smartphones

The Best iPhone Accessories to Own In 2021

It may feel like just having an iPhone is the be-all and end-all. While that may be true for many people , unless you have explored all the extras the device has to offer – including the enhancements that dedicated accessories can add to your experience – you are not reaping all the benefits of owning one of the best smartphones on the planet. Whether you seek a new way to charge up your new iPhone 12 or need some extra help to shoot the best photos or video, there is bound to be an accessory available to turbocharge your efforts. Here are some of our favorite hardware helpers for the iPhone:

  • Apple MagSafe Wireless Charger

    Forget about fumbling around for a charging cable and adapter; the MagSafe wireless charger magnetically snaps onto the back of your iPhone 12. Shaped like a puck and a perfect size for sitting on a desk, it will charge from 0-50% in an hour. It is still not as fast as traditional charging but it is undeniably convenient. A big upside is it also charges older iPhones (8 or later) and Qi-compatible devices such as Google and Samsung handsets.

  • Fujifilm Instax Mini Link

    Apple has done a great job implementing some of the best mobile cameras on iPhones. With the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link, your next capture can be more than just a memory on your gallery app. The pocketable device can be paired to your iPhone via Bluetooth and print out any picture of your liking. Simply download the Instax Mini Link app, take a picture or choose an existing one, customize the framing and print away. The Instax Mini also has a neat trick that lets you quickly reprint an image by turning the printer upside down and pressing the power button – it is a helpful feature for when you want to share a photo with friends and family. You will have to buy the film separately but it is available worldwide and relatively affordable.

  • Apple AirTags

    Stick one of these little Apple-branded trackers onto your iPhone and you will be able to locate your smartphone quickly. It has a one-tap set up on iPhones and will work hand-in-hand with the FindMe app. Perfect for peace of mind for anyone who gives their smartphone to their young children and finds it mysteriously goes missing.

  • Apple AirPods Pro

    Airpods Pro White - Free photo on Pixabay

    If you want to pair your iPhone with an Apple-branded set of wireless headphones, the premium AirPods Pro is one of the best options. Sure, they are a little pricey but you get excellent audio quality, active noise cancellation and more than 24 hours of battery via the case. Perfect for traveling, commuting or working out.

  • Jackery Power Outdoors

    Wherever your adventures may lead, you can rely on the compact Jackery portable power station with its built-in cables for super-fast charging of all iPhones. The UL certified 6000 mAh battery charger, which fits neatly in your pocket, fully charges an iPhone 6, 7 and 8 up to two times within 1.5 hours, an iPhone 6 Plus, 7 Plus and 8 Plus up to one and half times within 2 hours or an iPhone X or XS up to 1.4 times within 2.5 hours. The Lightning cable is certified by Apple as 100% compatible with any iPhone or iPad and facilities pass-through charging, letting you charge devices while the battery pack is plugged in and charging. An open USB port accommodates other gadgets as well.

  • Razer Kishi for iPhone

    If you use your iPhone for gaming and want to help replicate a console experience, especially on games such as PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty Mobile, the Razer Kishi is the peripheral for you. It connects via the charging port and clamps to the sides of the phone. Sure, it looks more Game Gear than Nintendo Switch but it gives you clickable analog thumbsticks and a d-pad – that’s rare for mobile gaming.

Let us know in the comment section below what are your favorite accessories to use with your iPhone.

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Everything There Is to Know About the MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

On November 10th 2020, Apple announced an updated MacBook Air with an Apple-designed M1 processor, launched alongside an updated Mac Mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro and the first Macs with Apple’s new line of custom ARM-based Apple silicon processors as they transition away from Intel processors.

The Operating System – macOS Big Sur

The macOS Big Sur brings some pretty major – not to mention, exciting – improvements to the operating system that powers the MacBook Air.

According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering, macOS Big Sur is built from its ‘core’ to take advantage of and run pretty well on Apple’s new M1 chip. Thanks to this new chip, owners of the new Macs can run iPhone and iPad apps directly on their Mac.

The macOS 11 Big Sur is also bringing in a massive redesign in the look of native macOS apps – on top of delivering some stability improvements. Apple is finally giving apps like Messages, Mail, Photos, Calendar and even Finder a fresh, much more compact and streamlined design.

The new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and Macbook Pro 13 are all powered by the new M1 chip and come with Big Sur pre-installed. We expect these machines, which are all available for purchase right now, to be excellent showcases of the new technology.

