Gift Guide

Gift Guide 2016 Part 2


Gift Guide 2016 Part 2

By Barry Donnelly

The holiday season is in full swing and we have had lots of snow and ice to add to the festive atmosphere. Last week we suggested some gift ideas which would be perfect for your family and friends. We did promise some more suggestions and here are our tops picks for this week.

  • Apple TV – This is the perfect addition to any room in your house. Check out our previous blog for a more detailed description of why it’s the right choice. (link to apple tv blog post)
  • Sonos Play:1 – Perfect for that friend or relative who loves music. The app gives you access to all of you streaming services (ie. Apple Music, Spotify), internet radio, podcasts, audiobooks and your own selection of music. The Play:1 is also humidity resistant so you can enjoy in places such as the bathroom and outdoor patios.
  • Star Wars Themed portable Battery Packs – This is a 2600mAh portable battery pack that is small and light and will give you up to 1.5 charges* ( *This is based on the battery capacity of an iPhone SE, charging capabilities on other models may vary)
  • Logiix Blue Piston Bluetooth Speakers – This speaker is a great stocking filler and provides good sound for its size and it has enough battery for up to 7 hours music playback. There is also a built-in microphone which will allow to receive and make hands-free calls.
To view last weeks gift ideas please click here.

Now that you have got your gifts checked off your holiday list here are some apps that will hopefully help you unwind and bring some festive cheer to family and friends.

Please note if you are any way competitive please disregard the previous sentence.

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run, one of the most hotly anticipated apps of the year, has arrived and is now available to download. In preparation for this blog, I have had to endure hours of endless fun to give my opinions on this AMAZING game. The arrival of Mario on iOS is a big deal as it is the first game that Nintendo has created for iOS devices (although Pokémon Go was created by Niantic, which Nintendo has a stake in). You can download it for Free but this only gives you access to the first three levels but if you want to unlock everything you will need to pay $13.99. This will give you access to 24 courses over six worlds. Think of it as an early gift to yourself.

The gameplay is very similar to past Mario games. The game involves running through a virtual world and avoiding enemies and those dreaded gaps while collecting as many coins as possible. One of the main changes is that Mario runs automatically which gives you more time to jump and concentrate on collecting coins.

There are three modes in which you can play Super Mario Run: World Tours, Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder. World Tour is where I have spent all my time and I am sure you will do the same. This mode involves going from the start to the point where your reach the flagpole. Along the way, you will collect coins and eliminate or jump over enemies.

There are two other modes, Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder. I have yet to explore these levels but Toad Rally allows you to compete against other players. Kingdom Builder allows you to create your own corner of the Mushroom Kingdom. You use the coins you collect to buy buildings and decorations. I have played it on the iPad and one thing to note is that the game is designed to be used vertically rather than horizontally. I have just downloaded it onto my iPhone so will be using this as it’s much easier to play.

One important thing to note is that the game can only be played while you have an internet connection. Nintendo indicates that the online connectivity will allow users to experience a wide range of features and services that will enhance the gameplay experience. Not ideal if you have gone through your monthly data allowance or if are traveling on an airplane.

One thing that is very obvious from the outset is that it is really addictive and I will find it even harder to put my phone down. I would suggest finding a nice quiet corner of your home and allowing at least 2 two hours to enjoy it.

During our Thanksgiving blog, we covered some apps that can be enjoyed with family and friends make sure to take a look at some suggestions for family fun. Here are some that have a more festive feel:

NORAD Santa Tracker

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-3-14-10-pm This app is designed to allow families to track Santa and his reindeer during his epic journey on 24th December. This app has lots of cool features such as the Santa Tracker countdown, games, music, and history about NORAD. On December 24th NORAD has approx 1200 volunteers answering over 100,000 phone calls and responding to emails from children looking to track the man in red.

Snow Fight

Snow Fight If you want to enjoy the fun of a snowball fight without having the leave your chair, then this is the game for you. Here you have 4 different zones which you can play and there are different levels of difficulty within each zone. It’s definitely worth downloading for free and having some frustrating fun for a few hours.

While these apps are primarily played in single player mode Heads Up! Is a game which can be played by all the family.

Heads Up!

icon-headsup-3 This is the hilarious game that Ellen DeGeneres plays on her show. The aim of the game is to guess the card that is on your head. In this instance, you will hold your phone or tablet against your forehead. It’s essentially reverse charades, you will hold the device against your forehead, on the screen will be the name of something (celebrity, song, movie animal) and your family will have to describe to you what it is and you need to use these clues to guess what it is.

