Online security: gadget primer
The electronic world moves at a breakneck pace with new technology emerging almost daily, so it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what the latest and greatest gadget actually is and what it does.
When it comes to new mobile technology, the two terms most commonly bandied about are “smartphone” and “tablet”.
Essentially, a smartphone is a little computer that can also make telephone calls. You can search the web, send and receive emails and text messages, and possibly even open and edit documents. You can also download apps, or “applications”, which are software programs designed to fulfill a particular purpose. There are apps that allow you to check the weather, play word games with friends, browse through thousands of recipes and more! It’s the additional functionality that makes a smartphone different than a regular cell phone.
You may also have heard the term “Android” in reference to cell phones and tablets. Android is an operating system. Apple and Android products can do virtually the same things, so the choice is somewhat subjective and really depends upon personal preference. One thing to keep in mind is that the Android platform has an array of devices—there are more than 70 different Android phones to choose from1—while Apple’s menu is considerably smaller.
A tablet is similar to a smartphone, except that it’s not a phone and has a larger screen. It is a portable, touch-screen computer that most people love for its convenience and entertainment value. They vary in size depending upon brand, but they are usually roughly the size of a hardcover book, although much thinner. Like the smartphone, you can load up all kinds of apps onto a tablet. You can even read books or watch movies using a tablet.
Like smartphones, tablets are either Android or Apple, and the choice between the two platforms is subjective. For help deciding which is right for you, visit Top Ten Reviews for a thorough explanation of the two platforms, including a side-by-side comparison.
These amazing little devices have changed the way we communicate and how we spend our time. It’s so much easier to stay in touch with those we love when we have a portable communication device that we can simply tuck in a purse or pocket and carry with us! The fact that we have the internet at our fingertips on those little devices is pretty amazing too.
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