Price and Availability

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) was made available for pre-order on the day it was announced, with many Apple Stores now re-opening after being closed due to the global pandemic.

Prices for the new MacBook Air (2020) start at $1299. As usual, there are several specifications available at launch and you can further customize these to get the MacBook Air (2020) that best suits your needs and budget.

The base model features an M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD.

For comparison, the MacBook Air (2020) launched earlier this year for $1299, so you are getting the new MacBook Air (M1, 2020) for the same price as the earlier model.

Design

File:2020 MacBook Air (Gold).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

People often dismiss Apple as making products that look good but don’t do anything particularly revolutionary with the actual hardware. With the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), however, it is the complete opposite.

With this laptop, Apple has actually done some really fascinating things on the inside – switching to its own M1 chip and building macOS Big Sur from the ground up to take advantage of it – while leaving the actual design of the device completely unchanged. This is both good news and bad news.

The good news is that the iconic design of the MacBook Air is pretty much perfect for most people, so they don’t see the need for any radical change. At the same time, by simply offering minor spec bumps every year, the MacBook Air was in danger of being outclassed by more ambitious rivals. So, by concentrating on revolutionizing the hardware of the MacBook Air and not tinkering with the design, Apple is doing something many of its critics have argued it should do: focus on the unglamorous, yet essential, stuff.

The bad news, however, is that since the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) along with macOS Big Sur promises to be such a big revolution, the fact that it looks – and feels – exactly the same as the previous MacBook Air is a little disappointing, to put it mildly.

Performance

As soon as you use the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), you will be impressed. It boots up quickly (an additional benefit of the M1 chip), Big Sur feels fast and responsive and the new look for the operating system really impresses.

All applications that you usually run in macOS on Intel-based MacBooks should work fine with the new MacBook Air (M1, 2020) thanks to some software wizardry using Apple’s Rosetta 2 tool, which allows apps to run on the new architecture.

While trying a mix of new apps built for the M1 chip and legacy apps built for Intel Macs running via Rosetta, no noticeable difference in performance was found. The fact that you can seamlessly run older apps on the new MacBook Air is really commendable.

Not only can you run pretty much any existing Mac app on the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) but thanks to the M1 chip using a similar architecture to iPhones, you can now run any iOS app or game as well. This brings a considerable amount of new tools to the MacBook and is genuinely exciting.

Apple claims the new MacBook Air is three times faster than any other laptops in its class and faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the past year. It also says the neural engine is nine times faster than the one in the previous MacBook Air and its SSD is up to twice as fast thanks to the M1 and the latest flash technology.

Battery Life

As for battery life, we knew that the new ‘Apple Silicon’ would be more power-efficient, so it is no surprise to find that the new MacBook Air has the longest battery life of any MacBook Air yet – up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing or up to 18 hours of video, according to Apple.

The MacBook Air’s battery life -even after a few hours of work and web browsing, the battery only dropped a few percentages and even if you leave it on standby for a day and come back to it, the battery level remains high.

The new MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is a giant leap forward for Apple’s slimline laptop. It isn’t just one of the best MacBooks Apple has ever made but it is also the cheapest, which is fantastic value for money.

Let us know in the comment section below if you are looking to buy the new MacBook Air (M1, 2020).

5 Best Gadgets to Own In 2021

When it comes to tech gadgets, the coolest ones will always stop you in your tracks. You find yourself wanting them even if you suspect you don’t need them. But even if you don’t need them, it is nice to treat yourself from time to time and the best gadgets will still be handy and make your life easier.

So, if you are looking for ideas on cool tech gadgets to splurge on, keep scrolling to see our picks:

  • Amazon Smart Plug

This little wall wart might seem underwhelming compared to many other cool tech gadgets, but you might be impressed with how much you like this $24 innovative home accessory once you start using it.

Head out on vacation and can’t remember if you left a fan running? If it is plugged into this, you can open up your Alexa app and cut the power. Have a lamp that you love but doesn’t work with a smart bulb? Use one of these to make a dumb lamp very smart. On top of all that, Alexa has some impressive power monitoring tools, so that if you have more than one of these around your home, you can figure out which appliances and electronics around your house cost you the most and you can adjust your usage behavior accordingly.

  • Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector

Typically, when you think of home theater projectors, you assume they require an overly involved installation process and a PhD-level knowledge of gear to set it all up. But we are in an era where you can pull out the Anker Nebula Solar. Barely bigger than a book, you can point it at a wall and have it projecting a 120-inch, 1080p version of your favorite Netflix movie without needing to configure the picture settings or find a power outlet.

