Gadgets

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2014: Get the Tech

Easter is here and just around the corner, less than a month away, is Mother’s Day. Shopping for a new mom or a tested-and-true mom isn’t always the easiest of tasks but we picked out a few of our favorite tech-options by category to help you get on the right track.
 
Sometimes all you need to do is brainstorm some starter-suggestions and you’ll find just right gift that is sure to bring some joy to Mom this holiday. Below you’ll find some of our favorite options, from health & fitness, to entertainment, to electronics and services, hopefully you’ll get some great ideas for your special lady.
 
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Orange Kitchen iPad Kits
 
New moms and veteran moms are most likely very involved in the food options that their children have at the table. A new company called Orange Kitchen has the perfect easy-tech solution to not only make healthier options, but to inspire new cooking creations as well. At the top of our list in this category is the Prep Pad, it’s part instruction manual and part mother’s little helper. Children bring their own challenges to the dinner table, from picky eaters to sweet-tooths to dietary restrictions, parents have to be ready to tackle the hardest customers on the planet.
 
Prep Pad also offers a giant list of features, it’s not just for children or for moms, its for the person that wants to take better control of their nutritional intake and would like some help doing it. On a personal sidenote, I think it’s the best option on the market and I’ve included the video from the company below to help illustrate its use.
 

 
Users can set up personalized nutritional goals by changing templates so that the service is tailored to their needs, like different activity levels or include specific dietary needs. There is also a “real-time breakdown” for caloric intake, offering information on a wide-array of nutrients, minerals and vitamins by food item or meal, with simple weight-accuracy that can get down to the gram if you need it.
 
The food database that holds all of this information has over 350,000 food items, and it is getting bigger thanks to the cloud-based application support that the company offers. It’s also U.S. made, so you’re doing your part as a parent, a significant other or a patriot. If you want to go even farther with the easy-tech kitchen lifestyle you can checkout the custom-fitted protective Chef Sleeves for the iPad, iPad Mini, and iPhone ($19.95/25-pack); or the Dishwasher Safe iPad Stand ($39.95) and iPad Cutting Board ($74.95). More info on all of these can be found at theorangechef.com
 
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Jawbone UP24
 
Sticking with health and fitness but this time exclusively for the mom, we recommend the Jawbone UP24 system. The company not only offers a terrific wearable that helps people keep track of their daily lives, but also supplies an entire support system of apps and data-management to help users understand how their daily routines are affecting their health.
 
The UP system monitors sleep, movement, eating habits and more. The companion app offers movement and sleep details whenever you need them, and a social-engagement allows user to share accomplishments and records with friends and family, a great way to stay motivated. More information on the Jawbone system and apps can be found at jawbone.com
 
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Tablets, tablets, tablets
 
Year after year tablets have been taking the top spot for Mother’s Day, birthdays, Valentine’s Day and other gift-giving holidays. Luckily they are getting cheaper, and the differences between the top models is shrinking rapidly. If the future mom or present mom is looking for a specific tablet brand or model, we always support picking that one for this joyous of holidays, but if the mom in question isn’t quite sure which would be best, then we can help.
 
Entertainment TV and Movies, Internet and Social Media: Still our favorite tablet for home and entertainment purposes, the Kindle Fire HDX is Amazon’s latest offering to the tablet market. The Kindle Fire HDX offers all of the entertainment and social media apps that your ‘mom’ could be searching for online. Hulu, Netflix, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Amazon Prime, Facebook or almost any other entertainment service you can think off will be playing on the HDX 2.2GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, making it a fast and fluid experience whatever the need. The Kindle Fire HDX is also the PERFECT tablet for the mom that may be new to the tablet market. The “Mayday” button you may have seen on TV offers instant on-device tech support, so they can ask an Amazon expert 24×7, 365 days a year if they ever have a question on how to use their device, all for free. For Mother’s day Amazon is also offering this limited-time offer: Get Kindle Fire HD 16 GB from $169 now $129, Kindle Fire HDX from $229 now $199, or Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ from $379 now $339.
 
