With Christmas approaching quickly, it’s time to talk about tech to spice up your gathering. If you’re having friends or family over, here are some tech items that are sure to make your day a hit.
#1 – Google Photos
Google photos is impressive on many levels. It is useful for viewing photos from previous holidays, as well as organizing photos you take during your gathering. Using it’s extensive machine learning technology, Google Photos can automatically bring up photos of Christmas when you search “Christmas.” No tagging of any kind is needed. Users can easily share photos with their relatives. Want to view photos from previous years? It’s easy! If you’re a Chromecast owner, simply open the Google Photos app and cast the photos to your TV. Do you have a Google Home? Just say “OK Google, show me photos of Christmas on the Living Room TV.” The best part is, Google Photos is free and offers unlimited storage (with minimal compression)
#2 – Spotify
The simplest way to bring life to your gathering is with some Christmas music. With Spotify, you have endless options for music, and endless ways to play the music. Spotify is flexible, working on all Bluetooth speakers, streaming boxes, and even the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Users have access to Spotify’s extensive library free of charge, and can upgrade to Spotify Premium to remove ads and unlock on-demand listening. Spotify is currently running a promotion to get three months of Premium for $0.99. Even if you’ve subscribed to Premium in the past, you’re still eligible for a discounted rate (3 months for $9.99).
#3 – The Bible App
It’s important to remember the true reason for the season. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth, and that’s a fact. I think it’s important to read the Christmas story at any family gathering, and I’ve included references to read it (Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20). Even if you don’t own a hard copy bible, I’ve got you covered. Check out the Bible app, available for iOS and Android. There is also a nifty web version.
#4 – Smart Light Bulbs
I’ve talked about smart light bulbs many times, and I’m not stopping any time soon. If you want the perfect way to add the cherry on top, smart light bulbs are a fantastic way to do so. The lights can be set to the colors of your preference. Additionally, you may use the pre-made Christmas themes in the LIFX or Hue apps.
#5 – Santa Tracker
Tracking Santa is essential to know when you (or your kids) need to be asleep on Christmas eve. We all know it’s crucial to be sleeping before the bearded man arrives with the goodies, and with this tracker, it’s easy to know just when he’s coming. There is an Android app, and there are also alternatives to it on iOS.
#6 – Big Web Quiz
Looking for a fun, quirky game that includes the whole family? Turn to the Big Web Quiz. Players can download the iOS or Android app on their phone, and questions will pop up on your TV (Chromecast is required). Players will see the question and scores on the TV, and pick the answer using their phone. This game is extra funky because all of the questions are computer generated, thanks to Google’s knowledge graph. How many Beyonce’s tall is the Empire State Building? After a round of the Big Web Quiz, you just might know.
#7 – Digital Fireplace
To add the finishing touch, you can broadcast a warm, cozy fireplace to your TV. Whether you have a smart TV, streaming box, or game console, if it can play YouTube, you’re good to go! This is a simple and fun way to create a good vibe at your party, and it’s sure to be a hit!
Hopefully these items will help make your holiday a hit! Let me know how these items helped you out in the comments below!