Will this replace your fancy 65-inch 4K HDR TV? Absolutely not but for those moments when you are really craving that movie theater experience at home (and really, who hasn’t over the last year?), you will understand why this made our list of cool tech gadgets.

  • Apple Watch Series 6

Montre Intelligente, Apple, Poignet, Montre Bracelet

With each passing year since its 2014 launch, the Apple Watch has continued to become more and more useful in the lives of the average person. Whether it’s conveniently providing phone notifications, tracking workouts, monitoring vital signs or making calls without having a phone nearby, there is so much that this tiny wearable can do. The latest iteration, the Apple Watch Series 6, even comes with a very convenient feature that will let you monitor your blood oxygen levels. If you are suffering from COVID-19, monitoring SpO2 can be a key in determining when you should visit a doctor or hospital to be treated. If the last seven years have been any indication, the Apple Watch will only grow to be more useful in the future.

Bluetooth trackers have been an exciting concept for the last decade but it’s only recently that the technology has indeed caught up with the idea. In their infancy, Tile Trackers could give you a general sense of where you left your keys or purse or phone. But as Bluetooth continues to evolve, you can now track a lost item with an unnerving level of accuracy and even call upon others to help you find a lost item.

The best tile trackers can give you live updates on the location of an object you are looking for, as long as you are within 400 feet. And if you are no longer within range, it will tell you the last known location of the object and notify any other tile users who come within range of it to contact you. Best of all, these trackers even have ringers on them so you can remotely trigger them to help you find that phone buried under a blanket.

One or two extra hours asleep doesn’t sound like much. When you are logging three per night at best because your screaming child does not understand the difference between day and night, it can be a lot. The Snoo achieves its magic by emulating the womb (which is a noisier, more violent place than you might think), playing white noise and rocking your baby all night. It also responds to their nocturnal shouts by ramping up the movement to lull them back to sleep. Yes, it is parenting-by-robot, but it is parenting-by-robot that works.

There are thousands of new gadgets coming out every year and these are our top five. Let us know in the comment section below if we missed some blindingly obvious devices.

Car GPS

Car Gadgets | Car GPS

Car Gadgets | Car GPS

Summary

 – Car GPS: its history

 – How a car GPS works

 – The different models of GPS for car

 – Car GPS: price and specificities

 

Not so long ago, the only efficient way to get from point A to point B by car was to plot your route on a road map and follow the directions religiously. Nowadays, it is still nice to go on the road on vacation with maps, but it is also much faster to equip yourself with a car gadget: the GPS. It is a technology that has become almost indispensable in our daily lives.

Car GPS: its history

Initially, the concept of GPS was designed for military purposes. Indeed, a program was started by the U.S. Army in the 1960s to locate any point on earth precisely, to the nearest meter, using satellites (more than thirty today) orbiting the earth.

In the 1990s, this system was extended to the civilian sector, voluntarily losing its precision (within 10 meters). Today, in addition to the automotive industry, where it is widely used, GPS covers all civil fields (aviation, marine navigation, road transport, agriculture, leisure…).

Operating principle of GPS for cars

In any location, 5 to 6 satellites are accessible by the GPS signal. These satellites, whose precise position is known, allow calculation of the distance of the point from each of them and precisely determine the longitude and latitude coordinates of this point. This is how the earth coverage of satellites achieves the geolocation of a point in real-time.

Very quickly, the GPS was adopted in cars, reproducing on a virtual map the position of the vehicle. It allows to guide visually and orally, with the help of a vocal function, and after having entered the final destination, the driver.

The functions of the GPS are multiple:

Car GPS

 – navigation, which allows following a route, informs the driver of the direction to follow; it offers several route options (the shortest in km, the fastest, by the freeway with or without toll, the most economical …), with vias (intermediate stops);

 – the calculation of the necessary time and the arrival time is constantly recalculated, taking into account the traffic in real-time.

 – the display of the vehicle’s speed, with alerts when the speed limit is exceeded, and the indication of “dangerous points” of fixed speed controls (radars).

 – interactivity with community alerts, where each user informs the other users of a danger zone (accident, work, broken down vehicle, road conditions, etc.).

 – directory of all tourist places, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, or any other business.

 – Its screen, from 3 to 7 inches, can integrate the backup camera function.

