Modern technology truly has the power to transform our lives. With even the most basic digital surfing skills, you’ll be amazed how much fun you can have exploring the internet and staying connected with family and friends.
In an instant, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube can keep us up-to-date with what’s happening in the lives of our loved ones and the world around us. With lots of equipment and devices on the market, it can be a challenge to work out what they all do, and which are best for your needs. A good way to approach this is to write a simple checklist of what you would like the technology to do for you. For example, what do you want to experience more of?
- Connect with grandchildren
- Look at family photos
- Search for events to attend
- Talk regularly to friends
- See people who live overseas
- Write emails
- Plan holidays
- Read the latest news
- Look up recipes
- Or even play chess with someone in Russia
The possibilities really are endless.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some basic equipment that will help you ‘get surfing’ the internet.
- Internet Connection
- Desktop, computer or laptop
- Tablet or smart phone
With an internet connection and one of the options above you’re ready to explore the world. Whether it’s a train ride in to town, an excursion to a museum, locating a weekend farmer’s market or searching your family tree.
Big monitor computer: Great for viewing photos in a large format and taking a look at websites.
Laptop: Perfect for people on the go and can host lots of different projects you like to work on.
Tablet: A good choice for mobile use around the house and outdoors. Takes quality photos and is great for emailing whilst out and about.
Smart phone: A small but powerful source of information, photo capture and texting when you’re out and about.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the clever ways the digital world can get us connected.
Skype: One of the most popular sites for making phone calls and video calls on the internet. Calls to other Skype users are free, no matter where the other person is in the world.
Internet Phone Calls: Like Skype, there are other great apps that let you make free calls from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Popular apps include FaceTime, Viber, Tango, Whatsapp, WeChat and Messenger.
Email: For the uninitiated, email is a message sent using an electronic mail application such as Gmail and Yahoo. Setting up an account is easy and you can send messages to anyone with an email address.
Facebook: The world’s #1 free social networking website. Users can share photos and videos, send messages, even track down people they’ve lost touch with, like an old school friend.
Are you venturing outdoors this summer? Having digital technology on hand can help make your trip all the more enjoyable.
8 Best Apps & Pre-installed software
Google Maps: Street maps to get you anywhere you want to go on the planet.
Weather Apps: WeatherZone, BOM – there are loads of free apps that forecast the weather. Plan your day, a trip to the country, or even check historic weather patterns.
Flashlight: Easy-to-use function on your phone that turns it into a flashlight. Great for camping, or if the power goes out.
Magnifier: Let’s you use your phone as a magnifying glass. Read the paper while lounging outdoors, or the fine print on food labels at the supermarket.
Caravan & Roadtrip Apps: Most apps have GPS features to guide you to nearby natural attractions.
National Public Toilet Map: Full mapping of publicly available toilets across Australia. Great for planning a road trip, to suggest the best driving routes, or tell you where the next roadhouse is.
MediSafe: A notification app that alerts you when it’s time to take your medication, no matter where you are in the world.
Disabled Parking Australia: This free app has been purpose-built for those who hold the blue Australian Disability Parking Permit.
Visit Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store and Windows Phone Marketplace to find thousands of apps for your devices.