Syncing your iPhone or iPad with any desktop computer has always been a painful process. Instead of making a separate app, Apple insists on making us all struggle with iTunes. Thankfully, there is now a better option — iMazing 2 on Mac and Windows lets you sync any iOS device in seconds. This third-party app is great for migrating data to new devices and transferring files. You can get it now for just $ 19.99 via MakeUseOf Deals.
Syncing Made Easy
Billed as the Swiss Army knife of iOS management, iMazing 2 is packed full of great features. However, the app does not feel cluttered. Through simple menus, you can access all your iOS devices and easily transfer data.
What data? Pretty much anything you can think of. With iMazing, you can export your photos, videos, music, ringtones, ebooks, and documents. The app supports all file types, and you can sync via USB or Wi-Fi.
In addition, iPhone owners can grab contacts, voicemail, call history, voice memos, and notes. This means you can make a local backup, and transfer important data when you upgrade.
You can also use iMazing 2 to transfer desktop files to your iOS devices. Adding new music and ebooks has never been so easy.
Apple has announced Apple Arcade, a new gaming subscription service for iOS, macOS, and tvOS. While details are currently thin on the ground, once Apple Arcade launches, it will let paying subscribers play over 100 titles across their Apple devices.
Mobile gaming is big business, and Apple has clearly noted how many people are willing to pay to play games on its devices. But why let developers make all of the money? Apple’s answer is Apple Arcade, a subscription service filled with exclusive titles.
Apple Arcade Kills Ads and In-App Purchases
Apple is billing Apple Arcade as “the world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room”. Because unlike existing services such as PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade will work across multiple platforms.
Apple Arcade will be filled with new games from well-known names and companies. All of which will be exclusive to Apple Arcade. Subscribers will be able to download the games from the App Store, and play across their devices without ads or in-app purchases.
As if that wasn’t enough, all Apple Arcade games will be available to play offline, and many will offer support for controllers. You can also pick up where you left off in a game when switching between your iPhone or iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
Apple’s Phil Schiller said, “The App Store is the world’s biggest and most successful game platform. Now we are going to take games even further with Apple Arcade, the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room.”
Apple Arcade Offers New and Exclusive Games
Apple Arcade will be launching in 150 countries in fall 2019. It will be available on iOS, macOS, and tvOS, and accessed via the App Store. Apple is currently working with developers on “100 new and exclusive games”. However, there’s no word yet on the price.
In case you missed it, Apple Arcade is just one of three new subscription services Apple has launched. The other two are Apple News+, which buys you access to hundreds of newspapers and magazines, and Apple TV+, which will be filled with original programming.
Wunderlist is a favorite of productivity fans everywhere. It has a variety of list styles that you can use for to-dos, grocery lists, and household tasks. And it has the ability to add hashtags to items or assign them to others.
The collaboration tools make this a great choice for people looking for a way to share work tasks with colleagues, or for family members looking to organize their home lives. The comments make it possible to discuss an item in depth too.
Best of all, Wunderlist automatically syncs between your devices and is available for desktop and mobile. Plus there’s a web version if you need to check your to-do lists from a different device.
Todoist has a clean, elegant interface that will look familiar to anyone who uses Gmail. It has a handy deadlines feature so you can see when a task is due and get notifications to remind you to complete the task. It’s also possible to set recurring due dates so your regular tasks can be added to your to-do list automatically.
If you enjoy tracking your progress then you’ll enjoy the visualizations which let you see your productivity trends in the form of graphs.
The syncing works flawlessly and there are apps available for the desktop and mobile. Plus there are even apps for wearables so you can see your to-dos on your Apple Watch or Google Smartwatch.
If you’re a Gmail user and you want a to-do list which integrates seamlessly with your email, then Google Tasks is the app you need. When you’re in your Gmail inbox (or Google Calendar), go to the icon menu on the right and click the blue circle with a white slash through it. This brings up the tasks panel.
From here you can create new lists and add tasks. You can assign a date and time to a task if you want to be reminded of it, or create a task from an email. The features are quite minimal but if you only need a simple to-do list then Google Tasks will sit neatly next to your email inbox and be integrated with your Google Calendar as well.
If you want a stand-alone version of Google Tasks for your phone or browser, there is an app available for Android and iOS and a browser extension available for Chrome.
