Could it be that the greatest spur to advancing computer technology was our frustration with it? Back in the 1980s, computers came with required reading: thick manuals written in a language that wasn’t quite English. You had to wonder at the drain on your time, your pocketbook, your very sanity. But today, Canon’s old slogan is finally nearing fulfillment. Technology truly is “so advanced it’s simple”—and it really can simplify your life. Whether you’re loading the latest app onto your phone or exploring a new social network, you can usually intuit how to get into it. Very into it.
Now that technology fits the user, not the other way around, the challenge is different: There’s so much digital life out there, how do you discover what’s truly worth your time and your dollar?
Here you’ll find our guide to getting your bearings—with enough to orient the technophobes, entice the Twitterati, and make life several gigabytes better for everyone in between.
*This technology guide was written by George Blooston, Peter Brown, Ron Burley, Ty Burr, Tim Carman, Annie Gottlieb, John A. House, Sharon Kay, Dolly Setton, and Abby Stokes. Consulting editor, Peter Brown.