The different models of GPS for car

You can consider different options for the purchase of a GPS:

The original equipment

When you buy a vehicle, the “navigation” option is always possible. Its advantage is its integration and visibility, while the disadvantage is its expensive updates and its lack of evolution, which can make it obsolete after a few years.

The adaptable model

The adaptable mode is plugged into the cigarette lighter. It is fixed by support vented to the windshield or stapled to the dashboard; its interest is to be removable, placed in the best place and interchangeable.

Smartphone applications

Car GPS

For those who want a basic GPS, these applications are loaded on the smartphone, fixed by support; their significant advantages are not to cause additional cost and to limit the equipment connected to the vehicle.

Car GPS: price and specificities

Type of equipment

Features

Cost

Suppliers

GPS in original equipment

All features: interconnected with radio, general info, Bluetooth…

Average price of the option: $500

Brand concessions

Low range GPS

Navigation

From $30 to $50

Concessions, car centres, websites, multimedia centres…

Multi-function GPS

Navigation, alerts, places and sites of interest, businesses, rearview camera and/or front view camera…

From $150 to $250

Dealerships, car centres, websites, multimedia centres…

Specific GPS (motorcycle, trucks, camping car…)

All functionalities + taking into account specific parameters (size, height, weight…)

From $170 to $600

Truck dealerships, websites, camper van sellers…

Applications for smartphones

Navigation, alerts

Free

Download platforms

Wireless Car Alarm

Car Gadget | Wireless Car Alarm

Car Gadget | Wireless Car Alarm

Summary

   – Wireless car alarm: utilities

   – How wireless car alarms work

   – Wireless car alarms: price

Wireless car alarms include several types of alarms with different functions. They do not require wiring when installed in a vehicle.

Let’s take a closer look below.

Wireless car alarm: uses

Wireless Car Alarm

Whether wireless or not, car alarms concern a wide range of systems that rely on different technologies to perform multiple functions.

We can classify them according to the functions they perform:

   – detect a break-in;

   – to alert of a break-in;

   – report the position of the stolen vehicle;

   – prevent the thief from escaping with the vehicle.

Good to know: some alarms have only one function, but others can combine them.

Detecting a break-in

The detection of a break-in is based on sensors placed in the car. These sensors can be multiple and of different types to detect several possible break-in methods:

   – The volumetric sensors manage to detect the presence of an intruder inside the vehicle by different methods.

   – The perimeter sensors can detect break-in attempts from outside the vehicle at different levels (doors, hood, trunk and anti-lift).

Good to know: Detecting a break-in is not very useful in itself. It is a first step that must be followed by an action (alerting of a break-in or preventing the vehicle from running).

Alerting to a break-in

Once a break-in is detected, the alarm system can react with several means, which you can combine:

   – a siren designed to panic the thief and inform the surrounding area that a break-in is in progress;

   – a communication system that allows warning the owner by phone or via a specific beeper.

Good to know: it is an alarm center that collects the information provided by the sensors and commands the necessary actions.

Report the position of the stolen vehicle

A GPS beacon can inform the owner of the position of his vehicle.

It can complement an alarm system that includes other functions or act independently.

The interest of this type of system is not to intervene at the time of the theft but to make it possible to find the vehicle once the theft is done.

Good to know: a GPS tracker can also assume the function of theft alert by informing the owner that his vehicle is in motion.

Prevent the thief from running away with the vehicle

Some alarm systems do more than just alert or report a break-in; they act on the car itself to prevent theft:

   – prohibiting the car from starting;

   – letting the thief start the car but turning off the ignition shortly after.

How wireless car alarms work

Wireless alarms can take several forms:

   – a single component that performs one or more functions (for example, a GPS tracker or a system that integrates a volumetric sensor and siren);

   – a system with multiple components (sensors, control panel and siren) that communicate with each other via radio waves.

Advantages of wireless

Wireless car alarms have several advantages.

   – ease of installation;

   – the possibility of quickly transferring the system from one car to another (especially when changing vehicles);

   – the variety of systems offered.

Limitations of wireless alarms

However, wireless alarms have some weaknesses when compared to systems that require some connections and wiring:

   – the need to recharge the system regularly, since there is no cable connecting it to the vehicle’s battery;

   – the impossibility of having an immobilizer system, which requires a connection with the vehicle’s interface

   – the possibility that certain devices used by thieves may jam the radio signals.

