This year marks the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iPhone, which has forever changed the way people communicate, work, and play. While the innovation of the device has created an industry worth over $470 Billion, it seems that Apple may no longer be the center of attention.
I’m used to setting up wireless cameras around the house, and they can sometimes be a pain to set up given that the applications they come with sometimes don’t work right. With Wansview’s app, I had this camera set up in less than 10 minutes, giving me access to the live HD feed and other customizable options like motion detection and automatic recording. Continue reading Wansview’s HD Wireless Camera: Compact and Easy to Set Up→
Everybody knows that retail stores have been in the decline ever since the growing popularity of online retailers. I mean, why should I go out to Best Buy and get headphones for $29.99 when I can get them on Amazon for $22.99 with two-day shipping? Or buy parts on Newegg for my new PC build that I’ve been wanting to make without having to scrounge around stores to find the parts that I’m looking for? Eventually all of these purchases will amount to some number under some amount of total money spent: Slice is able to figure it all out without even trying. Continue reading Slice is Great for Package Tracking, but Not for Spending Habits→
If you told me seven years ago that I would have a watch on my wrist that could let me view emails, view and send text messages, AND let me track my Dominoes pizza order, I’d have thought you were insane and go order some Dominoes. In my case, the Pebble Smartwatch has greatly improved the quality of my life, and I am extremely excited to see how far wearable technology will advance in the upcoming five years.
The first thing thing to understand about smartwatches is that they are not meant to replace phones in most ways. Yes, you can receive emails and text messages on them, yes you can see the next set of directions from Google Maps on there, and yes you can see who is calling you, but you cannot browse the internet quickly with it, nor can you take notes with it or play Angry Birds or Agario on it. Instead, you should view the smartwatch an extension of your phone and yourself, a bridge of sorts. I will give an example of an average day for me and how my smartwatch plays a role in it.
I wake up and check the weather on my watch. Yes, I sleep with my smartwatch. I barely feel my Pebble on my wrist, even with my stainless steel band. I also quickly skim through my email, although I usually go to my phone for this since I manage my personal email, college email, and work email. After that, I will set my alarms on my watch for the rest of the day. I find these alarms are less intrusive than a phone alarm, which can emit an annoying ringtone and/or a vibrate. With the Pebble, I just have my watch vibrate on my wrist and that is it. The alarms that I set are generally for lunch and dinner since when I get either changes depending on the day. Then throughout the day, I will check my watch for info such as weather changes and text messages. If I see an email that I need to tend to, I will take out my phone
My calendar events are also featured on my watch, thanks to awear for Pebble, letting me see my calendar events, SMS, emails and weather. Through see all of my events, I can see where they are and what time they are, another convenience for me as I go through my day. I’ve frequently gone through my calendar stream on my watch as I’m in class just to see if there’s anywhere out of the ordinary I have to go to. I also use my watch to switch and pause my music through the embedded music feature that Pebble offers.
During my downtime in between classes, I’ll set alarms so I can head to my next class or my next event on time. I tend to get carried away when I have to eat or anything that has to do with downtime, so having these alarms really keeps me on track. Throughout the day, my activity is also being tracked such as footsteps and overall physical activity. Even once the day is completely over, and I am sleeping, I use my Pebble along with Sleep as Android, and it tracks my sleeping pattern and the flow of my sleep cycle.
One can see that I use my smartwatch for a multitude of purposes, and one could argue that even I am not fully utilizing the features of the Pebble, and smartwatches in general. Using Google Maps, something I seldom use since I don’t drive, would be another great addition, as well as
Having a smartwatch has definitely enhanced the quality of my life in many ways. As I mentioned before, a smartwatch is not meant to be a full on replacement for the phone, but an extension of it. Coupling the two together makes for a great combination and the possibilities that are available to the user are endless, but I would definitely say that the quality of my life has improved thanks to a smartwatch.
In our modern day and age we use smartphones for everything like watching videos, getting in contact with loved ones or getting directions. Finding a way to get to our friends’ house or the new restaurant 20 minutes away is a common thing for us to use our smartphones for. When you’re out and about in your car, you would be remiss if you did not have this 1byone Magnetic Car Mount Holder.
