The holiday season has officially come to a close. You may have received some fun new tech gifts, but don't know much about them. This week's Tech Yourself is here to help you unlock a little more potential from those new devices. So let's go through some of the different devices that may be new to your tech arsenal.

Tablets always seem to be popular gifts. They're the perfect size for holding while sitting on the couch or lying in bed to watch a movie or play a mobile game, but they can do so much more.

Syncing your tablets with your other devices, such as your smartphone, PC, or laptop can be very handy. Even if all three devices are made by different companies, there are great apps out there that can connect them all. Having Google Chrome on all your devices and a Gmail account will sync your browser data. Having Google Calendar (which we've covered in Tech Yourself before) will keep all your important dates and times in one app. An app like Evernote will keep all your notes in one app. With all of these apps, you will, of course, need to sign up for an account for them to know that it's you seeking your list.

Tablets also have GPS capabilities. These capabilities are so much more than just being able to give you directions. There are apps out there that use the GPS to track your other mobile devices in case you’ve misplaced them or are trying to keep an eye on where your children are with their phones. You can also set the GPS to only do certain things when you’re at certain places. For example, if you don’t want your tablet to search for Bluetooth devices anywhere except your home, you can tell it to do just that in the settings.

Speaking of Bluetooth devices, let’s talk about that Bluetooth speaker (or speakers) that you just recently received. Your tablet and your Bluetooth speaker can communicate with each other through the air and the speaker will play whatever music you choose on your tablet. You may wonder why you would need a Bluetooth speaker when you already have a good speaker system in your home or you already have some good headphones or earbuds. Well, the Bluetooth speaker is great for a few things. It’s great for casual music listening around the house. These speakers can be moved, so you don’t have to worry about moving yourself toward the vicinity of the music. You move the music to your vicinity! That’s why it’s also great for parties. Yes, a home speaker system could cover that as well, but not if you haven’t rigged your backyard for sound. Bluetooth speakers can help add some atmosphere to your outdoor parties. And finally, Bluetooth speakers are great for when you really want someone to hear this cool song you’ve fallen in love with and you don’t think tablet or iPod speakers will do it justice. Just pop the song onto your Bluetooth device and enjoy!

If you have a Smart TV or a current gen gaming system like a Playstation 4/Xbox One you can watch YouTube videos on your television. Finally, a better option than holding your phone or tablet in front of a group of people to watch a video. You can use your remote or controller to type in your search requests. However, if you have a tablet or smartphone, you can pair the YouTube app on your TV or game console with your mobile device. Just go to the YouTube app on your TV or console and go to your account settings and find the Pair Device option. From there it will give you a code and you type that code into a box located in the Connected TVs section of the account setting on the device you want to connect. Then you’ll be able to find a video on your phone or tablet and send it to the console or TV and skip the sluggish search process that would occur when using your controller or remote.

Well, as you can see, a tablet or smartphone can be the beginning of a lot of cool tech opportunities in your home. From tracking your phones, to streaming music for friends, to sharing a fun video on your TV, mobile devices can make doing these things more enjoyable.

If you have any other tech gifts that are giving you trouble or you’d just like to learn how to use them to their fullest potential, give us a call here at NCTV (508-520-2780) with your questions or to set up an appointment for you to come to the studio on 158 Main St. in Norfolk with your device and sit down with us and get any help you need. We are here to help!


AuthorAndrew Barker