By Monica Clarke
To ring in the New Year we thought we would share with you our Top 3 New Technology Trends that we are gaga for!
#1: The Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon really hit a home run with this version of the Kindle. It is their very first stab at a tablet-style e-reader that runs on Amazon Prime Cloud technology, and it comes fully loaded with all your information if you order it directly from Amazon. The Kindle Fire is unique in the idea that it is not your typical “Apple” or “Android” OS — it is Amazon specific. I recommend that you become an Amazon Prime member to really experience all of what this tablet has to offer, and in any case the membership pays for itself through tons of free shipping options, cloud access, free e-books, music and apps. And if you are concerned that you will not be able to incorporate some of your favorite apps, don’t fret. This tablet boasts access to Amazon’s Android App Store that offers a FREE Paid app EVERYDAY! At only 7” and $199.00, the Kindle Fire is a great value, and if you are an early adopter like me you should definitely get your hands on one. However, if you decide to hold off I predict that an expandable storage slot will be an upgrade worth waiting for, though when you have cloud access it’s kind of a moot point.
#2: The Roku Streaming Media Player
This is a very well-developed streaming player since it was also one of the “original” streamers. They have had the time to refine and redefine what it means to get the most out of a streaming player and at prices starting at only $49.99 it’s no surprise that some of the folks on my Christmas shopping list received one of these this holiday. The base product will stream just about anything you want: from standard Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO to free and unique channels that cater to specific interests like music and gaming, UFC and independent films. It totals more than 250 streaming media channels! You can also now play a pre-installed full version of Angry Birds on the top model, which goes for about $100.00. If you are unhappy with rising cable costs, this may be your answer. I gave one to my newlywed / newly graduated brother and his wife because they can’t get enough of streaming media and its gift of entertainment at an amazing value.
#3: Android OS
This may be unbelievable, but Android has gotten so simple and easy to use that even my mom (the epitome of a woman who hates all new things electronic) can’t live without her Android system phone. This is not a slam on the iPhone by any means – the iPhone is its own creature but Android is giving it a run for its money by being available with a variety of devices not just exclusive to the Apple brand. Another reason for its rise is that many developers prefer creating new apps for the Android OS due to the ease and friendliness that are just not available to them via Apple. Here at our office we use all forms of operating systems for mobile communications, Blackberry and iPhone included. But I choose to use Android because with the free applications I have downloaded, I am able to access everything I need to on the go, plus I have the option to upgrade my memory on my phone and make it double as an MP3 player. My phone does need an extended battery but it was worth the investment, seeing as my phone is my constant connection at work, with family and friends, and even when I need a guided meditation at the end of the day to unwind. It does so much now that it will be interesting to see where this pushes the limits of mobile communication in the coming year.
So what does this all mean to media communications? In a word, EVERYTHING! People are no longer slaves to the TV guide, or even their laptops. They have pure and true full access to their media and entertainment with these 3 gadgets, and then some. You can even attend Webinars while on the train with the GoToMeeting mobile app or borrow e-books from your local library on most e-readers! The future is here and expanding at an awe-inspiring rate. Don’t be a Luddite – open your mind so you won’t be left behind.