Holiday Tech Tips: Invite Your Smartphone to Dinner

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎12-21-2011 01:37 PM (8,673 Views)

Let’s face it, we’re a long way from the ease of a Star Trek communicator, and we don’t have cool holodecks yet.  At Geek Squad we realize every year the things we use to talk to each other don’t seem to get simpler, but more and more complicated! 


“What does this button do
  again?”

With a plethora of apps available for today’s digital devices, you can do so much more than just stay in touch.  Whether it’s a video chat with your Aunt on the other side of the country, a step-by-step instruction manual for cooking the perfect turkey, or keeping track of the calories to help get a head start on your New Year’s resolution, unlocking the full potential of your smartphone or tablet actually can help to reduce stress.

 

What do I need?

To take advantage of the latest mobile apps, all you’ll need is a smartphone or tablet! This can include any Android or Blackberry mobile device, or an iOS Apple device like an iPhone or iPad.  Before checking for the latest apps, you will also want to check to make sure you have the latest operating system updates for your phone.  With Android and Blackberry you can check for a ‘System Update’ from the settings menu on the phone.  With an iPad or iPhone all you need to do is connect it to your computer running iTunes.

 

What can I do?

While they aren’t quite up to StarTrek communication standards, your mobile device is surprisingly strong!  Ultimately, the possibilities are limited only by our creativity.  Here are a few holiday suggestions to maximize your device:

 

  • Keep in touch with Auntie Muriel: Maybe a few relatives couldn’t make it to your house this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with them.  Many smartphones and tablet computers come with built in video cameras and apps that let you talk face to face with your long distance loved ones.  Apps such as Skype, FaceTime, and Google Talk are made to work with your smartphone or tablet to provide real-time video chat.  Maybe not Star Trek standards, but we are getting closer!  Skype and Google Talk are available for free on any device, and offer video chat.  FaceTime is available on Apple iOS and OSX devices

 

  • Don’t burn the turkey:  Someday soon our ovens and microwaves will be able to intelligently connect to the internet, look up a recipe, and tell us how to cook it.  We’re not quite there yet, but your smartphone can fill in to help out in the kitchen!  Use the AllRecipes.com  Dinner Spinner app (iPhone and Android, free) to find the perfect side dish, and a timer app like the 5 in 1 Kitchen Timer (Blackberry, $1.99) to remind you when to thaw, baste, chop, and stir.  Try a “food” or “recipe” search in your AppStore or Marketplace on your device.  It will turn up a plethora of other great tools to help your kitchen projects stay on task!

 

  • Count your calories:  The average person gains five pounds over the holidays.  We want to help you stay healthy this year, and get a head start on your resolution. We recommend using one of the many apps available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry to count your calories and discover what’s really in the gravy.  Calorie Tracker for iPhone andMyFitnessPal for Android are just a couple of the many free apps available to help you track your intake.  Remember, it’s like golf.  Low score wins this game.

 

Whether you’re trying to perfect that holiday meal, stay in touch with the family, or keep an eye on your waist line we are here to help!  As always, Agents are standing by 24/7/365 at 1-800-GeekSquad and onHttp://www.geeksquad.com to help combat techno stress.  Just don’t ask us how long to cook the turkey. It won’t end well for anyone involved.

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