Netatmo's approach to security cameras is refreshing. In a market that's filled with companies limiting what you can do with the hardware you bought just in order to get you to sign up for a monthly subscription, Netatmo asks only that you purchase its camera. Video storage is free thanks to MicroSD card support as well as optional Dropbox and FTP uploads. Face recognition is free and gets better with time as it learns. A web app is provided so you can monitor everything from your computer, not just your phone. And privacy is respected because nothing other than a backup screenshot is sent to the Netatmo Cloud. Read More
Microsoft Garage releases plenty of new projects with some being wacky and some more interesting with potential to grow into a real Microsoft app. The latter is the case of the new Photos Companion, an app that does what its name suggests: it's an Android (and iOS) app that lets you quickly transfer photos from your phone to the Photos app on a Windows 10 PC via WiFi. It works very well from my experience and might become my go-to way for sending screenshots to my computer. Read More
It's Go time at Google for the past few weeks and today appears to be an even more special one. We've seen the YouTube Go app get updated with double tap to seek controls and now Gmail Go has made its way onto the Play Store. We were able to get our hands on the APK file so I tested it out on my Pixel 2 XL (it requires Android 8.1 and above, as Go devices are based on Android 8.1). The light version provides nearly the same experience as the regular Gmail app, but the APK size is much smaller: 9.51MB vs 20.66MB. Read More
There definitely isn't a lack of applications for managing tasks and setting reminders. Apps such as Evernote, Google Keep, and Wunderlist all provide plenty of flexibility when it comes to creating, tagging, managing, and sharing reminders, but sometimes all those options can feel unnecessary and may get in the way when all you need to do is set a quick reminder. If you've been looking for something a little more lightweight, Remindee is a free app that might be worth checking out.
The app itself is very straightforward and can create a reminder from within any app using Android's 'Share' button. Read More
With a couple of months of use behind me, my feelings about the Belkin WeMo switches are just as conflicted now as they were when I unpacked these. On paper, the idea of a switch that you can plug anything in to make it smart is fantastic. In reality, I struggled to find many, if any honestly, devices I wanted to use the WeMo with. But that's not even the meat of my issue with WeMo's switches. Their connectivity has been iffy at best, the app is laughably old, and integration with other smart home devices is hit and miss, mostly because of the aforementioned connectivity issues. Read More
As a Mac user, I've felt like a pariah over the past years that I've also been using Android as my go-to mobile platform. Mac works fantastically with iOS, but Android doesn't have any powerful integration with any desktop environment. That's been the status-quo of things for as long as I remember. Android does work well enough with Windows when you're just trying to transfer some files though. But if you're on a Mac, simply plugging in the phone with a USB cable and choosing the MTP mode (File Transfer) wouldn't do the trick, you'd need a separate app called Android File Transfer (ATP) from Google to make it work. Read More
When my husband and I began designing our new apartment about a year ago, one of the first things I wanted to account for was smart lights. I love well-lit environments and the idea of having lights turn on and off automatically in the different rooms was appealing. I thought it'd be easy to find a smart lighting solution for the entire house, but my search eventually hit so many walls I'm surprised I didn't completely give up after the 10th week of frantic Googling and pointless research.
There were so many things to account for: 220V electricity in Lebanon, different size of wall switch and box compared to US, 908.4 MHz Z-Wave on my smart hub (US frequency), compatibility with SmartThings and Google Home, I didn't want an additional hub hanging off my router, and best of all: super frequent electricity cuts and blackouts. Read More
For the past year or so, I've been looking at smart locks and wanting one yet not able to fully commit to anything. Living in Lebanon means our doors don't have the American-style deadbolts, but what is known as the Euro Style/Profile Double Cylinder - a lock that is quite prominent across France, Germany, the UK, and other countries. So August, Yale, Schlage, Kwikset, and plenty of brands geared toward the US market were mostly out of the question unless I wanted to take a risk and get something that doesn't fit at all with my apartment's door. Read More
Some of you may have already heard about the Nanoleaf Aurora. These modular triangular light panels can be formed in any shape you like and are WiFi-enabled, allowing you to control them via your phone or Google Home and Alexa. But those of you who haven't will probably scroll down to see the high price tag and scoff in disbelief. $229.99 for a set of 9 light panels and a music module is a rather extravagant price to pay. But that's exactly what the Nanoleaf are: extravagant. They go a step beyond smart lights like Hue and LiFX and straight into "cool art deco" territory. Read More
What if there was an app that got you half-off food at some of the best restaurants in town, and all you had to do was place an order earlier in the day, and pick it up a bit later than usual? Well, there is, and it's called Food for All. Even better, the grub you grab was destined for the trash can, so you get to feel good about helping decrease food waste too. Read More