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Category: #Gadgets (Page 1 of 10)

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Walmart Spilled the Beans on Google’s Next Smart Speaker a Week Early

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Google isn’t expected to announce its next smart speaker until Sept. 30 during its Launch Night In event, but it apparently that hasn’t stopped Walmart from spilling the beans a week early.

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/walmart-spilled-the-beans-on-googles-next-smart-speaker-1845168934
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sam Rutherford

iOS doesn’t need to be more like Android, it just needs more Google

9be09b70-fedc-11ea-bfd7-0de715a3cd50Apple’s iOS 14 has taken some heat for copying Android features. The most obvious example being the new customizable widgets (iOS had widgets before, but it was limited to the left-most screen of the main menu). Another big change is the introduction…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/ios-14-android-google-apple-150007924.html
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Amazon’s Sidewalk Will Take Your Smart Home Outdoors with Echo and Tile

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Amazon’s ambitions to extend your smart home outside are starting to take off. While the company announced the Sidewalk initiative last year, we haven’t heard much more until now. Now Amazon says it’s getting closer to release and will expand the standard to Echo devices and Tile. The latter marks the first third-party company collaboration for Sidewalk.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/54594/amazons-sidewalk-will-take-your-smart-home-outdoors-with-echo-and-tile/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

How to Switch AirPods Automatically on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

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Apple’s AirPods can now automatically switch between your devices. If you’re using AirPods with an iPhone and pick up your iPad, they’ll switch. if you get a call on an iPhone, they’ll switch back. Here’s how this all works.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/691036/how-to-switch-airpods-automatically-on-iphone-ipad-and-mac/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Hoffman

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Is a More Affordable Flagship Smartphone

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The Galaxy S20 is a fine flagship phone, though in some ways, it does more to prove the future of foldables than sell itself. But no matter how good a flagship is, $1,000 money is a lot of money to spend on a phone. We think you’d be better off buying a budget phone, smartwatch, and earbuds. But, maybe another good option is the $699 Galaxy S20 SE.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/54892/the-samsung-galaxy-s20-fe-is-a-more-affordable-flagship-smartphone/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Android’s 2 Best Features Come to iOS 14: Here’s How to Use Them

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For a long time, one of the key benefits of choosing Android over iOS has been the ability to break away from the rigid inflexibility of multiple home screens, split up into uniform grids of app icons. Now with the introduction of home screen widgets and the App Library in iOS 14, that advantage has disappeared.…

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/androids-2-best-features-come-to-ios-14-heres-how-to-u-1845116118
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The Article Was Written/Published By: David Nield

The star of Netgear’s first WiFi 6 gaming router is its software

c0692b30-f863-11ea-8ed7-5d4807369790The PlayStation 5 will support WiFi 6 upon its release this November, but it won’t mean much if gamers don’t have a router that also supports the standard. There are some good models on the market from companies like D-Link and Linksys, with great ge…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/netgear-nitehawk-pro-gaming-xr1000-123031339.html
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OLED vs. QLED, and More: Which TV Should You Buy?

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Want a new TV, but confused by the barrage of acronyms and jargon manufacturers love? One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want a traditional light-emitting diode (LED) model, or a set that features the newer organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/687178/oled-vs.-qled-and-more-which-tv-should-you-buy/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Tim Brookes

16 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Gadgets

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Tech is constantly being outdated, and because of that, you might have a small gadget graveyard building up in your house somewhere. But you spent a decent amount of money on all that stuff, it shouldn’t go to waste! So before you get rid of it, let’s go over some cool stuff you can do with those dated pieces of tech.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/53199/16-ways-to-repurpose-your-old-gadgets/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

USB Explained: All the Different Types (and What They’re Used for)

Hand holding a USB C cabledhehaivan/Shutterstock.com

USB, short for Universal Serial Bus, is a common type of computer port that makes it easy to charge a device or transfer data between two devices. Since it was first developed in the ’90s, USB has continued to evolve alongside technology, progressively becoming smaller, faster, and more powerful. With so many devices that use USB, it’s easy to get confused by the different connectors. But fear not—we’re going to demystify all of that today.

When it comes to USB, there are really only four things that matter: form factor, transfer speeds, power delivery, and video delivery. Let’s dig in.

Form Factor

USB 2.0 and 3.0 connector typesMilos634/Wikipedia.org

There are multiple types of USB that have popped up over the years, each with a unique design and use case. The most common types are USB-A, Micro-USB, and USB-C, but we’ll briefly discuss all of them.

USB-A

USB-A, or USB Type A, is the original flat and rectangular connector that no one could ever figure out how to plug in correctly the first time. These cables always have USB-A on one end with a different port type on the other, and can be used for device charging and data transfer. USB-A is still widely used and can be found on devices like computers, gaming consoles, TVs, and all kinds of peripherals.

USB-B

USB-B is pretty much only used on large devices, like scanners or printers. Visually, this connector looks almost square. Most of these are USB-B to USB-A cables, though some newer devices have moved on from USB-B to smaller options, like Micro-USB or Mini-USB.

