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5 Hot tech trends to watch

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Technology in 2011

Are you tech savvy? Then you'll want to check out these growing technology trends for 2011.

smart-phone-and-keyboard
1Apps

Hard to believe, but apps are even trendier than they were last year! You can get apps on smartphones, tablets and TVs. Other platforms, like the Mac, are soon to follow suit. Unlike downloaded applications, apps provide instant gratification -- a simple tap and it's there! There are apps that you buy and apps that are free. Check out these really hot, and really useful, apps:

Google Voice -- This app lets you make cheap international calls at Google Voice rates, send free unlimited text messages and check your Google Voice messages -- for free!

CraigsPro -- Want to snipe the competition? This app can help by letting you set up search agents that notify your phone as soon as items you want go up for sale. You get 50 search alerts for the low price of $1.99.

1Password -- You can never be too careful with your online identity, and protecting (and remembering) your complicated passwords is vital. This secure encrypted app stores your information for various web accounts and can even log you in automatically with its built-in browser.

Top 7 iPhone apps moms will love >>

2Social Networking

They're nothing new, but social networks are bigger than ever, and facebook continues to stand above the rest. A movie about Mark ZuckerbergTime magazine's "Person of the Year," brought even more attention to the online phenomenon. As the super-popular network nears 600 million users, new features make it even more enticing and enjoyable. And much to the chagrin of government regulators, facebook is still a private company!

Find out how you can rent movies on facebook >>

3Online shopping

Thanks to eBay and Amazon, we've been shopping online for years, but Groupon is making it more fun than ever before. Groupon is a deal-a-day website serving more than 40 localized major markets, including Chicago, Boston and NYC. Both consumers and businesses love this hugely popular tech trend. Each day, Groupon e-mails you one incredible offer on something great to do (or buy) in your city. If a certain number of people sign up, then everyone gets the Groupon offer. You benefit by getting a major deal. Businesses benefit from the exposure. Try it!

Google offers step up the competition with Groupon >>

4Touchscreens

The mouse and keyboard are quickly becoming obsolete as everything from smartphones to tablets utilize touchscreen technology. "Technology is finally adapting to the way humans play and work, not the other way around," says VentureBeat.com. It won't be long before we'll be touching our way around on PC monitors and TV screens!

Technology trends for kids >>

54G LTE Innovation

Verizon Wireless promises to "give you the wirelessly network anything" with LTE innovation. Every day, more and more companies are climbing aboard the 4G LTE expressway, hoping to make their product or offering as easy-to-use as wireless phones and internet services. This innovation will affect everything from the way we drive our cars to the way we manage our health. Get ready!

The Verizon iPhone sold out in record time >>

More tech tips for home

How to find the right cable package for your family
Service slow? What to check and how to get help
How to read your modem & router lights

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