Wireless car alarms: price

Wireless alarms start at very competitive rates. The most advanced systems can be pretty expensive. Here are several ranges of products:

   – Under $100: these prices are for systems with few features, such as entry-level GPS trackers or single-sensor alarms that do not transmit information to the owner.

   – Between $100 and $200: this budget includes full-featured alarm systems with multiple sensors and alerts for the owner.

   Over $200: You will find complete alarm systems with better autonomy and multiple sensors using a more powerful technology at these prices.

 

Read more:

Car Gadget | What Is a Plip Remote Control?

 

Plip Remote Control

Car Gadget | What Is a Plip Remote Control

Car Gadget | What Is a Plip Remote Control

 

Summary

– What is a plip remote control?

– How does a plip remote control work?

– Evolution of plip remote control coding against intrusion

– Special features of hands-free systems

– Reprogramming and resynchronization of the plip remote control

 

The plip remote control, or remote control, has become a familiar object for all car drivers. Nevertheless, its operation is still a mystery. Let’s take a closer look at the function and use of this magic key.

What is a plip remote control?

The plip remote control is a French invention applied to the automobile, dating back to the early 80s. Paul Lipschutz and his French company Neiman (later acquired by Valeo), a supplier of electrical equipment for the automotive industry, developed and marketed this remote unlocking system.

Initially equipped with infrared control, it has evolved towards a radio frequency control, continuously integrating new solutions intended to counter break-in attempts.

Its initial function was to unlock the doors and trunk remotely by simply pressing a contact integrated into the vehicle key. Associated with a sound signal (beep) or light signal (activation of the direction indicators), it would avoid the mechanical insertion of the key in the lock (often problematic at night or in freezing conditions). It also allowed locating one’s vehicle in the middle of a crowded parking lot.

Over time, other functions have been added, leading many manufacturers to replace the ignition key with a card.

How the plip remote control works

Description of the system

The plip remote control is part of a complex system called “electrical door locking”, which includes the locking of the doors, and is generally composed of:

– Door actuators: these are electric coils located in each door leaf and allow the operation of the locks (opening and closing).

– The door lock module: initially an independent control box, it is now often integrated into the central on-board computer (called, depending on the brand, BSI, UCH, etc.).

The “plip” remote control generates a coded signal that the control unit recognizes and allows it to unlock the latter’s operation to open or close the doors. An internal battery provides the energy necessary to create the signal.

The plip remote control is operated using two different signal technologies: infrared and radio.

Infrared control

Plip Remote Control

 

Infrared control is a transmitter with a light-emitting diode that emits infrared rays in the direction of a receiver. The receiver, consisting of a photodiode, converts this light signal into an electrical signal for the control unit.

Note: Infrared radiation, invisible to the naked eye, is a light wave (between 800 µm and 1000 µm), which is above the visible spectrum (between 380 µm and 780 µm). 1 µm = 1 nanometer.

Infrared control has the following disadvantages:

– You must point the remote control precisely in the direction of the receiver, which sometimes results in unsuccessful attempts.

– There must be no obstacles between the remote control and the receiver.

– The signal is sensitive to light disturbances.

– The relatively short signal range is approximately 5 m.

Control by radio signal

The radio signal control operates on a radio frequency of 433 MHz. The principle is the same as infrared control, but it has the following advantages:

– a greater range of action (up to 30 m);

– a higher efficiency to cross obstacles;

– greater precision since it is not necessary to point the remote control at the vehicle.

Evolution of the coding of plip remote controls against intrusion

Plip Remote Control

Fixed coding

Initially, the remote control had a fixed coded signal, which did not need to be synchronized with the vehicle’s receiver. This was later replaced by a fixed signal synchronized with the receiver. This solution was soon abandoned because of its vulnerability to theft.

Rolling code

. Today, the protocols governing the opening and closing of openings are complex. Generally, they include:

– a fixed coding linked to each remote control;

– a rolling code, i.e. renewed at each action, recognized by the receiver thanks to an algorithm installed in the remote control and the receiver.

– an additional coding giving the information of the discharge of the integrated battery.

– additional rolling codes linked to other functions provided by the manufacturer.

These additional rolling codes allow:

– to open the luggage compartment;

– activate the windows and sunroof;

– locate the vehicle by activating the interior lighting, direction indicators, night lights or headlights;

– deactivate an alarm, etc.

Particularities of the “hands-free” systems

Many manufacturers have opted for this technology which replaces the remote control with a card.

