Five ways these handy gadgets can make your life easier
If you’re using your tablet just to play solitaire or follow your friends and family on social media, you’re missing out on some of the more clever ways your tablet can work harder for you.
Bring the library to you. Most public libraries offer many titles as free digital downloads for a defined length of time. Often, all you need to do is pull up your local library’s website on your tablet, type in your library card number, and start browsing the e-book catalog. Check with your librarian to see if your branch offers this service and get started. Or, use your library card at netlibrary.net for access to a vast collection of titles spanning all genres and categories. Don’t fear the small print; you can increase the font size in your settings. If you prefer to listen rather than read, check out the selection of audiobooks. What’s great is that once the lending period is over, you’ll have that storage space back on your device.
Be part of the fun – from a distance. With live video chat services like Facebook Messenger, FaceTime (iPad), Google Duo, Skype, JusType, and more, you can share all these wonderful life moments in real time. You’ll need to have accounts for the services, Wi-Fi access, and a tablet with a front-facing camera – but once you’ve signed up, they’re simple to use.
Improve your health. Want to see what this mediation trend is all about? Curious to know the nutritional value of your favorite meal? There’s an app for that—make that hundreds of apps—for everything health- and wellness-related. They’re not all equal, of course, but these apps make it easier for you to set and reach your goals. First stop at the app store should be anything offered by your health care providers; these tools generally make it easy for you to schedule appointments, request prescription refills, ask questions, and get reminders. Your friends and family members may also have recommendations, but don’t be afraid to search the store using a few keywords (e.g. “stretches” or “meditation”) and download a couple of free apps that seem appealing.
Say bye-bye to your computer. That’s right, these days you don’t necessarily need to hang on to your computer or laptop. The computing power for newer-model tablets rivals that of many computers. Plus, when you connect a keyboard to your device, you can bang out those emails and create documents without cursing at your clumsy thumbs!
Usher your home into the future. Chances are that you’ve heard about smart-home automation. That’s when things like your thermostat and lights can be operated remotely or the contents of your fridge monitored and reordered automatically. When you hook up your tablet to a smart-home hub, you can have some peace of mind, not to mention the feeling of living the jet-set life. (Available at the Home Depot, Best Buy, or amazon.com, among other retailers; prices vary depending on the features offered.)