This car mount stand works differently than most other conventional mount stand. A conventional mount stand will have a suction cup on the bottom of it that grabs the surface of the surface, and a claw arm of sorts that grabs the phone once the claw arm is manually opened wide enough. This stand differs from the norm because it utilizes magnets. There are two magnets provided, one that has an adhesive end, and the other a flat rectangular piece, both extremely thin and barely noticeable on the phone. The adhesive one can stick immediately onto your phone and then stick to the magnetic end of the stand. The flatter piece can be placed in between the phone and your phone case of choice. In doing this, there is no need for the adhesive plate to ruin the integrity of the case or your phone.
The build of the stand is quite nice and I have had no issues with it during my using the product. I was able to move the stand many times from my car dashboard to my desk to my kitchen countertop. The stand adhered to the bottom surface each time thanks to the suction cup bottom. It also has the ability to swivel 360 degrees which can be useful if needed. The magnetic grabber on the mount, which a rubberized circle that has a magnet inside of it. I’ve noticed that the magnet is strong enough to hold the phone up, but not strong enough to do any damage to the phone’s memory from what I can see. What I really like about the stand is how minimal it is. It does not take up a lot of space on a car dashboard, and it does not have a bunch of excessive features (I don’t even know what other features you COULD add to this)
There are two small downsides though. The first focuses on the rectangular plate. I find that is bends really easily and although it will be wedged in between your phone and your case, I am still a little wary of it. The second is how the magnet reacts with phones with metal backs. I have an HTC ONE M8 and I find that when I put my phone on the magnet stand (both with the adhesive circle or the rectangular plate in between the case and my phone), it puts my phone in the same state as turning on extreme battery saver. Everything becomes 8-bit-esque and strange. The moment I take the phone of the stand though, it goes back to a normal state. I do not know if this does any permanent damage to the phone, and will therefore, not recommend it if you have an HTC phone. I cannot check if this issue exists with other phones with a metal back, so buyer beware.
Overall, I’d say this product is solid as long as you don’t have a phone with a metal back. It has a really small footprint in terms of size so it won’t take up a large portion of your dashboard. It’s form of adhesion is easy enough to understand and use, making for a quick setup. Check it out on their website, along with many more of their other products.
In the past, I have seen Bluetooth LED lamps all over eBay and Amazon and have always been curious about them, although I never knew they had ones with speakers built in to them as well. Thanks to 1byone, I received a review unit of one of these Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker and Smart LED light speakers and was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the product.
The light was sitting safely inside its box and easily slid out. It’s a little bit bigger than originally thought but it is definitely still shaped to fit in most light fixtures. My dormitory didn’t have any lamp for putting this bulb in, so I borrowed my friend’s from the room over, screwed it in and flipped the switch. The light took a few seconds to turn on but it shined a nice bright LED white which did not bother my eyes too much. Since the light was shining, I opened up my iPhone’s Bluetooth to see if it had been broadcasting a signal. I simply tapped it and caused the speaker to beep notifying me that my phone is connected, allowing me to use it in any of my music applications like TIDAL, Spotify or iOS default Music application. The Android app is no different than the iOS app based on my usage of it.
To be completely honest, this was a product on Amazon that had hundreds of versions of, and when there was ‘speaker’ in the title of a product whose main use is to be a light, I laughed. Although, this speaker can generate some pretty good sound and was able to play some music like Foo Fighters, Deadmau5 and Tech N9ne, spanning a range of frequencies that had no problem playing through the speakers. Some of the higher frequency sounds like high-hats and screeching guitars may lack slightly but they still produce some great sound. Since I’m in a dormitory I was not able to test how loud they get, but the speakers in this thing can get pretty damn loud based on my professional experience in accidentally turning it up. My roommate was able to turn the speaker up to really test out the quality of the speaker, and the sound quality got moderately muddy. The music was still identifiable, but the bass and mids sort of swallowed up the high-end and the definition of the music was not of the highest quality. For the given price tag though, the speaker does produce a good sound.
1byone advertises their product to come alongside with their own application in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and while a little buggy and basic, it does the functions it’s intended to do. I find that the application takes a bit of time to connect to the lamp over Bluetooth, although once it is connected you will have the ability to switch the light on and off, change the light color to any RGB color using the color picker, set timers, and set the light to ‘Auto’ mode which will cause it to dance with your music from any audio that plays out of it. The one bug I did find quite frustrating was when I played a song through my music app, closed the lightbulb application, and reopen it. The music blasts at full volume and it takes me by surprise every single time. Personally I don’t recommend using the music picker within the app because it is really basic and quite hard to navigate, so just play your music through another music app. The internal music picker should have more options in terms of sorting and organizing by artist at the very least should be an option.
