Out of ideas on how you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved ones this year? We have a few suggestions.
Planning the perfect surprise for that special someone on Valentine’s Day is never easy. A bouquet of red roses, a box of gourmet chocolates and perhaps a romantic candlelight dinner may delight, but what if you want to do something special that will truly surprise?
In a Microsoft survey “A Perfect 2015” conducted with over 2,000 respondents across Asia Pacific in November 2014, 30% of respondents said that a getaway from home would be considered the most romantic of gesture from their significant other.
And with Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, perhaps it’s time to start cracking on that surprise. Here’s where we come in to help you do some smart planning for that perfect Valentine’s Day – with a few smart apps and devices:
1. Track the best deals for your getaway with Windows apps
You don’t need to travel far for a romantic getaway – a staycation at a hip, boutique hotel might just do the trick as well. Track the best hotel deals with meta-search apps such as Expedia, Kayak and Hotels.com which also provides guests’ reviews for your consideration. You can even get lucky as well with last-minute deals!
2. Plan a romantic dinner for two…with Windows apps
With 23% of respondents highlighting that a surprise dinner is the most romantic of gesture, why not turn to Windows and Windows Phone apps for suggestions?
Yelp on Windows Phone is a great resource for great dining suggestions. Leverage on reviews from fellow Yelp users to find the best place to have a romantic dinner for two within your city.
Alternatively, if you would like to surprise your loved ones with a heartwarming home-cooked meal, turn to MSN Food & Drinks for recipe suggestions to whip up a storm. After all, the way to a man’s heart (or a woman’s heart) is through his stomach.
3. Surprise your loved ones with a gift that keeps on giving…
In the Microsoft Asia Pacific “A Perfect 2015” survey, 19% said that they are most likely to consider buying a technology gift on Valentine’s Day; and 29% said that they consider a surprise gift for no reason the most romantic of gestures. With an array of Windows devices with many different form factors to choose from, there’s bound to be something that will be perfect as a Valentine’s Day surprise. Here are three of our top picks this season:
The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a great Windows 2-in-1 device for work and play. Best of all, it’s easy to carry around (at just 500grams!) and stay connected with your loved ones wherever you are. And if you need to do some work while on the go, simply snap on the docking keyboard to transform it into a fully functional notebook.
If your idea of a perfect night out is staying at home to catch up on your favorite movies, you will be pleased to know that the device supports Miracast technology, which lets you stream content from your tablet to your TV wirelessly.
The HP Stream 11 is a Windows device that will put a smile on your Valentine’s face with its cheery colors. Under the hood, the notebook comes with Office 365 Personal, and users are now able to get unlimited OneDrive storage to store their precious photos and videos!
All things that glitter is gold – and the same can be said of the Lumia 830, available in limited-edition gold this February!
Sleek and stylish, the Lumia 830 offers a superior imaging experience with Zeiss optics, and the Windows Phone 8.1 experience supports a wide range of apps, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Skype so that you can stay connected with your loved ones throughout the day.
4. Turn your Windows tablet into a scrapbook of memories
The best gifts do not always need to cost a fortune. Surprise your loved one by transforming your Windows device into a digital scrapbook of your most treasured memories in a few simple steps.
- Firstly, select your favorite images and save them into a folder on your PC or on OneDrive.
- Go to Settings by wiping in from the right edge of your screen, and then tap Change PC settings.
- Choose PC and devices, and then choose Lock screen.
- Select Play a slide show on the lock screen to turn the slideshow option on.
- Then select Add a folder and choose the folder with the images you have picked earlier.
Additional tip: For Windows Phone 8.1 users, download the free Live Lock Screen BETA app for personalization options. The app features six different lock screen layouts that lets you create a distinctive look and feel.
Have a Perfect Valentine’s Day…even when you’re apart
Sometimes, it’s difficult to make a long distance relationship work – but it’s easy to use communication apps such as Skype or Skype Qik to keep the spark alive.
67% of respondents we polled said that they use technology such as Skype to connect with their loved ones at least once a week (in fact, 30% of respondents said that they do so every day!). Apps have also become the de facto way to connect with friends and family, with 64% of respondents saying that they rely on apps to connect with people who live far away.
Here’s how you can use Skype and Skype Qik to connect with your loved ones on Valentine’s Day:
- Have a virtual Valentine’s Day meal on Skype: Technology has made it easier to stay close to your loved ones even if you are physically miles apart. Close the distance by having a romantic dinner, enabled by Skype video calls. Remember to set the scene with some mood lighting, candles and flowers!
- Surprise your loved ones with a video message on Skype Qik: If the time difference is going to be a challenge, a Qik video message may be the next best option. Nothing is more romantic than waking up to a heartfelt message from that special someone.
- Sprinkle your IMs with emoticons: Get the full list of emoticons here to liven up your chat with your significant other!
Technology has come a long way in enabling communication and bridging distances between loved ones, so why not leverage it to create the perfect Valentine’s Day this year? We look forward to hearing more interesting Valentine’s Day stories enabled by technology – do share with us on Twitter @MicrosoftAsia with #WindowsHoliday!
And from all of us at Microsoft…