Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Tech: Online Calendars

Have to keep track of doctor appointments for a family of five?  Add to that various recitals, sports practices, meetings, etc.  Families need a good  calendaring system as much as any professional.  That's the topic of this week's Family Tech column.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Huge List of Free Android Apps

Gizmo's Freeware has a pretty comprehensive list of free Android apps today.  It may be a good thing I have very limited app space on my phone, or I'd have them all.  On the other hand, I have to be super efficient about the ones I do choose to keep around and lists like this help.

Best Free Android Apps

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will greed kill Android tablets?

James Kendrick rants in ZDNET.com that pricing for Android tablets is unrealistic.  I couldn't agree more.

I've keep waiting for a tablet to come out competitive with the low end of the iPad.  We have an iPad and am quite happy with it.  So much so, I would like one or two more.  Tablets are really a personal device.  Sharing one among three people works but we miss out on a lot of the productivity a tablet can bring.

Every tablet that comes out seems to be burdened with "nice-to-have" features that drive up the price.  Videoconferencing?  I wouldn't do it very often, so you can nix the two cameras.  Cell access with a new monthly fee?  My phone has hot spot capability.  Besides, most of the  time I'd need info outside my home or another wi-fi access point, I'd use my phone to get.

You would think the market would take notice of how many people are snapping up Barnes and Nobles Color Nook for $250, really a low end Android tablet, and rooting it for installation of a full Android experience.

Someone needs to come out with a sub $400 wi-fi only Android tablet (sub $300 would be better) and watch the market explode.

As my brother said when the iPad came out "I want one for every room in the house."  They aren't going to be in every room of the house, in cars, and in every school kid's back pack if the market stays greedy.

Give us good-enough at a competitive price, instead of trying to play Apple's game.  They are the best at delivering high end, pricey hardware.  As the PC market shows, the other manufacturers are best at delivering the better overall value.

Words with Friends is out for Android

Now I can carry my shame with me where ever I go.  We've had a spirited round of WWF across my extended family taking in three generations.  We have  a couple superstars and then nubs like me.

I've reported a couple bugs, but I am so happy to have it on the Android, I'll put up with a few bugs if they don't mind me reporting them.

Download it here

Family Tech : High Tech Summer Camps

One of the best experiences my son and I have shared was attending Aviation Challenge together when he was eight.

Aviation Challenge is another summer camp put out by the same people who do Space Camp.  It wasn't all geeky stuff. There were zip lines into a swimming pool (simulating an ejection from a plane), escape from a partially submerged fuselage (simulating a ditched aircraft), and paint ball battles.

On the geeky side, we got to fly flight simulators and sit in an actual B-52 flight simulator and tour Castle Air Force Base's excellent aircraft museum.

Not all summer camps are about hiking, canoeing, and athletics.  There are some for the little geeks in our homes, and for us as parents to sometimes share with them.

This is the topic of this week's Family Tech column.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Evernote updated on Android

I've been ,meaning to review the various Evernote clients I use (iPod Touch, iPad, Windows, Web and Android).  Today, Evernote updated the Android client.  Looks pretty cool.