NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, January 2013
Tablet or Laptop, a Popular Question ...and “Cool App Reviews”
By Greg West, Advisor,
Region 6 and International;
Webmaster: Sarnia Computer User’s Group


gwest (at) apcug.org (click to email author)

Unless you are a “hard core” computer gamer, you can now officially say goodbye to the laptop.

The day of computer frustration is coming to an end. The answer to pulling your hair out as you are trying to figure out why the laptop is so hard to use is called: “touch pads”.

I recall clearly, back on the APCUG/FAPCUG technology cruise this past January where 400 plus geeks road the seas and clicked on computers in various seminars. Wait, that’s not correct. It wasn’t computers these everyday people were using. No, it was touch screen devices. Mostly iPads I must admit. This too is strange as the group was 99.9% Windows users. The average age in the 400 plus crowd was, shall I say, more than 50+. Most of them said they cannot believe the difference and ease when they switched from a laptop or desktop to a tablet.

Most people on the tech cruise, who recently bought a tablet and still owned a laptop/desktop computer, said that they “hardly ever use their computer anymore.” The hot topic on the ship was the app. People were constantly sharing newfound apps for their tablets.

So what makes these tablets so popular? Price, ease of use, two click downloads for software, portability, and low price is enticing laptop/desktop are just a few of the factors enticing people to switch. Here are some tips when shopping for a tablet:
1. Test drive several. Ask friends who own them what they suggest. Do online searches for reviews.
2. Decide what exactly you are going to use it for then decide on the size. I wouldn’t worry too much about the hard drive size as most of what we do on computer is heading to the cloud and soon, you won’t need software programs for your devices.
3. Make sure the tablet of choice as an USB slot for thumb drives, cameras, and other such devices. ITworld.com suggests “Decide on the operating system. The three main choices these days are iOS, Android or Blackberry Tablet OS. Do a bit of research on all three and pick the one that will work the best for you.”

One final word...Most people will tell you once they bought a tablet their other computers became lonely. Just ask anyone who owns a tablet and they’ll tell you they “hardly use” their computers anymore because the tablet is “so much easier to use and less hassle.”

Forester.com researchers predict “Tablets will cannibalize netbooks, and outselling them starting in 2012. In 2015, 23% of all PCs sold to consumers in Happy hunting. Oh yes, one more thing. The tablet to watch is Samsung, once the amazing new Windows 8 “Surface” hits the streets. Then you will have a tough decision for sure: Do I want to be a “Mac or a PC” lol. Have fun!

Cool App Reviews...”AppZilla 2” won the App or of the year award in 2011.

I finally broke down and bought an app for my iPhone, AppZilla 2, it nicely slid onto my iPad after syncing with my iCloud (fodder for a future article on iCloud). Ninety-nine cents is a fair price to pay for an app that houses 120 apps with just one click. Some of the Apps within this App included: Google software, Apple reports this app “surpasses 3 million downloads to date!” AppZilla 2 works on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Sorry droid users you only get 40 Apps right now!

With 150 apps in one App, it will take some time to test drive them all. YES, you heard correctly, one software application houses 150 software applications. Some are kinda corny but still fun. As a Google user of Docs, now called Google Drive, Gmail and many of Google’s software program, I like the way this app has corralled all the Google products for ease of use. They call this the “utility” app and rightfully so, as there are levels, app for flashlight mode on your phone, path finder so you never get lost, night vision, password keeper, parking meter reminder with alarm, police scanner for many cities, and many more I haven’t tried but sure will. I give this app a 10+. For a listing of all the 150 Apps you can go here: http://fossilsoftware.com/

Greg writes a regular monthly magazine tech column about “Anything Tech” and new Apps. This article was previously published and is now free to distribute.

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