It’s the holidays, which means new gadgets for everyone! Whether you’re rocking a new computer or trying to figure out what the Amazon Echo actually does, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to set up all your new tech gifts (and, let’s be honest: your family).
New Windows PC
RELATED:How to easily reinstall Windows 10 without viruses
Whether you’re unboxing a new laptop or building yourself a stunning new gaming PC, we’ve got everything you need to set it up. While we do not recommend moving your old Windows installation to a new computer, you can transfer the necessary files fairly easily. If your new PC comes with a lot of malware, you can start by doing a junk-free reinstall of Windows — much easier than before thanks to Reset This PC.
When it comes time to install your favorite apps, make sure you get them from reputable sources that don’t ship their own software. There aren’t many trustworthy sites left, but here are a few — we recommend Ninite, which can install most of your favorite free apps in one click. And don’t forget the antivirus too! Here’s what we recommend in this department.
RELATED:What’s New in Windows 10 November 2019 Update Available Now
Whether you’re new to Windows 10 or have been around for a while, be sure to check out its best ignored features, as well as all the features of this year’s November 2019 update. When setting up a new computer, be sure to take good security practices into account and keep an eye on all the new customization options, from the Start menu to the taskbar and even folder views in File Explorer.
RELATED:What’s New in macOS 10.15 Catalina, Available Now
So you’ve got your shiny new MacBook (or iMac, or iMac Pro, if you’re really lucky) deployed. Start by migrating files with Migration Assistant, then start exploring the best features of macOS Catalina. You can find most of the apps you want on a Mac App Store, but be careful because it’s full of scams just like the rest of the Internet If you have any Windows programs that you need to run, you can do it in a few different ways.
RELATED:How to Connect Things to Your New MacBook with the Newest Dongles
As you explore, take a look at all the different ways you can customize and customize your Mac: there are plenty of settings in the Dock, the menu bar, and even Mission Control that you can tweak. If you have a new MacBook, you’ll likely need multiple adapters to connect all of your devices, so check out our guide to using it with the fewest keys.
New iPhone or iPad
RELATED:The best new features in iOS 13 available now
If your future has a new iPhone or iPad, your job will be easy. Just copy everything from your old iPhone or iPad to your new one using iTunes and restore any in-app purchases you might need (as long as they don’t copy over). Then take the time to learn all about the new iOS 13 features if you haven’t already.
RELATED:How to charge iPhone 7 and listen to music at the same time
Of course, there may be some growing pains. If this is your first iPhone without a headphone jack, you might be wondering how to listen to music and charge at the same time, but we’ve got you covered. You can also learn more about wireless charging, including how fast it works and how it works with a case. And of course, every phone has battery life issues, so now is a good time to learn about how your iPhone’s battery is performing and adjust your usage accordingly.
New Android phone or tablet
RELATED:The Best Android Shortcuts You Probably Don’t Use
There are more Android phones and tablets than we can count, and the setup for each one will be slightly different. But you can start by transferring data from a previous Android device, if you had one. If you’re new to Android, check out our huge Android guide, our list of the best Android shortcuts, and the best features of the latest Android 10 release.
CONNECTED:How to Make Any Phone Feel Like Android (No Root)
If you have a phone that doesn’t run stock Android—for example, if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone instead of a Google Pixel phone—we recommend these tweaks to make it feel more like pure Android (the best version of Android in our opinion). There are also many ways to customize Android from top to bottom, so customize as much as you like, especially when it comes to the new Google Channel and the voice-controlled Google Assistant. Just try to squeeze as much battery life out of it as possible.
The New Kindle (or Pill of Fire)
RELATED:How to Check Library Books on Your Kindle for Free
If you’re more of a bookworm, the Kindle might be right in your path. If you’ve deployed your new eReader, it’s time to start filling it with books. You can obviously buy e-books from Amazon, but you can also get e-books for free from your local library, borrow books from Kindle-using family members, and even digest articles you find online for easy Kindle reading.
CONNECTED:So you’ve just received an Amazon Fire tablet.Now what?
But your Kindle can do more than just read books. Check out these hidden features for even more ideas, but also make sure you optimize their battery life. And if you have a Fire tablet instead of a Kindle, you’ll need to read our guide to making it more like a regular Android tablet — it’s actually quite capable with a few small tweaks.
RELATED:Get Out of Auto: How to use your camera’s shooting modes to enhance your photos
So you have a brand new camera — maybe even your first high-end DSLR or mirrorless camera. If so, then you’re in for a treat, but only if you’re willing to learn how to rope. Start with this explanation of how cameras and lenses work, then move on to learning the most important settings (such as shutter speed and aperture). Armed with this knowledge, you can get out of automatic mode and get a lot more out of your camera. Just remember, knowing how to use your camera is one thing, learning how to navigate your photos well is what will really take your photography to the next level.
Amazon Echo (or Google Home)
RELATED:How to install and set up your Amazon Echo
Still not sure what the point of the Amazon voice assistant is? Good to buckle up. First, check out our setup and getting started guide and train it with your voice if you want it to work the best it can (you don’t have to, but it’s handy). Then get ready to play — ask whatever comes to mind and find out what Alexa knows. Echo can keep you up to date on weather, traffic and sports news and be the perfect kitchen helper. He also had a plethora of third-party skills that can do everything from ordering an Uber to delivering a pizza.
CONNECTED:So you just got Google Home.Now what?
Is there a Google Home instead? It is very similar, although it stands out in different areas. Here’s our Google Home setup guide. After all, these devices can do a lot, but they really shine when you combine them with SmartHome products. Speaking of which…
SmartHome Gadgets of all kinds
Lately, we’ve been decorating our homes with all sorts of technological advancements. If you have a Wi-Fi thermostat or lighting kit but don’t know what’s wrong, we’re here to help.
RELATED:How to get the most out of your Philips Hue Lights
In our opinion, smart lights like the Philips Hue are some of the most useful smart home gadgets, and we have tons of information to help you get started, from setting them up to the differences between all the light bulbs and even smart ways to use them. costs .
We also have instructions for getting the most out of your Nest thermostat, ring doorbell, Belkin WeMo switches, and your smart home hub (which can have many smart uses of its own). And this is just the beginning. Whatever gadget you have, we probably have a manual for it, so search through our archives using the instructions in the next section to find out more.
All the rest
Is there anything we haven’t listed? Don’t worry, we probably have a guide for that. For example, we have instructions for getting the most out of:
Google Chromecast (you’ll also want to know how to cast local video files and how to mirror your computer screen).
Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch
Apple TV (don’t forget Siri, she can do a lot)
HTC Vive and Oculus Rift (more than just games — you can also watch movies in VR)
Sonos speakers and related apps
Apple Watch and Android Wear
Of course, there are many things, and we cannot list them all in one review. Luckily for you, we’ve been doing this for a long time — which is why our archive of articles is huge and contains tons of different tips and tricks for any device you can think of. Here site:.com google trick: when searching on site:.com followed by whatever you need, you can easily find all the articles we have written on the subject.
For example, you have a new iPhone and your son has an old one. Want to share your apps with him? You can pull out your phone, search for site:.com share iOS purchases and then set up Apple Family Sharing. If you don’t know how to do something, there’s a good chance we’ve written about it (and that’s a guarantee that, even if we don’t, someone somewhere on the internet has had the same problem and already figured it out). So fire up Google and start tweaking.
Image Credits: Luke Wroblewski/Flickr, DobaKung/Flickr, Iphonedigital/Flickr, Aaron Yu/Flickr, TechStage/Flickr and Leticia Chamorro/Flickr.