When it comes to computers, tablets are the champions these days. One-third of all parents will buy a tablet for their kid during back to school shopping this year, and one-fifth will be buying both a tablet and a laptop. Kids love tablets, it’s true. However, they’re not the only ones who adore this cool new piece of technology. Tablet sales are expected to be more than double that of regular computers by next year. But if you’re only using your tablet for the basics, you’re missing out on an upgraded way of life. Tablets continue to exceed our expectations with their seemingly unlimited functionality — here are a few functions you may not have been aware of.
Tablet as Remote Control
You’ve heard the saying, “There’s an app for that.” Well, it’s true. There’s an app for nearly everything, including one that turns your tablet into a universal remote control. Android is really the leader in this area with its Media Remote for Tablet app. You can use it on your TV, sound system and just about anything else that uses a remote control just by installing Media Remote for Tablet. The iRule app is another solid universal remote app that works on both Androids and iPads.
Instead of having dozens of remote controls laying around and not knowing what half of them do, have one remote control on your tablet and simplify your life. As with most apps, it’s best to install them on well-known tablet brands like tablets by Lenovo to make sure the app works properly and is compatible with your tablet. Then just sit back and control your devices like a king from anywhere in the room.
Photo by Flickr user Per Olof Forsberg
Become a Musical Genius
There are apps for virtually any kind of tablet that allow you to make music. You can learn to play one instrument, such as a guitar or piano, with apps that emulate these instruments on your tablet. Virtuoso Piano is the standard for iPad pianos and sounds like the real thing. Virtual Piano is the equivalent for the Android.
You can also turn your tablet into an entire band and recording studio with GarageBand for iPad or Audio Evolution Mobile for Android. Write music, record a variety of instruments playing your song and put it all together one one app on your tablet. You can record an entire album all by yourself without needing to buy any expensive audio equipment. Now that’s a cool way to impress your friends!
Photo by Flickr user osde8info
Cook Like a Pro
Remember that stack of cookbooks on your bookshelf with pages stained from years of spills and splashes as you cooked with them next to you? Well, you don’t need them anymore. Most cookbooks are available in e-book format and there are even millions of cooking videos online if you don’t understand the technique the book describes. There’s nothing like a visual demonstration. Your tablet can act as your own personal cookbook and cooking instructor. Just download your favorite cookbooks to it, open up the recipe you want, and prop up the tablet on its built-in stand or on a separate stand you’ve purchased for it. The Steelie Mobile Device Stand is a good, all-purpose tablet stand. Cover it with plastic wrap to protect it, and you’re good to go. If you need a cooking video, you can play while you cook along with your virtual instructor.
Photo by Flickr user whatleydude
Relive Your Childhood
You can play old-school video games on your tablet. Nintendo games, “Pac-Man,” and all the fun old-fashioned console and arcade games you remember are available for tablet play. There are a variety of old-school arcade game apps. “Pac-Man Lite” for iPad and “Pac-Man + Tournaments” for the Android are really popular. Look through your tablet’s app store, and you’ll find a lot more arcade games from your youth.
Console games like Nintendo and Atari are available through emulator apps. Emulator apps are always coming and going from the market. One of the most popular ones right now is “Slider Puzzle” for iPad. After solving the puzzle, you can unlock an emulator that will play all of your favorite old Nintendo games. Similar emulators are available for Atari games and for Android tablets. You just have to jump on these apps when you see them because they often leave the market quickly.
For a truly cool tablet experience, you can even turn a tablet into a foosball table! There are attachments that allow you to spin the virtual men-on-a-stick to kick around the virtual ball right on your tablet screen. All you need is a partner to play it with you, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who is more than willing to engage you in a friendly game or ten.
Photo by Flickr user Byteflowstudio