Will Google and Chromebooks Replace PC’s

Chomebooks

I was walking through Wal-Mart the other day and seen this rather large display of Chromebooks. If you don’t know what a Chromebook is or how they work I will give you a little insight.

A Chromebook runs the lite version of a FREE operating system. When you open the Chromebook it will turn on and be ready in seconds. You log into the Chromebook with a Google account or just think of this as your Gmail account. So this is not Windows or an Apple Mac. It is a Chromebook. With the Chromebook, almost everything you do will be online. This means you will work on documents or spreadsheets on a browser.

I often get asked the question. Can you install Windows games on the Chromebook? The simple answer is NO! But you can play thousands of online games. The next question. Can you install any programs on the Chromebook? Well, the good news is YES! A few years ago Google opened up the Play Store on the Chromebook and now you can install Android Apps on the Chromebook.

So your last question would be why would I buy a Chromebook? This question is easy. If you don’t need large powerful Windows programs or some program that runs on a Mac then the Chromebook can be for you. If you never want your computer to slow down again and never get a virus or pay for anti-virus than the Chromebook is for you. If you would like to pay as little as $150.00 for a laptop that will last you for years then the Chromebook is for you!

My final thought is that you can even now use Microsoft Office Online. Of course, you need a paid subscription but it works well. I need to look into buying another Chromebook for myself. Since I am not working in schools at this point I don’t get to get my hands on them enough.

10″ Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire

I recently turned in an iPad I was using from the job location I was working at. I told my wife that we should go out and buy an iPad of our own. We used the iPad every day while walking on the treadmill. As I was doing some research on tablets I ran into something that I knew was out I just didn’t know if it could replace the trusty iPad. While move over iPad I found a tablet that will do everything I need it to do at a fraction of the cost.

Meet the 10″ Kindle Fire. Instead of spending $350.00 for the iPad I found the 10″ Kindle Fire on sale at Best Buy for $119.00. It comes pre-loaded with most of the apps I use, Amazon Video, Amazon Music and a few others. My wife likes to watch programs on NBC and it was easy to install that FREE app as well. I even found a FREE HD YouTube app that I installed.

I am not writing this to do a full review but I can say I used it this morning on the treadmill and was able to watch the series I am watching on Amazon Video with no issues and the HD screen looks really good. I was even able to connect my Bluetooth headphones up just like any other device.

I will be doing some more testing with the device but for what we bought it for it works very well. So if you mainly consume on your tablet such as watching videos or checking email or even reading books and checking FaceBook than this might just be the device for you and you are going to save a lot of money. I give this device ten thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone.

Happy Holidays Did You Remember Batteries

Batteries Chargers

It seems like today everything takes a battery? From a simple toy for the kids to that toothbrush you bought your spouse for Christmas. I remember years ago we forgot batteries for the kid’s toys only to be rushing out Christmas morning to buy some at a high priced convenience store. Now we move years later and everyone in the house is looking for a plug to charge something they are carrying or wearing. I guess the one positive thing to come out of all of these gadgets is that the battery companies and seeing stock prices go up, and that is good.

I find myself each night as many of you. I plug in my laptop, plug in my phone and take my watch off and connect it to its little cradle.  Then I can safely go to sleep knowing all my gadgets will be ready for me in the morning. One of the worse feelings is waking up and finding the plug was not all the way on my phone and it is running on fumes. Never fear I can plug it into my car on the way to work. Yes, we have become a battery/charger nation.

Sometimes I have to reflect back on the simple days. When you had to get up to change a channel on the TV, and when the phone rang we didn’t ask who’s phone was ringing we ran to the kitchen to answer it. When we left home we worried everyone was in the car not who gets to the car chargers first. But I must say I do enjoy the convenience of having a world of information in my pocket and now on my wrist. And I can honestly say since I have had my smartphone I have never been lost anywhere.

Let me hear how you handle a plugged in charged world that you live in? And have you ever thought of investing in a battery company?