This solution offers the possibility to start the engine remotely without a key (an utterly independent function from the opening of the doors).

The most spectacular advantage over the traditional “plip” remote control is the automatic opening of the doors when the vehicle is approached, without the operator’s intervention.

Reprogramming and resynchronization of the plip remote control

Reprogramming is necessary, for example, when the remote control is lost. As a rule, it is necessary to go through the manufacturer and have the same PIN code issued as when you purchased the vehicle new. This operation often requires a manufacturer’s tool.

The resynchronization will be carried out in particular in successive actuation of the remote control out of range of the car’s receiver; a progressive shift is established, requiring the resynchronization. This operation often takes little time and can be carried out by any workshop knowing the manufacturer’s procedure.

For example: after switching on the ignition with the key whose remote control is defective, you have to press one of the buttons on the transmitter for a few seconds.

Read more:

Know Your Gadgets | Universal Remote Control & Smartphone
Car Thermometer

Know Your Gadgets | Car Thermometer

Know Your Gadgets | Car Thermometer

 

Contents

 – Car thermometer: how does it work?

 – Choosing your car thermometer

 – Installation and maintenance

 

When you live in a country with a temperate climate, the seasons come and go, and the temperatures vary. Installing a car thermometer can be simple information for the passengers but a real driving aid for the driver.

Car thermometer: how does it work?

Car Thermometer
Car Thermometer

 There are several different models of car thermometers: digital, bimetallic, analog or with a compass. The function of the latter is to display the inside and outside temperature of the vehicle. 

 The operation is simple: a sensor is placed outside the car, a second one inside, transmitting the different temperatures to the box located under the driver’s eyes. The more powerful the chosen model, the multiple the use of the thermometer would be. Thus, some models will alarm you of negative temperatures and, therefore, a risk of frost or ice.

 

Good to know: The options are numerous and varied. This simple gadget can inform you of the time, the voltage of your vehicle’s battery or inform your car’s electronic system of the ambient temperature and thus impact your driving by being linked to the brake assist system. It also acts on your comfort: the air conditioning or the heating system is activated if the temperature in the cabin exceeds a level deemed inadequate.

Choosing your car thermometer

Car Thermometer
Car Thermometer

 Car thermometers can be found in supermarkets for the most basic models, on commercial websites, or for high-end products with specific options in specialized automotive stores. Prices differ depending on the brand and options selected.

 – The first price thermometer: it can be digital or bimetallic. Its function is to inform you only about the outside temperature. Its price varies between $10 and $20.

 – The driving assistance thermometer is digital, offers you the time and date, acts as a voltmeter, and indicates a danger of ice or frost through a sound signal. The prices are around $50.

 – The thermometer connected to your vehicle is attached to your car’s electronic system. It warns the brake assist system and starts the heating unit or the air conditioning. This is a high-end model that can cost more than $150.

Car Thermometer Installation

 The installation of the car thermometer is a relatively simple operation. The part that will provide you with the information is equipped with velcro. You just have to choose the location and glue it. We advise you to place it under the rearview mirror or around the radio.

 You must ensure that the sensor is not exposed to direct wind or sunlight to avoid transmitting false information. Here again, it is sufficient to glue the object.

 The electrical connections are not very complex; the system must be connected to the vehicle battery, and if necessary, to the electronic system if you have chosen a connected model.

 

Good to know: Some models are battery-operated and interact with the car’s electronic system by Bluetooth. You just have to put down the sensors and launch the connection search!

Maintenance

Car Thermometer
Car Thermometer

 A car thermometer does not have a specific lifespan and does not require any particular maintenance. You just have to take a look at its indications to check that everything is working well.

Upcoming posts in the section Choosing Your Car Gadgets:

 – Interior equipment

 – Car gadgets

 – Air conditioning

 – Alarm and anti-theft

Do you want to read about a particular gadget? Please let us know in the comment section, and we’ll answer you as soon as possible. Also, don’t forget to share your experience below.

4 Savvy Ways To Increase The Lifespan of Your Phone Battery

It’s no secret that smartphones are capable of an impressive array of accomplishments. However, if they are continuously running ahead at full speed, with bright screens and other high-end features sucking plenty of power, they are sure to burn out real fast. And there is nothing worse than checking your smartphone and realizing the battery is running out of juice—or even worse, it’s already completely dead. So, before you find yourself desperately searching for someone around you who has a charger or an outlet, check out these clever ways you can save your phone battery from dying!