Evernote is often used as a digital scrapbook to save text, images, or pages from the web to a searchable notebook. However, it was originally designed as a note-taking app and is still very useful for that purpose.
You can create a simple text file to list your to-do items, with checkboxes to tick each one off once you’re done. But you can also get more creative and store your to-dos as images, attached files, or even drawings on your smartphone. There’s no way to schedule tasks, but if you want to save notes as well as your to-dos then this auto-syncing app is a killer.
Any.do has a bright, crisp interface that looks right at home on any Apple product. But it’s not only for Mac or iPhone users, as the app can also be installed on Android. Plus there’s a web interface that can be used from a Windows PC or any other internet browsing device.
To-do lists are organized by date, so you can see which tasks are set for today, tomorrow, and beyond. It’s really a hybrid of a to-do list app and a calendar app. And of course, it syncs between all your devices instantly.
This Microsoft app has proved popular not only with Windows users but also with others thanks to its mobile apps and web version. It has reminders for important tasks and the option to share your tasks with others. There is also a dark mode which is great for those who have problems with eye strain.
The syncing between devices and the web happens automatically, and you can integrate the app with Outlook if you use that for your email.
We’ve saved the best till last. This is one of the most full-featured to-do list apps out there, which is why we named Remember the Milk the best to-do app. You can create sublists, tag tasks, prioritize tasks, attach files, and integrate with a whole raft of other apps.
It also runs on a massive range of devices, including lesser-used platforms like Apple Watch, Amazon Fire, Blackberry, and Linux. This means you can keep your to-dos synced almost everywhere for instant access.
With these sync enabled to-do list apps, you can make sure that your to-dos are always ready at your fingertips. Whatever combination of computer, phone, or tablet you use, you can be sure that your to-dos are up to date and there when you need them.
To-do lists are a great tool to stay organized but you can get the most out of them by managing your lists well. Check out our tips on managing your to-do list to work like a productivity pro.
Bluetooth is a convenient alternative to wires. With Bluetooth, you can connect supported phones, mice, headsets, printers, keyboards, tablets, and many other devices to your computer, as long as it too supports Bluetooth.
Overall, Bluetooth is pretty simple to use, but it can be a bit confusing to new users. To connect two Bluetooth devices together, one (or both) of the devices must be “discoverable.” And this initial Bluetooth connection process is known as “pairing.”
Sound confusing? We’ll show you everything you need to set up Bluetooth in Windows 7.
Turn on Bluetooth on Your Computer and Device
First, ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your computer. Many laptops come with Bluetooth support, but it may be disabled by default to save battery power. Often, you can find a button on your laptop’s keyboard that toggles Bluetooth. You might also have an icon in the System Tray at the bottom-right of the screen or an option in your computer manufacturer’s included software.
If your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth support (which is the case for many desktops), you can buy a cheap Bluetooth adapter. This is a small USB dongle that provides Bluetooth access on any machine.
Next, ensure Bluetooth is enabled on the device you want to pair with your computer. Bluetooth is enabled by default on Bluetooth mice and headsets, but it may be disabled on smartphones and tablets.
The exact location of this option will depend on your device.
On Android, swipe down from the top of the screen twice to access Quick Settings, then make sure you have Bluetooth enabled. iOS users should open Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone 8 or earlier) or swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen (iPhone X or later). Then tap the Bluetooth icon to enable it, if it’s not already.
Make the PC and Devices Discoverable
While Bluetooth is now enabled on both your computer and device, they still can’t see each other. For a Bluetooth device to see another, it must be discoverable. In discoverable mode, your PC or device sends out signals advertising itself. This is disabled by default for security purposes; it only needs to be enabled when you’re pairing devices.
You only need to make one of the devices discoverable. Doing this for either your PC or the device you want to connect will work, but it doesn’t hurt to do it for both.
To make your Windows 7 PC discoverable, click the Start button and select Devices and Printers on the right side of the Start menu. Then right-click your computer name (or Bluetooth adapter name) in the list of devices and select Bluetooth settings.
Click the Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer checkbox in the Bluetooth Settings window, and then click OK. Your computer will now be discoverable to other devices.
To make your phone discoverable, go into its Bluetooth options. If you use Android, you’ll find this at Settings > Connected devices. On iOS, head to Settings > Bluetooth. Both will display a message like Now discoverable as [Name] when the device is ready to pair.
If you’re pairing a device like a Bluetooth mouse or headphones, follow the instructions in the manual to put the device into pairing mode. Typically, you’ll need to hold the power button for several seconds or something similar.
Pair the Device
You can now pair the device with your computer. If you’ve made your PC discoverable, you can select your PC from the list of available devices that shows on your phone or tablet to initiate the pairing process.
Alternatively, you can pair a device from your PC, as long as that device is discoverable. First, click the Add a device button in the Devices and Printers panel of Windows 7. (If you want to pair a Bluetooth printer, click Add a printer instead.)
Windows will look for discoverable Bluetooth devices and present them in the list. Select one and click Next to add it.
If you don’t see your Bluetooth device here, ensure that it’s discoverable and has Bluetooth enabled. As we mentioned above, this may require a certain button input on Bluetooth accessories like keyboards.
For many devices, you’ll see a passcode. Ensure the key on your PC and the device are the same. This helps you ensure you’re connecting the device to the correct machine, and not another nearby computer.
You’ll have to agree to the pairing request to initiate the connection. When pairing a phone, you’ll need to confirm the code on both your phone and your computer. A window will pop up asking you to confirm the connection. This helps prevent other people from pairing with your device when it’s in discoverable mode.
Once you confirm, Windows may install drivers as needed. Then you’re all set to start using it.
You can double-click the device in the Devices and Printers window to access more features, such as the ability to send files and play music. The exact features available will depend on your device.
Discover, Pair, and Go
Now that your device and computer are paired, they’ll continue working together. You won’t have to go through the pairing process each time you want to use the device, and they’ll connect automatically when they’re in range and turned on.
When you’re not actually pairing devices, for your security, you should make sure that both the device and your PC aren’t discoverable. You may also want to disable Bluetooth when you’re not using it, which can help save battery power on both your computer and your device.
As you’ve probably already noticed, Amazon Alexa continues to expand its reach. The personal assistant is just a little more than four years old and has come a long way from its humble beginnings with the original Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Alexa now powers a whole host of devices and a simple voice command can accomplish some pretty surprising tasks with the right hardware. In this article, we’re highlighting the best Alexa-compatible devices that you should take a look at in 2019.
Alexa can go for a ride with Anker’s Roav Viva. Just plug it into a free cigarette lighter in your car to get started. When on the go, a quick voice command will provide access to Alexa’s features, including calling, messaging, drop in, and announcements.
The adapter also features two USB ports so you can charge other devices.
Just say, “Alexa, wake me up tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. to my morning playlist from Spotify.”
The Amazon Echo Spot features a 2.5-inch, round touchscreen. A great feature, not found on the larger Echo Show, is a number of different analog and digital clock faces that make the device perfect to use as a voice-controllable alarm clock.
You can take advantage of all the different Alexa-enabled skills using the Spot, such as voice calling and messaging. With a built-in camera, you can also place video calls to other Alexa devices or anyone with the compatible smartphone app. Make sure to take a look at everything you should know about the Amazon Echo Spot.
A true Alexa smart home is moving closer to reality with the AmazonBasics Microwave. You’ll need another Amazon Echo device to control the microwave. But once that is set up, there are more than 24 voice-controllable presets to select from. You can also even specify a particular time for the 700-watt microwave to cook.
Just say, “Alexa, tell Rachio to water the side yard for 2 minutes.”
Smart sprinkler controllers can save homeowners both water and money. Taking the place of a standard irrigation system controller, the smart version can provide better insight on when a lawn needs water and exactly how much.
One of the best choices on the market is the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. While you can set an automatic schedule, Alexa can also help out. With a voice command, users can start and stop watering, turn on a rain delay, and more.
Setting a timer is one of the most popular ways to interact with Alexa, and the Echo Wall Clock provides a way to quickly view how much time is left. You’ll need to pair the clock to another Echo device, but you can view one or multiple timers with the 60 LEDs around the outer edge of the analog clock.
Even ceiling fans are joining forces with Alexa. Along with offering HomeKit support for Apple devices, the Hunter Signal Ceiling Fan also works with Alexa.
