Friday, May 18, 2012

Firing up Seniors with a New Tablet

                Getting down to basics, most of us seniors just want to “keep connected” as our physical worlds narrow down a bit.   Here, Willow Valley brings everything closer to us.    A simplified handheld computer device might help with that. 

                What we need is to be able to get to the doctor or drugstore our family or bank or entertainment without moving much from where we are.  Same thing if traveling.

                We need a  simple device to help with that: small, very heap and easy to use.   In its simplest configuration, it would have a menu:

                Contact family
                Contact doctor
                Contact Bank
                Order prescriptions
                Listen to the radio
                Read the paper
                Read a book
                Let the device read an eBook to us
                Get information
                Make a phone call
                Get the weather
                Listen to music
                Get help

                It would be the size of a book and we could use it to and from anywhere.    We would reach for it and get connected immediately.

                Well, they don't come that way.    They come with too much to set up and learn.

                Wait a minute, maybe we could do it right here, with a smart  Kindle Fire or its lookalike powerhouse, the stunning new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.

                Tap or click to browse about the Kindle Fire.

                Now we, or a friend, need to get out our new device and bring up what we are reading here, and start with the Links.    Click on them where they appear below.   We can also go through the motions  here if without a device at hand  yet.     Snrtech is set up for either way.

                The Fire actually has some of these these choices already on its homepage: Newsstand-Books Music-Video-Docs-Apps-and Web.   Just click on one of them.

                It has others pre-installed:

                Then, hiding in “Apps” are:  email and weather and others, and we can add in a few we need, easily.

                Hiding in “Web” is our browser, which can go and get everything else.

                SO, the Apps and Web will then get the rest done for us!

                What we will do is go to the link below and search, click, and “install” what we need:

                From Apps, then:



                                Phone (Samsung only)

                Wait, to install these do we need an account  sign up here for Fire.   (Does not mean you need to buy anything, but the store needs to know who uses what apps, if only to update or delete.)

                (If you bought your Kindle from Amazon, it may already be set up.  Here is the store for the Samsung ab 2 7

                From the web:, search and bookmark:


                                Pharmacy (your provider) e.g.

                Make bookmarks!!  When you get there, click for a bookmark.

                Maybe we would like voice (speech) recognition.   I don't like to type so much any more.     There are such apps from both online stores.               The Fire internal mic does work with an apple mic-headset or equivalent.   Then, search in “Apps” for the “voice” apps.

                That does it for the menu items.    We need to sign in for some items with our EMail, or register  right then and there.    And there we are.   We’d need WiFi, which Willow Valley has close by everywhere and provides it in our apartments for $25 a month.

                The Samsung has similar pre-installed apps, actually mostly the same.       Just click on the Google Play Store icon and go.

                The two devices do almost all the same things.  Amazon provides apps from its (limited) store, Samsung from Google's main store.  Same for Books and Music.

                (Where Amazon may not have an app you want, there are usually ways to get it anyway, by sideloading.     That is not necessary for the Samsung.)

                However, I  then simplified the process.  I did it via DropBox, whereby the same file is accessible on both computer and tablet---no hookup needed.) Just Install it on both device and larger computer.

                Another Samsung advantage for PC and Mac users is that it runs the super Google Chrome browser which integrates all data together with any other of your computers.    However, both devices do much of that automatically anyway, even bookmarks with Xmarks. App.

                Recently printing from both these devices got much easier:

                Also, both devices support external wireless keyboards, so that very little is left that they cannot do.  They cannot work with a large display, however.      That will come next.   And then, who needs any other computer?

               What?  You want Microsoft Windows, TOO??    The Samsung can install the CloudOn app for Windows Word, Excel, etc.     You thought Microsoft would be left out?

Use these useful books just as reference or right now before having the device.    You don’t need to absorb it all, but it is good to have a friendly book there to help if you ever do get into all the other things to do.