Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital.
Sometimes choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job.
This week, I received questions about using online banks, Instant Pot remote cooking, tech freebies, and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me?
Best Online Banks
Q: I never physically go to the bank anymore. I was thinking about moving my checking and savings accounts to an online bank. Are they FDIC insured? Do they pay better rates?
A: Yes, going to the bank has become rarer these days, just like spending an afternoon at the mall. For most practical purposes, an online bank can function just as well as, and you never have to wait in line.
But you’re right: you want to make sure the bank is reputable and secure – and you’ll want the best rates you can get.
Instant Pot App
Q: I love my Instant Pot. Can I see how it is cooking things and get updates on my smartphone?
A: There are plenty of “o-matics” out there, gadgets that claim to make your domestic life easier, but the Instant Pot is a rare standout.
The idea of remotely cooking sounds silly at first, but the Instant Pot has made this possible, thanks to its free app. The Instant Pot is like a crock pot on steroids, and you can add and customize recipes to your stomach’s content.
Check on Sent Texts
Q: How do you know if someone sees your text messages? My husband is a flake.
A: If you have necessary information to relay, and it's time-sensitive, and you can't easily call or email, it's beneficial to confirm whether your text has been read or not.
Then again, this ability can also be abused, and many critics consider it an invasion of privacy. In sum: there is a way, but I would urge you to be honest with your husband about using it.
Free Tech Goodies
Q: You were talking about tech freebies on your show, such as free cloud space, free Photoshop, and more. Do you have a list of these I could see? I love your show!
A: The internet is a funny place: people give stuff away all the time. Sometimes, a software developer releases a free version of an app, and if you like it, you can upgrade to a “pro” version.
Other times, a company wants to test its product or spread the word about its quality, and they hand out samples for free. Most generous of all, you will often find an open source program that was designed for anyone to use.
Find the Right Apps
Q: Help! There are a billion apps. What are the best ones to have on your phone?
A: There’s a lot of junk out there, such as lousy games and half-baked marketing vehicles, and you can usually judge an app’s quality by its product reviews and popularity.
But if you’re looking for a place to start, there is a short list of apps that I consider essential.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.