Technology review

I love gadgets and apps. I currently own a first gen Kindle Fire and a Nook HD. The Amazon made Kindle dates back to 2011 so I allow my five year old daughter Naomi to use it as a special treat. She has a low resolution kiddie tablet she rarely uses.

The Nook HD won’t be around much longer because Barnes & Noble didn’t push it as aggressively as Amazon did their Kindle line. Too bad, the Nook is a fine piece of hardware. If you are looking for a bargain priced tablet on eBay or Craigslist the Nook is a great value.

I realize that  Big Lots sell tablets dirt cheap,  pass on them. They are cheap but not good value! Most have obsolete 4Gb storage. Many have low resolution screens. Most have weak 512mb RAM that will ‘force close’  or crash daily. Too many have a combination of the above shortcomings.

They will suffice as kiddie tablets for someone under the age of 9. You want a true HD screen, a modern version of Android and at least 1Gb of RAM right? That’s why I recommend the Nook HD for anyone on a budget.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can afford to buy a $200 Kindle Fire or you have $300 for Google Nexus then get it! I am speaking to someone on a budget – under $150. If you can find a  gently used Nook, you WILL enjoy it. I recommend the 16 GB storage model. You can purchase  a MicroSD storage card but it won’t have access to your native Nook apps.

Now about those apps… Widgets are apps that run on your home screen all the time. Beautiful Widgets is a clock & weather widget. It should be used in your smartphone and tablet. It is the only widget I suggest everyone buy. The level of customization is astonishing.

Equally important, BW runs on every Android device, reliable, pretty and very accurate. What’s not to love?

The only app you need to buy is SwiftKey. Google has steadily improved it’s native keyboard, SwiftKey is still the very best. Of you permit it,  SwiftKey LEARNS from your Gmails, Facebook posts etc until it becomes eerily accurate at guessing your next word. I do not encounter the autocorrect fails that standard keyboards generate.

Most other commonly used apps & widgets; Bible, Pandora, Twitter etc. are free.

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