The beginner’s guide to technology in 2018: All of the essential gadgets and services actually worth your money

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It’s 2018, and you’re not very familiar with technology. Where do you start?

While there are tons of gadgets and services out there vying for your attention and your dollars, there are a handful of „essential“ technologies that are absolutely worth investing in, as they make your life easier in significant ways.

Here’s your guide to all the essential technologies worth your money in 2018.

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A quality smartphone

A quality smartphone is one of the best investments you can make.

Smartphones are the most personal computing devices we own. You can use them for just about everything: They’re phones, obviously, but they’re also cameras, calculators, and full-blown computers that can fit in your pocket or bag. They’re the Swiss Army knives of the future.

The biggest choice you’ll make is actually pretty simple: Which operating system do you prefer? Most smartphones either run iOS — which is operated by Apple — or Android, which is designed by Google and tweaked (slightly or a lot) depending on the phone you buy. 

If you like iOS, that means you’re getting an iPhone. You can’t go wrong with any of the new iPhones, including the $750 iPhone XR coming this month or $1,000 iPhone XS, but the older models like the iPhone 7, which starts at $450, are still an incredible deal.

If you like Android, you have a ton of options, but popular picks are the affordable OnePlus 6, which starts at $530, and the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 phones from Samsung, which start at $720 and $1,000, respectively. We’re also expecting new Pixel 3 phones from Google this month.

A streaming device for your TV

Streaming devices are a worthy investment for any TV owner in 2018.

Streaming devices, in short, open up the possibilities for your TV. Most streaming devices support popular streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, but depending on the company that makes your device, you’ll also typically have access to an online store, like Apple’s iTunes Store or Google’s Play Store. So, if you purchased movies, TV shows, or games through any of those stores, you’ll be able to access them on your TV.

The style is up to you. Several companies make sticks that can plug into your TV’s USB port, like Amazon’s $40 Fire TV Stick and Google’s $35 Chromecast, while many other devices plug into your HDMI port and sit on top of a table or stand, like the $150 Apple TV and Amazon’s $120 Fire TV Cube. One company worth following is Roku, which makes streaming devices in all shapes and sizes, and they’re all relatively affordable.

A smart speaker of your choosing

Smart speakers may seem a little creepy at first — putting a microphone in your home should raise your eyebrows at least a little bit — but the benefits of owning a smart speaker, like a Google Home or an Amazon Echo, are absolutely worth it.

You can get a smart speaker for as little as $50, like Google’s Home Mini or Amazon’s Echo Dot, and those speakers often go on sale, meaning you can find them sometimes for as little as $35. You can also buy more high-end speakers, like Apple’s $350 HomePod or Google’s $400 Home Max, the latter being the best-sounding smart speaker you can buy.

But what do you actually do with these things? Well, just about anything: You can ask for the time, or the weather, or how old a certain actor is, or what to cook for dinner. You can connect your speaker to smart light bulbs, so you can turn on your living room or bedroom lights with just a simple voice command. I’ve found countless uses for my Amazon Echo, which only costs $80, but personally I think these devices are best used in the kitchen, where you can use it to set timers or play music, all hands-free.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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