Has technology left you behind or have you already got your Apple Watch on order? In this blog, Easy Spain considers how technology can help you make the most of your property in Spain and provides a glossary to help you use it.
At one time, if you had a house in Spain when you locked the door and returned to your native country, that was the last you would hear or see of it until you returned. Now it’s different, or at least, it can be. Technology can help you keep in touch with events and maintain an eye on your property in Spain.
Easy Spain identifies below some of the ways that technology can enhance your enjoyment of your Spanish property and gives you the vocabulary to help you understand it too.
Remote control security
Many Spanish home owners choose to invest in a security alarm for their home. Having this means of alerting neighbours and the police to an intrusion can make you feel more at ease. However, one of the age-old problems is that they have a tendency to sound when they shouldn’t. A sudden gust of wind can soon have the alarm bells ringing.
Now the installation of a remote control system can enable you and your alarm provider to see exactly what the problem is, if one exists at all. A visual and auditory connection directly to your property provides the immediate contact you need. Enabling action to be taken quickly if necessary.
Keeping up-to-date with the Apps
Apps are ‘Applications’ and include all different types of software that you can download onto your smartphone or tablet. They can do so much for us from telling us about the weather, to helping us find a good restaurant.
Some Apps are particularly helpful if you have a property in another country. The ‘On The Pulse’ website has been running a feature recommending some particularly useful Apps that you might want to obtain for yourself.
For example, you can help improve your Spanish with ‘News in Slow Spanish’ or find places to visit with ‘Minube’. This selection of Apps has been chosen with the Spanish home owner in mind and can be viewed at: http://www.onthepulse.es/expat-apps
Keeping up-to-date with the news
Do you know what’s happening in Spain that might have an impact on your property? Do you like to keep up with the gossip and what’s happening out here? Having one eye on the news and events in Spain can help you enjoy the Spanish experience even more.
Again, the On The Pulse website includes up-to-date Spanish news, blogs and opinion. We’ve found their ‘Ultimate Guides’ series to be particularly beneficial – you can find out what the latest recommendations are for lots of different aspects of Spanish life, including the best value wine.
Other websites you might also find useful include:
Tumbit, Spain http://www.tumbit.com/
Spanish News Today http://spanishnewstoday.com/
El País in English http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html
The Local http://www.thelocal.es/
Keeping connected when you’re out in Spain
It’s not just in your home country that you want to know what’s going on. When you’re in Spain, your gadgets usually come with you too. Having a reliable internet service within your holiday home can make the difference when it comes to making the most of your base here.
It’s also pretty useful when you have younger visitors whose life seems to revolve around connectability. It makes life so much easier if you can find the right balance between guests talking to you over the dinner table and them keeping in touch with friends back home.
It’s not just guests. If you don’t find some way of ‘being connected’ you might be surprised at how many of the services you usually access you’ll miss. For example, internet banking, TripAdvisor, Google Translate and Google Maps.
So, hopefully we’ve convinced you how being just a little bit of a ‘geek’ can enhance your Spanish experience. But just in case the will is there but the knowledge is lacking, we’ve constructed our own little glossary.
- App: App is short for Application and is the same as a software program. The term is mostly used to describe programs that are aimed at mobiles and tablets.
- Browser: The browser is a program which allows you to search and interact with material on the World Wide Web – for example, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox are all browsers.
- Cookie: A cookie is information that a Web site puts on your hard disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time – such as your preferences.
- Download: A download is the movement of a file from one system to another, for example you might download a document you find on the internet.
- Facebook: Facebook is a popular, free social networking site where users can create profiles, send messages and keep in touch with what friends are doing.
- Google: Google is the most famous of all the search engines to the extent that people talk about ‘google’ as meaning to research something on the internet.
- Hosting: Hosting is the business of housing and maintaining files for one or more web sites.
- Instagram: Instagram is a free, online program that lets users take and share photos in other places e.g. Twitter.
- Instant Messaging: Instant messaging is the easy exchange of messages when connected to the internet, they are usually ‘instant’ and both users must be online.
- Internet: ‘The net’ is the worldwide system of computer networks through which computers can get information from one another.
- Intranet: Intranet is a private network within a business or organisation that enables employees to see what’s happening within the firm.
- IP Internet protocol – the method by which information is sent from one computer to another via the internet. Each computer has at least one IP address by which it can be identified.
- iPad Is a handheld touch screen ‘tablet’ made by Apple that resembles a small computer without the keyboard. It can be used to surf the internet, message, listen to music, take photos and most other functions expected from a computer.
- iPhone This is a ‘smartphone’ made by Apple that enables you to do more than just call a friend. It includes music, photos, messaging opportunities, games and you can download Apps onto it.
- ISP The Internet Service Provider is a company that provides people with access to the internet and other similar services.
- Newsfeed A newsfeed is a list of newly published content on a website. It keeps you updated with new information.
- Search Engine A Search Enginereceives the request from you to search the internet and selects from those sites offering this information. Google is the most famous search engine
- Server A server is a computer program that provides services to other computer programs.
- Skype Skype is a free internet telephone service with which you can see the other user if you wish.
- Smartphone A Smartphone is a mobile phone that can do lots of other things too such as display photos, play videos, send messages and surf the internet.
- Snapchat Snapchat is a mobile app that allows you to send photos and videos that then self-destruct over a matter of seconds.
- Social Media Social Media refers to different communication channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- Tablet A tablet is a portable computer that uses a touchscreen and does not generally have a traditional keyboard. It can carry out most of the functions of a PC.
- Touchscreen: With a touchscreen the display is the method by which you input information into the device, using touch instead of a mouse or keyboard.
- Twitter Twitter is an online service that shares updates with other users. You sign up for a free account and post updates. You can search for people to follow and people can follow you too.
- URL Is the link or address to a particular file you can find on the internet.
- Virtual Classroom A virtual classroom is an online learning environment.
- WhatsApp WhatsApp is a form of instant messaging through which you can also share videos, photos and audio messages.
- WordPress WordPress is a free, open source publishing software that is often used to create websites.
- www. World Wide Web– ‘The World Wide Web’ is the universe of network-accessible information – everything that’s out there really.
- Youtube: YouTube is a free video-hosting website that you can store and watch videos on.
Easyspain’s Broadband internet services:
FoneFix mobile and tablet repair, just in case your visitors have a little accident whilst they’re away: