Since these two devices were reviewed towards the end of 2019 I have been asked to tell you about changes made to them in order that should you purchase them now you have the actual updated information for instance the Pixel 4XL was one of the first to come with Android 10 as standard.
My first look was published in November and apart from the obvious change with it coming with Android 10 it has significant improvements to AI. Gestures were in the original release but now you can do much more without touching your phone. They say it can even tell if you have had an accident in a vehicle and if required it can even call the emergency services. Hopefully a feature you will use more often is to motion sense your music so going back, moving forward and pausing all by gestures.
Let me open with a question for those who were involved in the past with building their own computer or just upgrading their current system with a harder capacity hard drive.
Do you remember the price and capacity of the internal hard drive that was to be included in a new or upgraded system? In my case I can distinctly remember scouring through adverts in several computer magazines for a hard drive that would increase my computer's storing capacity. As my budget was around £200, my choice of possible drive was limited to those drives with a maximum capacity of 200MB (this is not a typing mistake as MB was the current standard at that time).
As a fan of the Anne McCaffrey series of novels based on the interaction between telepathic dragons and humans on the planet Pern, I am instinctively drawn towards games with "Dragon" in their titles such as "The Legend of Eratus - Dragonlord".
Developed by eFunsoft, "The Legend of Eratus - Dragonlord" is a Match-3 game that follows the recent trend of dividing its action into a series of chapters with each section featuring upgrades that need to be completed before you are allowed to progress to the next chapter and areas of the realm where this story is based. With this game, you are about to enter a land where King Haleth ruled over this peaceful land.
This 24inch panel from Philips displays in 1920x1080 like the majority, but here the refresh rate is up to 75Hz instead of the standard 60Hz. Another of the plus features is USB ‘C’ and the ability to charge and transfer data from your notebook or Tablet via a single supplied cable. It also has pivot ability so can be used in portrait mode as well.
It is 53.5x32.5x1.5cm; the viewable screen is 52.5x29.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of just under 24inches. The bezel at the sides and top is .5cm and at the base is 3cm, the six control touch buttons are at the right end of this with only a white LED visible. The total weight with stand is just over 5 kilos. There is 30 degrees of back tilt and 5 degrees of forward tilt.
Adding to the ever-growing range of smartphones, Xiaomi has developed its Mi10 family of products.
Meeting up with Alexa certainly opened several doors to ways of doing things.
Having recently told you about a couple of Emporia phones that are designed with Android Go and an Interface for those who need assistance here I am looking at a phone that has Standard Android (version 9) and then a possible skin to suit those with sight or hearing problems designed by Emporia but this can equally well work without it.
Providing the means to position a smartphone in a vehicle is a device from Groov-e.
I am sure we all have a number of USB Sticks often they have information from vendors of course these may contains ‘cookies’ or much worse but we squirrel away information and data and hope it’s not corrupted when we need it.
Most come as a single solid stick and if we stick in our pockets or bags the contacts are exposed and may pick up dirt, they could rip clothes and maybe worst of all get damaged. Here is a drive that retracts at the push of a button on the side so it’s a flat surface with no contacts exposed, push the grey end and it clicks out ready for use. This unit also has a hole cut in the grey end to allow it to be attached to a key ring.
Can you solve the mystery of missing children as your detective agency sends you to Arbourshire.
No doubt you have heard the story of the travelling entertainer who went from town to town playing his music and telling stories. The entertainer was probably referred to as the Pied Piper with special reference to the location known as Hamlyn. But this time the entertainer is a totally different character who takes on the central role in "Fairy Tale Mysteries - The Puppet Thief", a Hidden Object adventure game developed by Gogii.
Mixing Match-3 game play with Hidden Object and Spot the Difference action is the approach used by Heart of Moon.
While "Heart of Moon - The Mask of Seasons" has been classified as belonging to the Match-3 genre, this offering, developed by UNIKGAME, features Hidden Object scenes, Spot the Difference game play, building restoration and battles to the death. Cast in the role of Clara Edison, your participation in the game starts as you receive a note from your "father" regarding new discoveries about the location of the Mask of Seasons.
A light and full function 1080P notebook that has touch built in so Windows 10 works well, as when it was designed touch was the way it was designed to be used. This notebook is bang up to date and has plenty of memory for you to use.
The Acer Swift 5 measures 31.5x21x1.5cm and weighs 936grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14 inches. It is 1920x1080 (full HD) and while the scale and layout setting comes defaulting to 150% I was perfectly happy at 125% which shows considerably more of any web page. Going around the outside has on the left side, power input, HDMI out, USB3 and USB ‘C’. The right side has 3.
News of agreement between EE and Amazon
Delving into the gaming past reveals a title based on the rescue of a princess integrated into a ship.
With the removal of a zero to avoid any possible confusion with the original series of stories, Alawar has published "1001 - The Adventures of Sinbad". Developed by Mange, this title casts you in the role of Sinbad as you set sail to experience the heroics of this adventure encompassing Hidden Object quests to lift the curse of Princess Chalida. Allowing different players to take part in this game, profiles can be created to store each person's progress.
The latest vacuum cleaner from VAX also handles hard floors. The previous one that I saw was the Blade 2 and there are a number of changes not least is the fact that the battery is removable and can fit all of the latest range of VAX products.
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 measures 114cm from the cleaning foot to the top of the handle when stood upright. Unlike the Blade 2 where the power adapter fitted into the top of the handle to charge the fixed battery here in the Blade 4 the battery fits into the unit near the head and clicks out for recharging into an ‘L’ shaped holder for recharge. If you have another of the ONE PWR units from VAX then the batteries are interchangeable so while one is charging another can be in use.
Once again you are called upon to recue those who have fallen under a witch's spell and taken on a different shape.
Developed by Orneon, "Echoes of the Past - The Kingdom of Despair" is a Hidden Object game with a sprinkling of mini game action. The game casts with the task of freeing different characters, who have been trapped by a witch's curse, and locating missing amulets. By completing these tasks you will be rewarded by being presented with a path home. I have been looking at the Collector's Edition of this game which comes with a number of bonus items found under an Extras section.
In an effort to combat the cold weather, you can deal with the fire-bearing monsters attacking Northpearl.
"Dark Realm - Queen of Flames" is a Hidden Object Adventure game. Developed by Mad Head Games, this offering casts you in the role of Valera, the daughter of the village's Blacksmith. You are set the task of discovering who is in charge of the mysterious floating figures who are attacking and setting fire to the village of Northpearl.
This phone looks like a normal Android Smart Phone but also offers help like extra volume, brighter contrast and larger text all things that help when our bodies start to say that is too hard and best of all a easy to use User Manual that explains everything, perhaps better still all of it is in a single language.
There is a second twelve page guide to WhatsApp something all the kids know about, those in their early working life use all the time, and most retirees shy away from, this can get you into the 2020’s. The phone is 11x5.5x1.8cm when closed, when open it is 21cm, it weighs 111grams. The viewable screen is 7x4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 3.2inches.
While there are a number of music streaming services. The two most will have heard of are Spotify and Deezer. Both offer a £9.99 monthly service that enables you to get advert free listening. Both have a very large library of recordings.
So at the £9.99 price point both offer you all the music you want at the touch of a button on your phone, PC, Tablet of even Alexa or Google voice controlled speaker devices. Deezer also have a Hi-Fi mode far higher quality ideal for those audiophiles with good quality speakers or quality headphones this mode is best for those listening on Wi-Fi in your home as the amount of data is far larger. Good quality MP3 the £9.
Instead of wishing on a star, you might prefer to climb a tower for a wish-granting exercise.
By looking carefully in a certain direction, you might, if you were very lucky, see what is referred to as the Tower of God. According to legend, this structure will grant a single wish to whosoever has the skill, ability and desire to climb to the very top of the tower. Ironcode Gaming has taken this belief and turned it into a computer game for those ready to accept the challenge of tackling Match-3 game play in order to have a wish granted.
Pack your bags, you are off to Pompeii to locate a time travelling artefact.
Taking some inspiration from Steven Spielberg's series of cinematic adventures featuring the archaeologist, Indiana Jones, Alawar has published Alabama Smith - Escape from Pompeii. This Hidden Object Adventure title has been developed by Stargaze. Before joining Smith on his adventures that take on the possibility of time travel, you can create profiles to record the progress of individual players and make adjustments to the game playing environment.
This is a small and light notebook from Acer that will easily fit into a bag or backpack for those times when you need to be mobile. However it has a full size keyboard and the screen is 1920x1080 so everything should appear exactly as in the office.
It is 32.5x23.5x1cm the last figure increases to close to 2cm at the back. It weights 1524grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal screen measurement of 14inches. While Windows sets the default display at 150% I found 125% was still perfectly usable and the amount displayed on the screen was far more, especially useful when showing web pages. The processor is an Intel i5 running at 1.6GHz. There is 8GB of RAM (7.84GB available).
For those times where a third hand would be useful, well normally that is not possible but with a Popsocket you can keep you phone stabilised and still do those extra things without that third hand, the Popsocket sticks on the back of your phone so one hand may be all you need.
As traditional hard disk drives have grown in size and reduced in price, so SSD products have followed a similar trend
If you are the owner of a smartwatch, what is your favourite feature?
Most people who are getting older know of Doro phones and they are very good when mobility starts to fail. However there is a company who have been around for four years longer and for me anyway remained a total secret before a recent meeting with someone who has worked for several companies who specialize in helping in that sector.
Here I am looking at the FLIP Basic and the Select these are the two smallest phones of the new range I was shown. The Flip Basic is the smallest of the phones and while it does have an ‘assistance’ button the back it is really just a phone and text item. 9.5x5x1.3cm when closed 16x5x.8cm when opened. The screen is 4.5x3.5cm which is 2.2inches. It is . This is the Emporia Select still a Flip open phone it is 10x5x2cm when closed, 19.
Developed by Domini Games, "Spirit Legends - Solar Eclipse" is classified as a Hidden Object game with more than a touch of Adventure style enhancements.
Your role in this game will be to provide assistance in the search for and rescue of Pascal Lebrave before the always hungry Trolls set about making him the main course of their next feast. You will be accompanied in your task by an apprentice, Evelyn, in the noble Order of Monster Hunters of which Pascal is a member. In this game you are on the side of the humans who are constantly at war with the Trolls.
If you use coffee beans then you know that while it’s important to have them reasonably freshly roasted. Far more important is to have them freshly ground so while the ability to roast your own coffee is beyond most of us it is not that difficult to grind the beans as you need it. This grinder from Melitta gives you coffee shop taste without the coffee shop cost per cup.
I am sure we would all prefer to have a machine to do it all and indeed Melitta do several, there are two major drawbacks the space required and the cost. The grinder has a footprint of only 22x7cm and is 37cm tall. It is fitted with a one metre hard wired lead to 13amp plug that emerges from the back base in the middle. The bean hopper is removable and raises the whole by 13cm from the all-important grinder unit.
Usually with Edifier products I check out speakers but this time the product is a set of personal earbuds.
Continuing the trend of doing away with leads, which do have a tendency to become entangled, Edifier has produced its TWS1 offering. This product is a set of "True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds" that are physically untethered when linked to an appropriate audio source. The earbuds come with their own charging case element that can provide up to 32 hours of playtime time for the listener.
How safe is your data and various online activities?
While you may regard your data, whether of the personal or more sensitive type, as sacrosanct to your needs, you can bet others regard it in a more laissez-faire or commercial sense. To them, and I am referring to that unsavoury breed known as hackers here, data is a modern currency used to facilitate deals. Any issues regarding privacy are there to be circumvented by whatever means possible.