shows on Hulu, you can also use it as an easy
wireless remote for your HDTV. And tablets
have far more feature-rich remote-control
capabilities than the standard TV remote.
All in a tablet
A growing world of apps at your fingertips
By David Chalk
SOMETHING BIG IS happening in the
world of personal computing. By next year,
sales of tablet PCs are expected to outpace
those of all other PCs. These devices are powerful but easy to use, don’t need upgrading
and are both practical and entertaining for
users of all types.
You probably know the basics: Tablets
allow you to surf the Web, check email and
social media accounts, and watch movies. But
you might not be aware of the convenience
and the many other uses offered by tablets.
Every brand comes with a built-in app market
where you can browse thousands of applications. Here are just a few of the apps available
at your fingertips, for the holidays and beyond.
Talking to far-off loved ones. During the
holiday season, how about connecting with
those who live far away? With applications
such as Skype and others, you can have video
chats with family members regardless of their
physical location. This also means no long-distance charges on your phone bill.
Playing games with the family. The holidays are times for connecting with family and
loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. Sure,
you can play traditional family board games
such as Monopoly and Clue. But if you want
to take a break from those classics, try your
hand at a new generation of games such as
Angry Birds and Words With Friends—with
loved ones at home or around the world.
Real-time photo sharing. Tablets have
grown by leaps and bounds in the photo
department. You can use your tablet to snap
high-resolution photos, then use an app such
as Instagram to add custom filters for special
effects and share photos instantly.
Education and learning. Whether you’re
studying a foreign language, discovering new
facts about space or exploring the history of
your town, apps can make learning fun and
easy. For instance, the NASA app for Android
gives you the ability to view thousands of satellite images, launch information and countdowns, as well as current NASA mission
information. If you’re looking to learn another
language, check out the 50 Languages app. It
contains 100 lessons that teach basic grammar
and vocabulary in 50 languages.
Of course, there are
more apps, from music
to Santa to book writing
and video editing—more
than half a million, and
growing every day.
Staying connected with your favorite
media. You can stream TV and other multimedia content directly to many tablets, so that
you don’t miss a second of the big game when
you’re not in front of the TV. One good example is the Samsung Smart View app, which
enables you to stream any content on a
Samsung Smart TV to any Samsung Galaxy
device via Wi-Fi.
Finding favorite recipes, and more. Turn
your tablet into your own virtual recipe book.
With apps such as iFood Assistant you can
receive daily cooking inspiration, instructional
videos, meal ideas and tips on preparing gourmet meals on a budget. You can even find disposable slipcases that will keep your tablet safe
around the sink and preparation area.
Making restaurant reservations. Have a
favorite restaurant in town? Peruse your tablet’s app store for restaurant reservation applications. You can even plan your meal ahead of
time. Many of these apps are free and great
fun to use.
The Costco Connection
Costco sells a variety of tablet PCs in the
warehouses and online at Costco.com. They
all come with free technical support from
Costco Concierge Services.
Of course, there are more apps, from
music to Santa to book writing and video
editing—more than half a million, and growing every day. A tablet PC really can be the
portal to amazing and wonderful new enjoyment and opportunity. C
Remote control. With some tablets, you can
finally kiss your physical remote control
goodbye. Not only can you use a tablet to
watch your favorite movies on Netflix and TV
DECEMBER 2012 ;e Costco Connection 49
David Chalk is a business consultant and CEO
of the cyber-defense company Decision-Zone.
Contact him at