Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Boomer, Boomer, what technology will you choose?

Boomer Summit - have you heard of it? They are realizing that we are the ones with the disposal income and the time to play on the Internet, or communicate with family and friends. They are working behind the scenes to make us their target market in the USA.

7.5% of those aged 45-54 use smartphones. Learn how to reach the boomer, senior & caregiver through print, online media & partnerships.  fact: For adults over 60, the top 4 websites are Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Yes. All Boomers are about to be targets for some products and services! It's all about social media, but all for profit. Otherwise, why would you buy into it? Personally, I've used a Mac since 1988. As the Internet grew, and technology options increase, we have to make decisions about our technology needs vs. our technology wants.

Sure, it would be nice to have a device that texts, takes photos, sends them to your Facebook or Picasa account. But this requires a wireless account 24/7. Are you sure you need to have those photos on hand for immediate uploading? You compromise quality, in some cases, for speed and quantity.

Communication devices or emergency phone?

From simple cell phones to smart phones: iPhone, Blackberry Z10, to a desktop, laptop, iPad, or GPS; how do you choose? Then, you have to decide if you want to take videos. Many new devices have this capability. The quality changes with lower-priced devices, however. You really have to check them out first.


Before you visit a retailer, you must determine your budget, and compare that to your wants vs. your needs. What do you need to do? For example, do you need to text, or do you use your phone just for emergencies? Do you need to take photos with your cell phone, or do you have a perfectly good camera but want to take a few choice shots? This will cost you more when you purchase services and uploading capability for a smartphone. How much talking and texting, and how much uploading will you do? Do you want to immediately upload a few photos, or do you want to upload them to your computer to crop and edit them?

What can smartphones do, and do you NEED one?

Marilyn Dennis show
Take photos, send e-mail, use Skype, include snappy accessories, not all can do typing, or surf the web.

The newest is a phone with Near Field Communication (NFC). You can tap your phone to someone else's and exchange photos, make instant payments at a cash. Certain phones have applications('apps') to help you locate stores or restaurants, the same way a GPS will help you. One free app, called Vail Hike and Bike, will help you navigate.

Some phones can automatically predict familiar words for you as you type text, which speeds up your typing time. You must  shop around to find a phone and a plan that suits your needs. Many Boomers travel. This is a grand way to share you world with others, but you'll need to have roaming access. Smartphones may be a handy device, but you must choose carefully. For an excellent piece, you can watch a Marilyn Dennis show, where they compare three smartphones.

Cameras and video photography

Cameras have improved exponentially over the years. If you want to keep photos for particular purposes, such as an annual family calendar, as I do, you'll need high-resolution images that are better taken by a dedicated camera or a more expensive device. I have sold photos, and for that reason I have a professional quality camera, a Canon T3, which also takes not only high-res photos, but video. Unfortunately, the digital camera does not have an autofocus capability, as does my video camera. You have to make a choice.

Key pad size

An important criteria is size. Do you want a phone with large buttons (my reading glasses help!) or do you want a communication device with the largest screen possible? The sophisticated iPhones are full-screen, most have begun to feature larger buttons. When you flip the device sideways, a vertical photo fills it up automatically.
Some of us are clumsy with our fingers, and it takes time to become comfortable with the keypad. Larger keys make it easier to avoid the 'fat finger delete', as my kids call it.

Desktop, laptop or iPad

She was texting adult kids;
he was taking a photo!
For many, the smaller iPad has been a great investment. The user-friendly applications of Mac products, as well as the lack of viruses, with fewer bugs and glitches, can be easier for a new user.

We often Google a question, and the laptop allows you to move it from room-to-room. If you don't feel the need to be connected to the Internet all day, a desktop computer in your office, with as large a screen as you can afford, is a good idea. It's fun having a grandchild peek over your shoulder, too!

If you travel, you may want to take a smaller iPad or laptop with you. The trick is to find roaming service in your place of accommodation. Check their on-line information. Also, do you want to risk theft, leaving a device around a hotel room? Macs are more expensive, but they are very effective and allow the user to play around with simple applications like iPhoto, in order to touch up photos. They have fewer glitches.

What do you think about it all?


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

At 72, I'm too old to be a baby boomer....we're just waiting for you guys to get things straightened out and hope we're still healthy enough to take advantage of everything that will get done for (dreaded word) seniors now that, as the boomers age into it, there are going to be so many of us ;>)))

We laugh sometimes thinking about all the electronics we own. Gotta' keep up with the times!

Linda Hoye said...

It can be overwhelming, can't it? I confess I'm a bit of a techno geek--I love gadgets. Hubby and I both have iPads, laptops, Smart phones, and Kindles. Our iPads definitely get the most use. They're so handy for email, keeping up with friends/family on social media, reading magazines (I'm so happy not to have printed magazines in the house anymore), and of course keeping up with favorite blogs. I listened to a story on the radio recently that talked about the increasing number of people who watch TV with a "second screen" in the form of an iPad or Smart phone, and how the trend is moving toward people communicating with one another ABOUT what they're watching on TV WHILE they're watching it. It's an interesting world we live in, isn't it?

Kay said...

This was such a wonderful post explaining so much of the choices we are now afforded. Sometimes, it makes your brain swim. I'm very happy with our iPhone and iPad, but do worry about theft as you warned.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

I am just so excited about finding your blog..., I found you from Our world...I love all the gadgets, it allows me to share the world...and it is so fast..imagine how much it will improve... cheers.