It’s no secret that tablets have been a hot Christmas gift for the last few years. All it takes is one show and tell in September, and then every kid will want one for the December holidays!
Tradition and past experience tells us that we should wrap up the boxes and gifts, so that the storybook joy on December 25th can happen. The smiles as they see the gifts, the excited curiosity and wonderment of what could be inside all the boxes and gift bags…these are the precious few moments that puts a warm glow into every parent’s heart.
But what about tablets? Every single one of them has a setup and initialization process. Being such innately customizable and personable devices, its hard to have a completely smooth unboxing. Your kid isn’t going to want to set time-zones, connect to your home wifi, and pair a bluetooth accessory. They just want it to work, play the games and show their friends!
So before you grab another roll of wrapping paper (or a holiday gift bag) for that new tablet, take some time to prepare it for your loved ones. It may take you an hour or so, but trust me; it makes a world of difference for them.
This is the most important step you should take for your new device! Tablets can sit in supply distribution warehouses and stores shelves for months (sometimes years) at a time with their original (old) software in them.
There is nothing worse then getting a brand new shiny tablet, then encountering a bug, glitch, or slow performance. Then, after spending the whole day customizing and personalizing the device, you try to update the software to fix the issues, and lose all your progress. It makes an amazing gift turn into a headache within seconds.
So, before you wrap that tablet up, spend the time to update it! Considering the sheer amount of devices out there. The general process is the same, regardless of whether it’s an Apple iPad, Fuhu Nabi, or an LeapPad 2.
How To Prepare Your Gift
1. Plug the device into your PC/Mac via USB, and download the latest software from the manufacturer’s website. Don’t use any disks included in the box. They are almost always out of date by the time the tablet reaches the consumer.
2. Check for any software updates and get the latest/most recent version. The closer you do this to Christmas, the better. If you box up the device on December 5th, chances are (especially during holidays) that the manufacturer will have at least one new software update.
Typically there are also releases and updates a few days after Christmas, since everyone who had problems on Christmas day will have called in to give customer service an earful!
Software updates can take up to an hour, and sometimes more. Typically you leave it plugged in via USB, and it does its business. When in doubt, just follow the on screen instructions.
3. Personalize it! Typically, after you update the software and turn the device on, you are walked through the initial setup process. In my experience, its better to set up the device for the intended recipient first, as it shows that little bit extra of attention to detail, and really does make it turn on and work right away!
Make sure that you connect the device to the home wifi, pair any bluetooth headset, adjust the time and date, and add their name to the account. If you’re savvy, record a video of yourself saying Happy Holidays and put it in the videos folder to keep it a secret! When they stumble on it they will rush over to hug you! It really is the little things that make a huge difference!
Add some photos, pictures of pets, or family, and a few songs. You don’t need much, just enough for them to know that you care and enough to get them going!
4. Setup the app store account and download a few apps! Most devices come with a pre-loaded apps, but most of them are basic ones at best. By setting up the app store account, and even purchasing a few popular games will take away a technical hurdle and make that Christmas day unboxing as smooth as possible.
5. Lastly, but definitely not least, make a backup! This is usually done with the same software you downloaded on your PC/Mac in Step 1, and can take up to an hour (or more depending how much data you loaded on).
This is crucial, so that if anything goes wrong, or something fouls up in January, you have a perfect Christmas day backup.
After all this is said in done, make sure that you charge up the device to full battery, and turn it off completely by holding down the power button until the display goes black and is no longer illuminated.
Box it up, and be careful to be neat and keep the paper/cardboard ‘crisp’. A little bit of see-through tape can help. Wrap it, bag it and viola! You should have a tablet perfectly prepared for Christmas day.