Last year I standardized on Anker for all my mobile device charging needs. Their products are top notch and so far their Lightning cables have outlasted all other brands I’ve tried. I’ve used several of their backup batteries, but this new one is a great idea! Normally you’d carry a phone charger when you travel so that you could charge your phone at night or when you’re going to be in one spot for a while. You’d probably carry a backup battery too. This way you could charge your smartphone ore tablet on the go when you’re not near a plug. Now imagine if you could have one portable charger that served both purposes.
The NEW Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 replaces two things in my backpack
Live streaming has become a big part of my life. So much so that it’s actually a major part of my day job. I stream live Adobe tutorials regularly to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter/Periscope. I spent most of 2016 streaming to Twitch.tv. Since this is what I do for a living I wanted to have high production values.
Therefore I setup a dedicated live streaming studio in my home. Being a photographer I’ve setup a few photography studios and no matter how you equip your studio you can always find more gear that you want and ways to improve it. I’ve been building out this live streaming studio since May 2016. I have everything I “need” to do my streams, but I’m always looking out for ways to improve upon what I have.
Like a photography studio, your streaming setup can be very basic or very elaborate
When it comes to home security cameras I have pretty much standardized on Google’s Nest Cams. However, the one thing that is not likely to appear in any Nest products is HomeKit support. HomeKit is the standard that Apple created for home automation and is supported in iOS, Siri, Apple TV, and the Home App that’s now built-in to iOS 10. So that means that you either buy accessories that work with HomeKit or competing platforms. Since until now there were no shipping HomeKit enabled security cameras, it really didn’t matter which platform you went with. However, that has just changed now that D-Link has shipped the Omna 180 Cam.
The 1st shipping HomeKit enabled security cam is lacking features that other cams have…
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in the Netherlands walking to the convention center to do my presentations and a new app called Periscope had just launched the day before (March 26, 2015). Little did I know at the time that it would be life changing. I remember when podcasting and blogging opened the doors to the masses to allow ordinary people to do internet audio/video broadcasts and create their own posts/news stories. Periscope (owned by Twitter) did it again by allowing regular people to live stream from their iPhones from anywhere in the world that they had a data/wifi connection.
Usually I write reviews after only a few hours/days of using a new product. I can usually tell by then if I’ll love or hate a product. However, I waited to write this one because I wanted some more real-world time with them. I also wanted to travel with them and use them on a plane. I’ve had and used my AirPods everyday since I received them on January 4th. In a nutshell I can’t imagine life without them. Are they perfect?
The other day I was looking through the Apple.com accessories section for a keyboard and I ran across a few items that I was kinda shocked that Apple still sells. In most cases these items have probably been forgotten about and just never removed from the site, but nonetheless it’s interesting to still see them listed. Especially when Apple is quick to tell us that it was because of “courage” they removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Or how it was bold to stop putting floppy drives in Macs back in the day. In no particular order:
5 The Apple Mouse
I’ve been using a wireless Magic Mouse and now Magic Mouse 2 for years. I was shocked to see that not only does Apple still sell the wired Apple Mouse, but it’s still $49. By the way, I absolutely hated this particular mouse back in the day. The scroll nub would always stop working! Wired mice are still useful, just not this one. It’s here.
I’m a fan of just about all things smarthome and my digital assistant of choice is Amazon Echo. However, I do like Google products too and decided to give the new Google Home a try. I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison in the areas that matter most to me and the people I talk to. To give you a better idea of how these products work, I recorded this video so you can judge for yourself:
Although I don’t generally miss the headphone jack on my iPhone 7 Plus, there is one scenario that I do miss it. With only having the Lightning port this means that you have to decide to either charge or use a wired headset. Like I said, this generally isn’t a problem because I’m either using a wireless headset or I’m sitting at my desk and my iPhone 7 Plus is sitting in a iPhone dock which also has a wired headset attached to it. However, for those times when I want to plug in a headset and charge at the same time I’ve found the Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar adapter. This adapter give you TWO Lightning ports instead of one.
It works great as long as you know the limitations…
I know it’s late, but it’s here. My 9th annual Holiday Gadget Gift Guide is here. Rather than the usual full blown guide I’ve noticed that people prefer the “short list”. In other words these are my top picks for the gadget lovers on your list. So in no particular order here are my 2016 top picks:
Amazon Echo Dot
I’m a fan of the Amazon Echo, but when Amazon introduced the much less expensive Amazon Echo Dot, it was a no-brainer to put these around the house. Not only do I love the fact that I can ask it various questions like “what’s the weather like?”, “what’s in the news today?, “play my Beyoncé Pandora radio station”, but also things like “turn on the outside lights”. While the Echo Dot lacks the nice speaker in the Amazon Echo, it can connect to any speaker you have via an audio cable or bluetooth.
One of my favorite gadgets of 2016 is the Lutron Caseta dimmers and wall switches. I have upgraded 90% of the wall switches in my house to Caseta switches as well as all the lamps. Now not only can I control these lights with my iPhone and their app, but also the Home app built-in to iOS 10 (it’s HomeKit enabled) and Amazon Echo. “Hey Siri, turn off the downstairs lights.” You can expand the system to up to 50 devices. I did it over time and couldn’t be happier with my smart home.
I’ve always been a fan of Apple TV, but the 4th generation model takes it to the next level. Unlike previous generations, the latest Apple TV allows you to install Apps from the App Store. Also with the rumors that Apple is working on deals to allow you to watch movies that are still in theaters, it’s never been a better time to get an Apple TV. You can also use it to display/stream content from your iOS mobile devices and Macs.