Interestingly enough, just like light, music is meant to surround the area you’re sitting in and this product does just that. The 1byone Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker and Smart LED is a great product that will not only serve your musical purposes, but also brighten your day.
I’ve had an iPhone for quite some time now, certainly not as long as some people have had one, but long enough to know that it’s not always easy to snap photos with my phone. While smartphones have the capability of taking beautiful photos, it’s not always easy to have them come out looking clear! Continue reading How to Take Good Smartphone Pictures→
Apple’s products are well-known for their products having outstanding battery life, with the obvious exception of the Apple Watch ‘clocking’ in at around 1-2 days. The iPhone 6 has relatively good battery, and the iPhone 6 Plus having very good battery lasting between 1-2 days. Although lately I have been using my phone more often and have noticed that I’d end up with around 10-20% of my battery left by the end of the day. Since I’ve been busy with juggling school, friends and work lately I decided it would be best to try out a new charging case for my iPhone 6.
The 1byone Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard by 1byone was sent to me as a review so I will review as honestly as possible. This entire review is being typed with this keyboard on my HTC One M8 using the Android App Jotterpad
When I received the 1byone Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard with Multi Touchpad, I was very surprised initially by the box of the Bluetooth Keyboard. It was really clean, flat, and well packaged. Inside the box was just the keyboard with a small instructional pamphlet on how to connect the keyboard to your Windows machine or Linux or Android device. I was able to get this device up and running within a minute after I inserted the Triple A batteries needed. I do wish that the back panel for the keyboard where you insert the batteries was easy to remove, but it only took me an extra 30 seconds. Due to the keyboard’s stainless steel back plate, it feels a lot heavier and feels all that more durable.
Upon placing the keyboard on my desk, I realized how low the profile of the keyboard really is. It is slightly angled towards the user due to the battery compartment. I liked this because the keyboard is really thin, so the angle of the keyboard works well for the user. It is also worth noting that this keyboard also has a track pad with a two button click implemented into the keyboard. This is the first, and potentially only, keyboard I own that has a track pad embedded into it. It works surprisingly well once you adjust the sensitivity of the mouse to make it a little faster.
I initially synced this keyboard to my laptop for day to day use, but quickly found that it would be better used on my phone for quick note taking in class and on my tablet for larger tasks during class as well. The fact this keyboard has a track pad in it makes it easier to use my tablet without the need of an external Bluetooth Mouse. The keyboard itself is very comfortable and I find it to be just as comfortable as the on-board keyboard on my Lenovo Y510P. The keyboard that I received with my Winbook 802 Windows Tablet was much too small for my fingers to efficiently type, but this keyboard is a happy medium comfort and efficiency.
The keyboard is also very responsive and I like how the keys feel as if they do not bottom out forever. On old Dell keyboards and the older USB keyboards, the keys were large so you could feel them bottom out, but since the keys on this keyboard are flat, you don’t feel them bottom out as much. This is great for me because this resembles my laptop’s keyboard even more, making it easier for me to type. I was also able to successfully test the function keys on the keyboard as well. By holding the function key and pressing the corresponding ‘f’ key, I was able to open my email, pause, play, rewind my music and increase and decrease the volume of my phone. I found these functions to be very helpful in operating my phone when I didn’t want to physically click the buttons on my phone and if I wanted to quickly check my email or go to the desktop of my phone.
I do have a two, although very minor, issues with the keyboard though, the first being that it is not rechargeable. Now, I have not fully drained the battery on this keyboard yet, and I have used it for two-three days pretty consistently, but I do wish it implemented a rechargeable battery cell so that I could charge it over night or with a power bank and not have to worry about buying batteries. The second is that the letters looks very cheap on the keyboard. I dislike the fact that I can see the black outline around the keys. If you click on the image to your right, you can see the outline on the C and F key quite well. It is very minor, but I think it is meant to be there so that the keys do not fade away.
Besides that issue, the keyboard is an absolute $23 price tag it is sold for. I currently use a CM Storm Quickfire Pro Mechanical Keyboard with my laptop, so I am much more accustom to mechanical switches than I am membrane, but if I ever have to use my tablet or phone outside to write our paragraphs or for note taking, I am definitely tossing this into my bag.
If you would like to view more of their products, check out their website at this link. You can buy this product off their website here or their Amazon page here