Tech Talk: High-tech gifts offer new ways to honor moms
May 22, 2013 | 1058 views | 0 0 comments | 336 336 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sunday, May 12, was that important day set aside to show our moms the love they deserve.

Mother’s Day always has been about flowers, a thoughtful card or other traditional gifts, but many of us increasingly are using today’s technology to say “thank you” to Mom. Though the official day to celebrate mothers may have passed, there’s plenty of opportunities throughout the year to make moms feel special.

Mothers of all ages are becoming more tech-savvy, so they are likely to find special technology gift not only thoughtful, but something they can enjoy every day beyond their special Sunday.

Apple’s iPad is a popular choice for any occasion — easy-to-use and fast, with advanced Wi-Fi for easy connections, more than 300,000 available apps, and an ultra-sharp retina display with greater detail than high-def television. It’s also available in a mini-format with high-quality display, choice of apps and fast performance. And for that extra personal touch for Mom, you even can have iPads engraved with a personal message (for an extra charge).

Tablets based on other operating systems, such as Google’s Nexus, Samsung’s Galaxy, Kindle Fire, or Microsoft’s Surface, also offer sharp definition, a vast library of apps, full Wi-Fi connectivity and other high-performance features.

iPads or tablets connect both mothers and grandmothers to social media sites such as Facebook, where they can view and share their favorite pictures with friends and relatives — and of course boast about their kids and grandkids!

Most mothers and grandmothers also love traditional photo prints to pass around or place in albums, so consider giving a portable printer, which can conveniently and easily print copies of those same images being shared on Facebook.

Traditionally, moms have emailed digital-image files for others to print, or printed them later at their own computers. Portable printers, such as the Polaroid Pogo, now are as lightweight as eight ounces and small enough to fit in a large purse or backpack. Just insert the camera’s memory card in the printer, and pictures are ready for immediate distribution!

Looking for other ways to get Mom on a stronger technology footing? Upgrade her clunky old cell phone to the wider horizons of an iPhone or smartphone, or add a wireless Bluetooth portable speaker to enable better sound from music files and streaming programs played from her smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Of course, fast and efficient online connectivity, such as provided by Frontier Communications Broadband Internet, is essential for Mom to take full advantage of the latest gadgetry, so make sure that she has easy access to the power of high-speed service.

Finally, if you’re planning to honor your mom with a high-tech gift, don’t set everything up ahead of time, or leave it for her to get started by navigating a user’s manual or online tutorial. Sit down with her, walk through the set-up, and take a few practice runs.

Not only will she be more ready to operate these devices independently, she’ll have the gift of spending a little more quality time with you.

• Denise Sperle, a volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is the Central Valley general manager for Frontier Communications. She welcomes questions about technology and Internet safety at or

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