Wireless Printing The Future Is Here

Wireless Printing

Let me first start by saying my wife and I print very little. With that said, my wife has fallen in love with Groupon’s. Every time she finds on her phone she has to email to herself so that she can print it for the location we are going to. I do like the ones that allow you to show your phone to a clerk and have it read that way. But many times we have to have a sheet of paper to turn it into the location.

I have had an old printer in my office for years. And it has not worked for years. I guess it was more of a fixture than anything else. Even when we were both job searching we would have to go to our local library and pay .15 a sheet to print our resumes. But as I said before we print very little.

Last Saturday when looking at the local Target Ad I found a wireless printer on sale for $50.00. My wife was out the other day so I asked to stop and pick one up. Couldn’t hurt to have a printer in the house.

I opened the HP 2600 All In One this morning and set it up. The wireless didn’t setup as easy as the instructions said.  Once I downloaded the software set up was very simple and easy. I then setup my iPhone with the App from the App Store and I was wireless printing. My wife setup her iPhone and she was printing her Groupon in no time.

With all of us in the world today having wireless devices it makes sense to have a wireless printer in your house. You no longer will have to run to your computer to print something. I will have to play around and see if this printer will do wireless scanning?

Samsung Note 7

Nice Note 7

I for one like many of you out there really always liked the Samsung Note phones. I have never owned one but that is because my wife and I are in the Apple ecosystem and have been for years. I did try my hand at a Windows phone once but that only lasted about a week before I returned it and got a new iPhone. But the Samsung Note line has been great and I know a lot of people who still use them everyday. But now the company is in trouble. I really don’t think this is any wrong doing by Samsung. Let’s face it they don’t want all of this bad press. What everyone should be asking is where was this phone made? We all know that these electronic companies are not building these gadgets in the USA in their own factories. This might be traced back to someone in some far off land putting these together with some oil on their fingers? Would I say run out and buy a new Note 7 anyway? NO, but I am saying don’t kill a entire company because of a mishap until we get all the facts. Was this a design flaw? Are they trying to get more power out of the internal battery? Is there something wrong with the charger? I always feel bad for any company that gets hit with one bad product and it starts to make everyone fearful of their products. I hope that Samsung pulls out of this downfall. Remember I said in the beginning of this post that we are iPhone people but I think every company needs computation. Next thing to watch is that law suit because Samsung phones icons look like Apples. This is funny because my car tires looks likes yours and I bet that they came from two different companies?

Online Office Applications

365 and Google Apps

If there is one thing that I have found out over my years of computers is that the file you want never seems to be reachable. While that is all changing with the help of a little catch phase “The Cloud”.

Many schools are turning to either Google Apps or Office 365. These online services allow you to work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations where ever and from what ever computer or device you might be working on.

Look back to not that long ago we all carried flash drive or thumb drives. Did you ever get the sick feeling when you are suppose to present and your trusty flash drive is laying at home on your end table? Well no more. Now that we can log onto a site and have access to our working documents from where ever you have an Internet connection. Life just got a little easier and have 24/7 access to your work.

Deciding which one to use is really a personal choice. If you have been using Microsoft Office for years you might want to choose Office 365. If you are someone like me that can adapt and learn new things then choose Google Apps. Or some people might choose to use both.

And remember both of these work on IOS and Android devices. This means when you are in a taxi or on a bus you can make those last minute touches on your work before getting to work.

The bottom line is for you to cut your ties with your computer and move over to the world of “THE CLOUD!”

 

Larger Phones Less Tablets?

Large Phones

I have the opportunity to get a shinny new iPhone 6 under the Verizon Edge plan. My first thought is that I know I want to get the 64 Gig. I have a 5C now with 16 Gig and it always seems full. As I have been looking at others who have the new iPhone I have been asking if I should get the Plus 5.5″?

The first person I talked to told me “YES!” She says that she never uses her iPad any longer. She tells me she can watch movies on it and read books. The next person I talked to said, “NO!” He said that he can’t use one hand to text while driving. Okay well not an issue. I don’t text when I drive and if I have to respond I use Siri. My daughter got a larger LG phone and she loves it.

