have many apps you can purchase and I love that I have internet access!
I am currently using an iPhone 4s - Some of my favorite apps that either help keep me organized or entertain me are: Words w/ Friends (an online Scrabble game you can play with friends), online banking (my bank has their own app, I can even do mobile deposits!), PinkPad (a great app for women that allows you to track your cycle as well as many other health related items) and Groupon for access to great deals on the go.