Users can control the speed of the fan and dim the lights with their voice. A special WhisperWind motor brings strong air movement without significant noise. Thanks to a reversible motor, you can use the fan all year by changing the direction of the motor in the winter to help keep your home warm.
Just say, “Alexa, play Beastie Boys from Spotify.”
If sound quality is your top priority when looking for a smart speaker with Alexa built-in, take a look at the Sonos One. Sonos has always been well-known for delivering top-quality audio, and the Sonos One brings Alexa to the mix.
You can accomplish almost everything possible with an Echo device, including playing music, controlling smart home devices, and interacting with skills. Buyers can select from a black or white version to match their home decor.
Just say, “Alexa, turn the bedroom light to 50 percent brightness.”
Smart lighting is one of the simplest ways to add technology to a home. While the Sengled Element Classic A19 requires a wireless hub, the lights are substantially more affordable than the popular Philips Hue line of products.
The starter kit comes with two dimmable A19 LED soft white bulbs. Using Alexa, you can turn the bulbs on and off along with changing the brightness level.
A kitchen device to test your culinary prowess, the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker provides a great way for home cooks to try out the popular cooking method. If you’re unaware, sous vide means food sealed in a bag cooked in a water bath at a consistent temperature. You can cook a surprising amount of items using the method, everything from steaks to soups and even desserts.
With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the cooker can be controlled with a smartphone app and also with Alexa. Using Alexa, cooks can heat water to a specific temperature, cook a certain item, and more.
A great feature of the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot is the ability to view live camera feeds of certain models on screen by just asking Alexa.
Along with night vision, the EZVIZ Mini O Wi-Fi Camera has a 111-degree viewing angle to show exactly what’s going on a room. With a built-in microphone and speaker, you can listen and talk to whoever is near the camera.
Just say “Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen on Amazon Music.”
Bose has always been a top name when looking for noise-canceling headphones. And the QuietComfort 35 Series II adds Alexa control to the mix. Just press the action button on the bottom of the headphones to play music, turn up the volume, and more.
Just say, “Alexa, tell Home Connect Coffee Machine to prepare a large, extra strong Latte Macchiato.”
Why go to Starbucks when Alexa can act as your personal barista at home? The Bosch BCM8450UC Automatic Coffee Maker needs to be built into your kitchen to operate. If you have the room (and the cash) you’re in for an unbeatable home coffee experience. All you need to add is coffee beans, milk, and water. Then, sit back and enjoy.
And while the machine is accessible with a smartphone app, the Alexa voice controls are even easier. Just say what type of coffee you’re in the mood for and the Bosch machine will take care of the rest.
Just say “Alexa, turn on the TV and tune to ESPN.”
Remotes are a thing of the past when using the Fire TV Cube in your living room. You can ask Alexa to turn on your TV and soundbar while even starting a specific program. The cube is capable of streaming 4K content at 60fps along with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. It can also access popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon’s own Prime Video.
You don’t need to spend big bucks for a car with smart features. The Automatic Pro is a small device that plugs into a modern car’s OBD-II port for constant power. There’s no need for a smartphone, as built-in 3G service is free for five years.
It can provide real-time vehicle location no matter who is driving a car and also will decode check engine lights and deploy emergency services if a crash is detected.
With Alexa integration, you can ask where the car is parked, if you need gas, and to find out more about your driving habits.
The device is a double threat. You can control a home’s heating and air conditioning with a simple Alexa command on any compatible device. The thermostat also has Alexa controls built-in, meaning it can act as a standalone option like the Amazon Echo Dot.
A Growing World of Alexa-Compatible Devices
Amazon’s Alexa continues to gain traction and partner with more interesting and unique devices. Even though the voice control assistant is far from perfect, the growing number of uses are definitely interesting and point to a very bright future for Amazon’s ecosystem.
Wireless intercom systems are an important subset of the home security market. These systems, which take many forms, have become popular in recent years as technology has improved, and prices have dropped.
In this article, you’ll learn about the different types of home intercom systems on the market and the security they provide.
Why Purchase a Wireless Intercom System?
Wireless intercom systems are an excellent way to communicate with others in your home or when someone is at the front door. They also provide peace of mind in the event of an emergency, when seconds count.
Unlike traditional intercom systems, wireless systems are easy to install and usually don’t require any additional costs. Because there are no wires to worry about, there are also fewer risks. They’re also simple to remove if you decide to move to another location.