For a tablet that offers an Easy Sync with work and entertainment options then there are a few you can look at. If you need a tablet that offers a little more productivity and can spend a little extra money then there are three models you should add to your list, and each have their own operating systems. One of the best features a tablet offers is the easy syncing between phones and computers, so getting one that runs on the same OS that your mom-in-question has on her phone offers a huge benefit down the road.
 
Those options are: The iPad Air is our choice for the Mac OS or iOS user. Windows 8 phone users should checkout the Microsoft Surface 2, and Android users we suggest the Google Nexus series.
 
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Favi audio+
 
Favi Entertainment has a gigantic selection of electronic devices and solutions for home-entertainment, but today we are looking at the Favi audio+, the simplest way to add a small speaker system to your iPhone without the need to pair or prep the device. It’s perfect for the technology-challenged or constantly moving Mom that needs a quick speaker at the drop of a hat. Since the device doesn’t need pairing, it simply boosts the traditional speakers of your phone, it’s a low-cost simple solution to add some ‘umph’ to your phone without any applications or wireless knowhow. It can be used for Skype video chats, speaker phone or when you want to share a great video with co-workers and your iPhone’s speakers just won’t cut it. more information, color choices and other Favi solutions can be found at favientertainment.com
 
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Samsung NX Mini
 
Not everyone is ready to use their phones as their primary photo-taking device, and for those individuals we would like to suggest the latest offering from Samsung. It may not be out yet, but I loved testing out the new Samsung NX Mini. The camera is small and lightweight, and features some truly impressive specs that I think will make it one of the most popular non-professional cameras on the market this Spring.
 
The camera offers a 20.5MP BSI CMOS Sensor, a terrifically slim (22.5mm), & light (158g) frame and has a wide-array of features. Those features include the ability to instantly share their lovely pics with others thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. There are a ton of built in SMART features that allow the camera to upload to social Media and e-mail, you can use Photo beam, DirectLink or MobileLink, or create an instant PC backup all from just the camera. There is also Remote Viewfinder PRO, the AllShare feature, helpful Baby Monitoring and the camera shoots in 1080p HD Video.
 
The camera will release on April 29, so you can pre-order from sites like Amazon and have it ready for Mother’s Day
 
Kindle-Paperweight-InsertE-Reader Choice: Kindle Paperwhite
 
In the world of e-Readers there is no beating the Kindle Paperwhite, it’s the perfect addition to any book-lover’s library. Many readers are happy to use the Kindle app on their current tablets or phones, but sometimes the places that people like to read, aren’t the safest place to bring a $300 – $600 tablet. Places like the beach, poolside, parks and public places offer a large set of dangers for pricey tablets, and when you’re outside in direct sunlight, a lot of the best tablets can still be hard to read.
 
That’s why we still love the Kindle Paperwhite, it’s bright even in direct sunlight, cheaper and more durable than most high-end tablets, and a much safer option for a mom on the go, or a mom relaxing near water. More information and pricing can be found on Amazon.com
 
There’s an App for that
 
I spend about 90% of my time on my tablet watching videos, television and movies. So much so that I cancelled cable and joined the cord-cutter movement. Apps like Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon Prime offer terrific series, videos and movies whenever I want them, and I got hooked by someone giving me a subscription as a gift.
 
You can buy memberships to any of these services and give them as gift-cards or as e-cards, and they are truly terrific. If the mom in question loves watching content on their computer, video-streaming service like Roku, Kindle Fire TV, PS3, Xbox 360 or any of the dozen platforms that support them, keep a paid-subscription in mind. They are often a gift that someone wanted, just didn’t want to spend the money on for themselves, and I think those are one of the best gifts. You can supply them with all the entertainment they could want with a few simple clicks from Hulu, Netflix or Amazon.