What The Tech? Smartphones and vacations - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What The Tech? Smartphones and vacations

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Smartphones can be a huge distraction for families on vacation. I see it every summer. Kids on the beach or by the pool staring at a screen rather than a sunset. I see parents doing it too. 

Smartphones can also add a lot to the vacation experience. Every photo we take now is with a smartphone so we have to take one along. Since we'll have it, we might as well take advantage of the smartphone with games and videos to help pass the time. 

Coloring book apps are a great solution to stopping backseat sibling fights. Pigment is one of the most popular coloring book apps. You can select a page or sheet the same as you would in a paper coloring book. There are dozens of colors and types of brushes you use by swiping the screen with your finger. You can also save and share the artwork on social media. 

Lake is a brand new coloring book app for iPhones which won an Apple Design award. 

Watching movies and tv shows on a phone or iPad is easy for Netflix and Amazon Prime customers. Both streaming services allow some movies and shows to be downloaded to the device. It's an excellent decision to download rather than stream when you're away from home

To stream something from Netflix or Amazon you need an internet connection which you are not going to have on an airplane (unless you pay a fee) and reception will be spotty if you're traveling in a car down the highway. Streaming also eats up valuable data on wireless plans and you can easily use all of your data allowance by watching multiple movies or shows. 

Netflix and Amazon offer some movies and shows for download, but not all of them. You'll be able to see the options when you select a movie to watch. Download it at home on your wireless network rather than once you hit the road. 

For parents who want to limit the amount of time kids can spend on their phone there's Unglue. The app for both iPhones and Androids must be downloaded on every device, including mom's or dad's. The phone chosen as the monitor can set limits on the amount of time spent on games, social media or watching YouTube videos etc. Once the time limit is up, the phone will no longer access those apps or sites. Mom and dad can also set rewards so kids can earn more time by completing tasks or chores. 

Yes, smartphones can be a distraction on a trip to the beach but expecting everyone to leave their phones at home isn't realistic. These apps can make the trip more enjoyable. 

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