 

#1. Screen – The Biggest Energy Thief of the Battery

The screen is the most power-consuming part of your smartphone, as it is powered on every time you perform activities on your phone. That’s why a few improvements to screen usage can significantly extend battery life. One of the most important recommendations is to reduce the brightness of the screen. Smartphones mainly offer automatic screen brightness adjustment to ambient light, which is determined by built-in sensors. With this feature, the phone screen itself darkens as the ambient light decreases, thus consuming less power. On the other hand, if you reduce the time after which the screen automatically “goes to sleep” or turns off, it will take care that the screen does not work when not in use and does not waste valuable battery power.

 

#2. Turn On Power Saving Mode 

Another great help for longer phone life is the power-saving mode in the phones. When you activate this mode, your phone limits background applications’ activities, disables automatic email synchronization and system sounds and reduces various interface visual effects to save power. These details will not interfere with making calls and communicating in online applications but will allow you to extend the phone’s usage time by up to several hours, experts say.

 

#3. Follow a Battery-Friendly Charging Cycle

It’s no secret that a large proportion of smartphone users choose to charge their devices directly at night – then they are not needed, and charging can take place all night long. However, experts point out that such a habit can be very harmful to the phone battery in the long run. The widespread practice of discharging the phone battery to 0% and then recharging it to the 100% mark has remained in people’s minds since the use of older devices. However, modern phone batteries are designed differently and should be connected to the charger no later than about 20 % of the energy level and disconnect before reaching 100%! Experts also remind that the batteries of today’s phones are large, and you do not have to worry about a few per cent lacks of energy.

 

#4. Allows Charging To Take Place Without Interference

Additional load, such as incoming calls, is another seemingly insignificant thing that can actually seriously affect your phone’s battery life in the long run. If the charging cycle is disrupted, the battery may experience lower power cycles. Some batteries consume and consume power faster than others, resulting in faster wear and tear than other cells. However, it is even worse if such interference occurs when the device is already fully charged – it generates even more excess voltage and heat, which significantly damages the battery. Also, keep in mind that energy-intensive applications, such as games with high-definition graphics and watching online videos, should be avoided during charging. The best way to charge your smartphone faster and keep your battery in tip-top condition for longer is to turn off your smartphone while it is charging.

 

Do you need to replace your mobile’s battery? Battery Stop in Campbellfield knows how frustrating to have a flat battery, and they are right here to fix all your battery issues! Get in touch with them!

 

Universal Remote Control

Know Your Gadgets | Universal Remote Control & Smartphone

Know Your Gadgets | Universal Remote Control & Smartphone

Stop collecting remotes by adopting a universal model or a home automation remote control.

All our hi-fi and video devices are supplied with remote control. Whether it is your hi-fi system, your television, DVD player, TNT and ADSL decoder, etc., you accumulate remote controls, and it becomes almost easier to turn on your devices manually than to look for the proper remote control. 

The solution to your problem: the universal remote control

There are 3 types of universal remote controls:

1. Pre-programmed models

    – They are designed for standard devices. This type of remote control can store from 2 to 10 devices, depending on the model.

    – The identifications are made by codes written on your devices. If there is no code, you can launch the “search” mode of the remote control.

    – However, some models remain relatively limited in the use of advanced functions of your devices. They also do not guarantee optimal compatibility with a too recent installation.

    – They are relatively affordable: from $7.

2. Programmable or “learning” models

    You can program from 2 to 10 devices, but they will adapt more quickly to newer and more advanced devices, unlike the pre-programmed ones.

    To identify the devices, you must point the universal remote control at the device’s remote control whose codes you want. You will need to repeat this process for each remote.

    – You can configure some remotes over the Internet via a USB connection.

    – Most of them have a touch screen, allowing you to select the device you want to control.

    – These remotes consume more energy, so we advise you to use rechargeable batteries if a battery is not included.

    – They are a bit more expensive than the pre-programmed ones: from $20.

3. My smartphone as a home automation remote control?

Universal Remote Control

 

There are already different solutions to turn an iPhone into a universal infrared remote control or a remote control that drives home automation units that communicate by radio:

    – via a WiFi or Bluetooth module;

    – with a shell for simple configurations;

    – via a dedicated application that communicates with the home automation system.