Today’s intercom systems take many forms, from simple walkie-talkie based systems to those that allow you to talk to anyone in the world.
Wireless Intercoms: Easy Setup, Low Cost
The most basic wireless intercom systems can take the form of a base/intercom station and rechargeable hand-held radio combination. These systems offer maximum flexibility since you can add new portable radios at any time.
No doubt the most basic of systems on this list, the Qniglo Wireless Intercom was refreshed for 2018 and provides for up to nine channels with a distance up to 1,800 feet. It includes a microphone and speaker, and you don’t need to hold down on the Talk button while communicating.
This system is suitable for business or home use, or anywhere else that requires short distance communication.
The Samcom Digital Wireless 10-Channel Intercom, meanwhile, comes with one walkie-talkie, but you can add more to suit your needs. The system provides a range of up to 1,500 feet and is supported by a power bank. In other words, there’s no Wi-Fi requirement.
As a bonus, with this product, there’s “Talk” mode and “Group” mode. The former is for private conversations between two handsets, while the latter is for communications across all intercoms.
Two-way radios are also a popular choice both for daily use and during an emergency. Many of these radios, such as the Motorola M260TP also include weather channels with alert features.
Wireless Intercoms: For Babies and Children
Baby monitors also make excellent home intercom systems. They allow you to hear or see your child remotely and talk to them. As your child ages, these monitors become a useful two-way intercom. There are many baby monitors on the market. Among these are the following.
The Philips Avent SCD630/37 video baby monitor offers FHSS technology which provides for a secure private connection to your baby with a 3.5-inch color screen. Wall mountable, this model offers automatic infrared night vision, a talkback feature, nightlight, and lullabies.
With a range of up to 984 feet, there’s also a voice activation mode.
Both practical and adorable, the Arlo Baby Monitor offers lots of features that make it worth considering if you’re an expectant parent. These features include the ability to view real-time and recorded videos in 1080p, a two-way wireless talk system, advanced night vision, and instant smart alerts.
The monitor also offers a multi-colored night light, lullaby players, temperature, humidity and VOCX air sensors, and integration with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
The iBaby WiFi M7 baby monitor is noted for its built-in moonlight soother night light and early childhood education content, including music, lullabies, white noises, and bedtime stories. It also offers the ability to schedule diaper and feeding alerts.
Perhaps most importantly, it offers 1080p video resolution through a free app, plus an air quality sensor.
Wireless Intercoms With Video
Most room-to-room intercom systems come without video. One that does is also incredibly feature-rich.
The Nucleus video intercom promises to connect “rooms, homes, and unlimited mobile devices.” Each Nucleus unit includes a 120-degree HD camera that lets you see the whole room and everyone in it. Better still, Nucleus features Amazon Alexa, which allows you to listen to music in stereo, get the news and weather, and control other smart devices.
You can connect an unlimited number of Nucleus devices to a single system. You can also use the Nucleus to communicate to others outside of your home when they use the free Nucleus Mobile Companion app.
Video Doorbells as Wireless Intercoms
Home intercom systems that monitor your front door are also popular and are available at various price points. Each features video capabilities, including the following.
Perhaps the most recognizable on the list, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 allows you to see and speak with a visitor at your door from anywhere using your mobile device. Each Ring doorbell comes with an HD camera with night vision and intelligent motion detection.
For added security, you can purchase Ring’s optional video recording feature, which captures every activity detected by the motion sensors, including doorbell button presses. Ring stores the HD video in a cloud. Ring comes in various styles to match your tastes and home decor.
The August Doorbell Cam Pro second edition offers a one-way camera view of visitors, which ensures privacy. The device also allows you to lock and unlock an August Smart Lock from anywhere in the world. The August Doorbell Cam is available in various colors and styles.
With the Enforcer, you can view and communicate with visitors up to 492 feet away. Whenever someone approaches, a sensor activates the camera and takes a photo, which can be viewed and stored on the handheld monitor. Built-in LED lights shine on the area in front of the camera so you can see guests during day and night.
Best Wireless Intercom? The Choice Is Yours
Whether you’re a new parent looking for a way to communicate with your baby from another room or a senior concerned with who’s at the front door, wireless intercom systems have you covered. These systems come in various styles and price points to suit your needs.