As a swimmer and a techie, every time a new activity tracker is announced, my first reaction is to skim its official page trying to find if it supports my favorite sport. What follows is an extensive research into what exactly it tracks about the swim because that can be anything from just the total time and distance to a detailed account of every lap. More often than not, none of that information is readily available and I just have to buy the device to test for myself.
When I saw Form's swimming goggles, I knew what I was getting into. Read More
In the world of activity trackers, nothing comes close to the Mi Band's value. Cheaper than any Garmin or Fitbit tracker, even the most basic vivofit4 and Inspire, but still packing enough functionality, it also benefits from Xiaomi's name recognition and is considered a serious choice, not a cheap knock-off no-name tracker.
The most recent Mi Band 4 pushes the value-for-money envelop even further thanks to a colored AMOLED screen, swim tracking, and music controls, which get added on top of the previous generation's all-day activity, sleep, and heart rate tracking. Overall, the package is very attractive, but cracks are inevitably hiding below the surface, especially if you like spending your time in a pool. Read More
A year ago, AirDroid released AirMirror, an app that allows you to control other mobile devices right from your phone. It's great for helping out parents and friends in tech distress but it comes with some limitations. The device you want to control has to be rooted or set up by tethering it to a computer before you can access it. AirDroid's latest product, Remote Support, addresses this issue. While it won't allow you to outright remote into another device, you can see a mirror of the other party's screen as you interact with them through chat, voice messages, integrated calling, plus you can suggest touches and swipes that will show up on their screen. Read More
There are a plethora of different home automation platforms like SmartThings, HomeKit, Wink, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and many more. Some of them play together nicely, but once you're mixing and matching, you're going to end up with a bunch of apps and hubs to control all of your devices, and some features just won't work with the provided software. Koushik Dutta (or Koush), the developer of beloved tools like ClockworkMod, has run into these limitations. To overcome his issues, he simply created a smart home hub himself that allows users and developers to script their own actions to interconnect their devices, similar to Tasker. Read More
Google recently announced that the link between Drive and Photos is going away in July, saying that many users find it confusing. Thus, the company leaves us without a simple solution to see our backed up images right in Drive. Thankfully, as is so often the case, there's a third-party app that can do a similar job for us. Autosync for Google Drive could fill in the gap for some users going forward, although it comes with its own limitations. Read More
By killing Inbox, Google is leaving many users without a comparable fallback solution, even though it's arguing Gmail has the same features as the defunct client. Readdle is using this as an opportunity to bring Spark, its popular email client, to Android with hopes it will fill the gap left by Inbox's demise.
I've been using Spark on my Mac for a while, and I'm very pleased with the way it combines advanced functionalities with an intuitive interface, and how it's designed to improve productivity. I've spent some time with its Android counterpart, and here's my take on what it brings, what it lacks, and whether you should consider it to replace Inbox — or your current email client. Read More
If you like smart home gadgets and live somewhere with a ducted thermostat installation, you're lucky. Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, and more great companies are vying for a spot on your wall and in your phone's app drawer. But if your house is equipped with a ductless system, like a split air conditioner, window AC, portable or floor standing unit, cassette type, or heat pump, the options are more limited and lesser known.
Over the past year, I've reviewed both the Cielo Breez and Sensibo Sky, two of the best solutions for transforming a regular AC into a connected one. Now Cielo has released two more models: Breez Plus ($109) and Breez Eco ($69). Read More
Wine, the popular cross-platform Windows compatibility layer, has been officially available for Android since early 2018. However, it only translates API calls; there's no built-in emulator to convert x86 instructions for ARM processors. ExaGear is a paid emulator for Android that attempts to solve this problem, by adding an x86 emulator to a modified version of Wine. Read More
Depending on the tech circle you're in, 360 cameras may either be the most superfluous fad or the coolest thing. I used to be in the former camp and my LG 360 Cam collected dust in a drawer for years, but over the past months, I've found a new appreciation for the product category. It's partly thanks to the number of cool "tiny planet" creators I follow on Instagram, but most importantly, it's because of a shift in my understanding of what a 360-degree camera can do.
If you think that these cams are only good for photospheres and VR, you're missing out. Read More