We often curse technology when it goes wrong, but when it goes right it can be an absolute lifesaver. Check out our top five gadgets and five apps that will have you wondering, ‘How did I ever live without this?”
Our five fave tech gadgets
1. TILE: We’ve all been caught out before – we’re rushing out the door and we suddenly realise we’ve misplaced our wallet, keys or phone. Disaster ensues. Skip the drama with Tile, a bluetooth tracker that you can attach to your most important belongings. Your smartphone and the Tile app will have your belongings found in no time. $20, www.thetileapp.com
2. SOLAR POWER BANK: Ever had your phone run out of charge when you’re away from a charging point? Portable chargers have been around for a while, but not all are created equal. Solar Power Bank doubles as a light. Waterproof and enclosed in rubber, it’s the perfect accessory for travellers. $49.95, www.ausdashcams.com.au
3. WOCKET: We’ve heard of smartphones, smart watches and even smart fridges. Now the standard wallet has gone and got its PhD – it’s officially ‘smart’. Introducing Wocket, the gadget that replaces your entire wallet with a single card and case. No more bulky purses or rummaging for loyalty cards
4. WEMO: Ever left the house and felt that sudden panic that you left the iron on? Or wished you’d turned on a light to confuse burglars while you’re on holidays? Bingo! The Belkin WeMo Switch lets you control your powerpoints remotely (over Wi-fi, 3G or 4G) via a smartphone app. $69.95, www.belkin.com.au
5. HOME HELPERS: Google Home and Amazon Echo are just two of the ‘smart home’ devices that have hit the market recently. Voice-operated, you can command these gadgets to do just about anything, from telling you what the weather will be like while you’re getting dressed in the morning to streaming your favourite music while you cook dinner.
Our five fave apps
1. MEALIME: When you’re stumped for what to cook for dinner, or are trying to make a decent lunch out of what’s left in the fridge, consult Mealime – it’s a meal-planning app that you can tailor to suit your preferences or needs.
2. GOOGLE KEEP: This app presents all of your reminders, notes and checklists at a single glance. No more chasing up pieces of scrap paper or trying to figure out what you’ve forgotten – it’s all kept right here.
3. EXPENSIFY: Expensify is a receipt and expense tracker that helps you stay on top of your spending.
4. AUDIBLE: This app is simply the best way to listen to your favourite books, new releases and book series – while letting you do other things at the same time. Cleaning the house, exercising and going for a walk just became so much more interesting.
5. FIRST AID: This one is literally a life-saver. The Australian Red Cross app developed First Aid to make sure everyone has essential first aid information at their fingertips. With advice on what to do in a range of events, from allergy attacks to burns or choking, it could seriously help you save a life.