While some of the topics may not be that difficult one of the hardest parts is remembering which way you tilt the screen if you need to pass or if you get the correct answer.

Oh and it also records your family providing the clues and this is probably more entertaining than the guessing. It is definitely worth spending the $1.39 to have access to a wide range of topics.

On behalf of all the staff here at Simply Computing, we would like to wish you and your family happy holidays and a very happy new year!

Gift Guide 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016

Gift Guide 2016
Part 1

By Barry Donnelly

Buying presents, attending office parties, dinners with friends, and grocery shopping are just some of the factors which can cause extra stress over the holiday period. Having enough time to participate in all of the above is also a major headache over the holiday period. In order to help you save some valuable time when shopping for gifts, the team at Simply Computing have put together our Gift Ideas which will make the perfect gift for your loved ones.


tile-app If you have ever lost your wallet or purse or if you know somebody who has a habit of losing things (wallet, keys , TV remote or phone) then this is the gift you or they need. The Tile is the easiest way of locating your phone, wallet or keys.

Tile have carried out some research with their customers and have discovered that 70% of people who use Tile lose their wallet at least once a year. However, those people are also able to locate their misplaced wallet within 30 seconds of ringing it with their Tile App.

There are two different Tile devices that are available, Tile Mate and Tile Slim. Tile Mate is great if you are always losing your keys. It can attach to your key ring. With a couple of easy steps you can pair the device with your smartphone using the Tile App. If you are running late and cannot find your keys all you need to do is open the app and hit Find. Your Tile will then start ringing which will help locate your item. Your phone must be within Bluetooth range of whatever you have lost however if you are out of range you can check the last known location on the map. If you have misplaced your phone you can use Tile Mate to help locate it. Press the button twice and your phone will ring, even if it is in silent mode.

The Tile Slim is for that relative that is always misplacing their wallet. At just 2.4mm thick it will easily fit into your wallet or purse. This is also useful if you have issues locating your backpack or briefcase and it is a good way to ensure your valuables are easily locate should you misplace them. Given that it is the slimmest Bluetooth tracker on the market it can be used to track a wide range of items such as laptops, jackets, passports and even tablets (You will need to purchase the Adhesive for Tile Slim separately should you wish to attach to laptops and tablets).

Both the Tile Mate and Slim are maintenance free and will run up to a full year without the need to replace or recharge your battery. Once your year is up Tile will notify you and provide details regarding their reTile program. I have never had the experience of losing a wallet but I am always forgetting where I put down my keys. So this is definitely on my wish list this year.

UE Roll 2

UE Roll 2 The UE Roll 2 is a great portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker that offers great sound for its size. It also has an integrated bungee cord which means you can attach it to your bike or backpack for on-the-go listening. There are a number of cool features which make this an ideal gift.

It has an IPX7 rating which means it can be immersed in water up to 1m for up to 30 minutes. This is a perfect gift for somebody if they love singing in the shower, plus the Roll 2 is 15% louder than its predecessor so it is definitely a gift to consider given that it will most likely drown out any bad shower singers.

It also has a rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery which provides up to 9 hours of battery life and it can be paired with up to 8 Bluetooth enabled devices. It also has a longer wireless range and it will connect with devices up to 30 metres away. One other cool feature is that it can be paired with other UE Roll 2 speakers which will allow you to double up your sound.

OtterBox Commuter iPhone 7 / 7 Plus

apl4-iph16-20-2 If you have that friend or relative who is always dropping their iPhone the Otterbox Commuter case is the ideal gift. While it may not be the most stylish and fashionable case it certainly offers great protection against drops, scratches and dust. It consists of a polycarbonate shell on the outside and has a synthetic rubber slipcover which means that it has dual layer protection. The soft inner case and hard outer layers are designed to absorb and deflect impacts. This case offers a streamlined fit, some cases that offer protection from impacts can be big and bulky. You do not need to worry about that with the Otterbox Commuter Series. While we have focused on the Commuter case for iPhone 7 it is also available for the iPhone 6/6s and 6/6s Plus.

If you are still unsure what gifts to purchase for family or friends another option would be to give them a Simply Computing Gift Card. That way you let them decide and you take the stress out of trying to decide what to get them. Plus for every $50 value loaded onto a gift card you will get a BONUS $10 Gift Card for you. This offer runs until December 24th, 2016.

We hope that these gifts will help with your gift selection during the holiday season. If you are still undecided don’t worry we will have some more gift ideas featured in next weeks blog. All of the gifts featured are available in store and online. All online orders over $50 have free shipping.

Click here to find a store near you

Click here to order online