The Dawn of the Gadgets

With all the talk of iPads and Kindles, it may be tempting to throw in the towel on keeping up with the latest technology. But if you can break down the onslaught of new gadgets, you may find one that suits you.

Smartphones are the smallest of media-rich gadgets, these phones are ‘smart’ because they’re actually more like mini-computers than cell phones. They allow you to surf the web, check and send e-mail, store thousands of songs, take photos and high definition video, watch movies, video chat, GPS navigate, play games and yes, make phone calls too. But smartphone screens are smaller than other devices’ screens, their battery life is so-so and they require a costly two-year contract.

Try the iPhone by Apple with iOS ($199 with AT&T contract; high quality construction) or the Samsung Captivate with Android ($199 with AT&T contract; easy-to-use, flexible operating system).

Most of these gadgets are touch controlled, which is so easy and intuitive, there is almost no learning curve. In the next few years, you will see more motion control – the cameras on your gadgets will allow you to navigate by hand gestures. Combined with voice control and touch, future devices will be even easier to use.

Next week we’ll take a look at e-readers, which have, for many people, taken the place of the every-day book. And soon, a closer look at the increasingly popular tablet computer.

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