Good to know: there are applications for smartphones or touch tablets that allow you to use it as a remote control for different devices: computer, TV, Hi-fi, etc. They are generally free. But beware, some applications are power-hungry! So look for your happiness on the Play Store or  App Store, and don’t forget to tell us about an excellent app if you find one!

Home automation remote control of the future: iDevices/Android

Universal Remote Control

The home automation market has moved towards iDevices/Android/Windows and is no longer towards proprietary remotes.

They are halfway between the universal remote and the touch screen and full of technological nuggets:

    – modular with a built-in base of over 10,000 home automation devices;

    – automated upgrades, either by Internet or by learning the codes of an existing remote control;

    – scalable:

        ◦ A host of Android-based programs are constantly coming to market to “gadgetize” your installation.

        ◦ Perfect for home theatre automation and audio home automation.

For example, test a multi-protocol remote running Android 2.1, which can control all your devices via WiFi, RF, or IR.

Home automation remote control: get creative

A home automation remote can look very different and be “designed” in a variety of ways:

    – a dedicated PC or not;

    – a digital screen (fixed), like a touch tablet (mobile), etc.;

    – a smartphone, etc.;

    – a universal remote control, etc.

Hope you have liked this post. Please, remember to share your experience in the comment box below.

 

Smart TV

Smart TV: How It Works

Contents

    – Smart TV: how it works

    – Smart TV options and benefits

    – The prerequisites of home automation TV

    – Price of a smart TV

The smart TV: your connected and the centralized multimedia screen.

A home automation installation allows you to connect, command and control domestic devices, called connected objects, to facilitate and centralize your daily tasks and leisure activities. TV home automation, also called video home automation, concerns the smart TV and, more generally, any connected multimedia screen. It is the video complement of home cinema automation.

The smart TV allows you to use all your multimedia devices in all the rooms of the house.

Smart TV: how it works

Home automation consists of connecting your various multimedia devices (televisions, video projectors, screens, smartphones, etc.): you thus create a network. This connection can be:

    – wired: it is an Ethernet network, by cable and RJ45 port;

    – wireless: it is a WiFi network.

You can then command and control each of your devices from a home automation hub, a control panel or simply remote control, or from your smartphone or tablet.

There are several technologies for connected TV; these are the communication protocols: the languages that allow your devices to communicate with each other. Some protocols are developed and used by several brands. These are the most widespread, and they are also called non-proprietary protocols. This is the case, for example, of ZWave, X10, Zigbee, PLC Bus, etc. The other protocols are called proprietary and therefore developed and linked to a single manufacturer: Somfy, Leevez, Legrand, etc.

Options and benefits of smart TV

Smart TV

Thanks to TV home automation, all your multimedia devices can be controlled and monitored from the same control panel: smartphone, remote control, tablet, etc. You can synchronize them with each other.

For example, it is possible to watch the same movie on two different screens.

They can also use the features of other equipment.

For instance, it is possible to watch a movie on one screen using connected speakers for sound.

The ease of access to the content you want to watch is one of the significant advantages of smart TV.

If you have photos or movies stored on any of your connected devices, you can watch them on any of your connected screens. Similarly, if you have one of your devices connected to the Internet, you can view (stream, for example) the content from the connected screen of your choice.

The remote controls are programmable, so it is possible to turn on your TV on a program of your choice or turn it off at a specific time.

When you control your smartphone or tablet, you can view its contents, including your notifications, on your screen. You also have access to your downloaded applications.

Your smart TV is a television connected to the Internet, also allows you to watch a movie or a show in the replay, browse and use social networks on the Internet, and communicate in audio and video via Skype or other instant messengers, etc. By connecting a joystick to your TV home automation system, you can enjoy your games on the screen of your choice.

TV home automation requirements

To be connected and controlled, your multimedia devices must be compatible with home automation standards. Your TV must be DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified: it guarantees the interconnection between the different devices. Your multimedia device must have an Ethernet RJ45 socket (for a wired network) or a WiFi module (for a wireless network).

Beyond these basic requirements, your devices can also be compatible with specific networks such as web services (Surf TV, SmartTV inter@ctive, etc.), Android TV or even voice recognition. These options can be helpful depending on the type of control you want to use.

Price of a smart TV

Compatibility with different protocols for home automation TV does not impact the price of a TV. From $300, you can find TVs with DLNA certification and a WiFi module.

Even if the technology evolves quickly and new players appear regularly on the market, most home automation boxes cost between $120 and $300.

Read more here: 

4 Essential Things About Home Cinema Automation