Gadget Ogling: Apple vs. Google, a Bossy Activity Tracker, and Feeling Your Path

Gadget Ogling: Apple vs. Google, a Bossy Activity Tracker, and Feeling Your Path

With Apple and Google each popping out swinging, there’s a lot to the touch on on this week’s version of Gadget Goals And Nightmares, a have a look at newly introduced devices.

Each firms have model new cellular gadgets on the best way. There’s additionally an fascinating spin on an exercise tracker within the offing, and a new solution to navigate winding metropolis streets.

As all the time, the rankings aren’t an indicator of high quality, largely as a result of I have never even seen these devices in particular person. As a substitute, they mirror how I’m in utilizing them.

Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Simply a month after bumping up the scale of the iPhone display, Apple is again on the desk with up to date variations of its tablets.

We first want to debate the digicam. There was loads of focus (in case you’ll pardon the expression) on the cameras at Apple’s presentation, because it tries to advertise the pill as an excellent viewfinder for taking high-quality photographs, whereas including iPhone options like time-lapse and burst mode.

Nevertheless, the brand new push of iPad images is simply encouraging much more individuals to look silly by taking images with their pill in public. That is a plague, and Apple is about to make the state of affairs worse.

Actually, I hope “burst mode” is a misnomer, and anybody who tries to apply it to a pill as an alternative causes its digicam lens to shatter. Pill cameras needs to be for video chatting and fast images across the dwelling and nothing else.

Now, to step off my soapbox, the iPad Air 2 (pictured above) and iPad mini 3 function few really earth-shattering developments. They give the impression of being glossy and plain good, in that means Apple merchandise all the time are. They’ve had an iterative replace (thinner, sooner, sharper and so on), and Contact ID has been tacked on. Actually, that is about it — aside from the brand new gold end, which is fabulous.

iPad Mini 3

iPad Mini 3

We maintain anticipating Apple to wow us at each flip. This time, it is given us extra of a half-hearted smile, one which hopefully not too many individuals will seize for posterity with their pill’s front-facing digicam.

Score: 4 out of 5 Pill Selfies

Google’s Nexus Refresh and Android TV

Google additionally has up to date its flagship smartphone and pill, and they’re actually greater than ever.

The Nexus 6, the successor to the Nexus 5, has a whopping 6-inch display. That appears far too unwieldy and cumbersome for a smartphone. It is also 10 millimeters thick, which is able to make carting considered one of these round in a pocket with out bending it a gargantuan job.


It is way more costly than the Nexus 5 too, beginning at US$649 off-contract, in contrast with $349. I suppose that is as a result of display measurement apparently comes at a premium — regardless that the Nexus 9 pill begins at $399.

The pill holds few surprises. It is naturally sooner than what’s come earlier than and has a sharper display. Disappointingly, Google has eliminated the micro SD enlargement slot. Charging a premium for a few additional gigabytes of onboard storage is seemingly extra essential than making the product extra user-friendly.

Google has thrown a model new toy into the Nexus line: Nexus Participant, a streaming media participant and gaming machine.

Notice: The Gamepad for Nexus Participant is offered individually.

Including voice search to the distant — which comes with the Participant — is a neat contact, and having Nexus Participant double up as a Chromecast for streaming content material from different gadgets is a sensible transfer too.


In the meantime, since Ouya is extra a platform than a console now, it would be a welcome transfer so as to add titles from that ecosystem.

Nexus Pill and Cellphone Score: 3 out of 5 Lollipops

Nexus Participant Score: 4 out of 5 Lollipops

Jaybird Reign Activity Tracker

Sure, I do know. It is one more wearable health tracker. This one, nevertheless, has a contemporary trick to make it soar away from the pack, even when solely a little.

The Reign has a heart-rate measuring operate that tries to find out when your physique is most able to work out. The readiness operate, mixed with the Reign’s potential to trace swimming exercise, makes it barely extra compelling than many different health bands.

band phone

That stated, getting alerted to my physique’s readiness to work out is more likely to trigger nervousness and enhance my coronary heart price quickly, so I am uncertain it is going to be extremely efficient for me.

Score: 3 out of 5 Delayed Exercises

NTT Docomo Yubi Navi

Docomo’s Yubi Navi is a neat tactile prototype that goals to information individuals to their vacation spot by gently shifting their thumbs within the route they need to be going.

It may show eternally helpful to the visually impaired, which earns it a thumbs up from me.

One other function, which lets two customers with paired Yubi Navis simulate holding arms by a bump within the decrease a part of the stick, nullifies my curiosity.

Whereas I am unable to profess to be utterly in love with the concept of carrying round a fancy stick in a overseas metropolis, it’s miles much less obnoxious than having Google Glass strapped to your face to inform you the place to go — on the very least.

Score: 2 out of 5 Incorrect Turns

Gadget Ogling: Apple vs. Google, a Bossy Activity Tracker, and Feeling Your Path

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