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
If you live in a house with no central climate control, or if you're making an expansion to your house and it's impossible to get a ducted system in place, a ductless setup may be your only hope. Nest, Ecobee, and the dozen other smart thermostats we often talk about aren't compatible with ductless systems, so you have to start thinking creatively if you want connected climate control. The solution comes in the form of small units that can send the same infrared signals as an air conditioner's (AC) remote, but that are themselves WiFi-enabled for remote access.
Earlier this summer, I reviewed the Cielo Breez, one of the potential candidates that can smarten up your AC, heat pump, or floor standing unit. Read More
Password managers are becoming more and more of a hot topic nowadays. We live a lot of our lives online and that requires a growing number of accounts and identities; yet with multiplying security risks and hacks popping up left and right, it's crucial to use a password manager to stay on top of your login details. Most managers fall in one of two categories: the cloud solutions like LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane, or the local solutions with a cloud backup option like Enpass (my personal favorite) or SafeInCloud or Keepass. Myki straddles the line between the two, being neither this nor that, but having resemblances to both, plus some very unique attributes that make it intriguing... Read More
It may be the silliest idea to some, but it may be the most interesting idea to others. Wearable Widgets, an app that transforms your phone's widgets into Wear OS (né Android Wear) watch faces, has added support for complications. So instead of replacing your entire watch face with a widget, you can leave whichever design you like and choose a widget from your phone as a complication inside it. How well does it work? I tested it to find out. Read More
Depending on where you live, most houses could be built with central heating and thermostats in mind or not. Even in houses that have a fully ducted system, getting a small expansion done like a bigger garage, an additional room, or a guest house could require you start looking at other options for heating and cooling. Ductless systems, whether they're split air conditioner units, window ACs, portable or floor standing units, or heat pumps, are the go-to solution then. But in a world that's more connected than ever, they present one main disadvantage compared to thermostats: they can't be easily retrofitted for automation and smartphone control. Read More
Google put in place a few restrictions when it comes to apps and games on Android TV. You either download the app through the Play Store on the TV itself or you browse through your computer and install remotely. And even in that case, there are plenty of apps that show themselves as compatible from the web Play Store but when installed are nowhere to be found in Android TV's Leanback Launcher. Usually, that means the app isn't fully optimized for Android TV, but it could still be properly functional (with remote and/or controller compatibility), except for the fact that you can't access it by default. Read More
A few days ago, Valve released the beta version of the Steam Link app for Android. This means that you can play your Steam library right on your phone, and it's pretty great. Though it's by no means a new concept – we've seen it before with Sony and Nvidia devices – it doesn't require either a PlayStation or a GeForce graphics card. All you need is a Steam library and your phone on the same network, plus a controller, and you're good to go. Read More