My over all thoughts is that these larger phones and replacing the tablets. Normally if I take a class or sit in a meeting I bring my phone in my pocket and I bring either my iPad or Windows 8 tablet or laptop. It might be nice to just have my phone. I have started looking for some kind of keyboard for the iPhone 6 but then it would be just another item to carry. We will get more into touch typing another time.

So what do you think? Do you have one of these larger phones? If so maybe you can comment and give the readers your thoughts. And I do get one of these little monsters I will do a blog post using it. Then we can maybe find out if it will be my tablet replacement?

Smart Phone Upgrade

I know the title to this post seems like it could be from long ago. But the truth of the matter is my wife is finally upgrading to a shinny new smart phone. She will be getting the iPhone 5C Green 32 GB model.

So why did she wait so long? Smart phones have been on the market for years. Well she is not a touch screen type of girl. She has have a small phone with a button keyboard that slides out. And she has had this phone for about six years.

Now that the battery only lasts about twenty minutes she is fat up with the old phone. Did you ever go to the local cell phone store and look for an old phone? They make about three of them and they all have bad, yes really bad reviews. So she played with my iPhone and said she will just have to get use to using one. I am already thinking of all the great way we can now communicate. We could face time and now use iMessaging.

I wonder why the smart phones need to cost $10.00 more a month? It is still the same service. I guess it has to do with paying for the phone? I will have to get a pic of her using the new phone and share with all of you.

Which phone do you have and tell me a little about your cell phones and how your carriers are holding up.

iPhone 5C

Wearable Computers

For years we have heard someone or even have seen in movies people wearing computers in one way or another. Do you think wearable computers are the thing of the future and do you think you would ever want to be wearing any form of a computer on your body?

Google has released or shall I say to a select few thousand or so people what they refer to as Google Glass. This is a pair of wearable glasses that contain a camera on the right side of your head over your right eye. You use a finger to activate the glass or you can simply say GLASS! Once you give the command you can ask glass to take a picture. Is this usable? Some people think that it is just because they want to be the cool kids on the block. I on the other hand find this to be useless to the point that I would never drop the asking price of this date of $1500.00.

Next we have Samsung who designed a wearable watch, what did I say? Yes I said a watch. What a really innovative idea right? Not really there have been watching out for years, even my grand dad wore a watch each day into the mines. Now I have to say my wife seen one of these at a local store and said this would be a really cool phone. I agree it could be a really cool phone if you didn’t did a phone to attach it to! She was blown away that a company would invent something that would require you to buy another product from them. It could even be better if this watch would connect via blue tooth to any phone not just the Note.

Now it has been rumored and I say rumored that Apple is also in the hunt for the red watch, remember hunt for red October? Okay any way they are said to be working on a watch also that you would be able to tweet from and maybe even catch the time?

My take on wearable computers is that it could be cool but on the other hand how many people do you know that say they try to get away from their computers. Is it not enough that most of Americans have a smart phone and now they are pulling them out of their pockets every time you turn around?

At the end of the day; I wish I knew what the next big thing will be but I don’t think it will be a wearable anything.

Google Glass

Portable Computing The Easy Way

At one point I wanted to create a Christmas list of items that everyone would love to find under the tree. I still will reserve the right to create that list to help you to make some choices that are sure to make your loved ones smile.

This post covers the item that about a million or more people are asking for this year. The portable tablet computer. I have been in this field for so many years that I remember when the mini tower case was the portable computer. Computing devices are changing all the time. Bill Gates once said that he wanted a computer running Windows in every household. I also remember the same Bill Gates standing on a stage with a portable tablet in his hands saying “This will be the future of computing”! He was of course right, but like my self to many years early with his invention.

Today we see tablets all over the place. The number one of course is the IPad followed by about a thousand Android devices and then a few hundred Windows devices. To give the Windows devices their fair shake, I have tried them and they are really nice and easy to use.

Can a table replace your computer? In the way that many people use their computers more as a consumption device then I would say yes. You can also create on a tablet why do you think they make key boards for them?

My final thought on tablets and what you might be buying. If you family member ask for a IPad then buy them the IPad. If they ask you for a Kindle HD then buy them the Kindle HD. I know there are cheap knock offs out there and remember they are CHEAP for a reason. Happy Shopping!

Tablets