Micro-USB

Micro-USB was the standard a while back for certain portable devices, like Android tablets and smartphones because it can transfer data and provide charge. It comes in both Type-A Micro and Type-B Micro flavors, and is smaller than USB-A. Some manufacturers still opt for using Micro-USB parts for their devices, as they’re less costly than those for USB-C.

Mini-USB

As its name suggests, Mini-USB is a smaller version of USB-B. It was the standard for charging or transferring data from devices like tablets before Micro-USB was. There are also Type-A and Type-B versions of this connector. It’s uncommon to see many products using Mini-USB today, though you can still find them on older electronics like MP3 players or the PlayStation 3 controller.

USB-C

This is the current standard, and it marries power and data delivery with display connectivity. USB-C is what you’ll see on most new devices like smartphones, game controllers, earbud cases, microphones, and laptops. Its form factor is small, oblong, and reversible, so it can be plugged in either way (take that, USB-A). The port’s 100-watt connection makes it perfectly suited for fast charging and data transfers, even with larger devices.

USB-C can do more than other USB types can, and get it done faster. USB-C has the potential to replace all other cables, thanks to its diverse multi-tasking abilities. It has the ability to power even the most power-hungry devices, like laptops and TVs. It can also transfer 40 gigabits of data per second (Gbps), and can be used to deliver 4K video to external monitors.

While manufacturers continue to release new products with ports other than USB-C (looking at you, Apple), we aren’t yet able to live in a single-cable society, but we’re getting there we, and we may eventually be freed from the burden of lugging around multiple cords.

Lightning

Technically, Lightning is not USB, but rather Apple’s proprietary connector type that works similarly to USB. You’ll see it on Apple’s devices, like the iPad and iPhone. It’s similar to USB-C in that it is reversible. It supports speeds similar to USB 3.0.

Data Transfer Speed

Close up of computer cable USB isolated on white background, selective focustristan tan/Shutterstock.com

In addition to coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, USB types also have multiple speed standards. Keep in mind that some USB cables are data transfer only, and others are power delivery only, but also that there are options that can handle both tasks. Be sure to verify a cable’s abilities before purchasing it.

The first, USB 1.x, is old and incredibly slow, and can only move 1.5 Mbps. Your odds of finding a device in the wild still on 1.0 are slim to none. The slightly less old (and comfortably slow) USB 2.0, however, is still relatively common, though you’ll really only find it on older electronics. 2.0 has a full-speed option that can handle 12 Mbps, and a high-speed version that can handle 480 Mbps. SuperSpeed USB 3.x can transfer data between 5-20 Gbps.

The latest entries, USB 4.0, Thunderbolt 3, and Thunderbolt 4, are where you’ll find the highest data transfer speeds: a maximum capable throughput of 40 Gbps. Thunderbolt is another transfer speed standard used in some USB-C cables—all Thunderbolt 3 and 4 cables are USB-C, but not all USB-C cables are Thunderbolt. So if Thunderbolt is what you’re after, you’ll need to make sure that’s part of the cable you’re buying.

These super-high transfer rates are impressive, but they don’t matter much if you aren’t regularly transferring hundreds of GB of data or doing something wild like editing video on an external hard drive. If you are, however, you’ll want at least Thunderbolt 3.

Power Delivery

As we mentioned above, some USB cables are only capable of delivering power or transferring data, though most can do both. PD (power delivery) standards fall into one of three main categories: power only, slow charge, and fast charge.

USB 2.0 supports 2.5W charging and USB 3.0 supports 4.5W charging. To put things in perspective, 10W is enough power to slow charge your phone, and 18W is enough to fast charge your smartphone or power a Netbook or similar bare-bones laptops.

In contrast, USB PD can handle up to 100W, which is powerful enough to power things like a MacBook Pro, monitors, docking stations, and most TVs. It can also fast-charge smaller compatible devices like your phone or Nintendo Switch. PD also only provides the necessary charge to your device but won’t overcharge it. Newer battery banks are starting to support USB PD, which are more capable of keeping your power-hungry devices powered and fully charged.

Video Delivery

Smartphone connected to laptop via USB cableLTim/Shutterstock.com

Being able to transfer data and power a device is already impressive. But you can also choose to use USB-C to connect to monitors in place of a bulky HDMI or VGA cable. USB-C also has support for 4K video delivery to a screen. Thunderbolt 4 cables can handle displaying 4K content on two monitors at a time, or 8K on a single monitor. Again, this isn’t going to be the use case for most people, but as 4K and 8K video becomes more commonplace, you’ll eventually need a cable that can keep up.

How to Know if You’re Using a Safe USB Cable

The rule of thumb is that you should always use the cable that came with your device and that you should buy any replacements from the manufacturer as well. That cable is specifically engineered to be used with your phone, tablet, or computer.

However, if you want to purchase one from a third party, be sure to stick with trusted established brands like Anker, Aukey, or Belkin, or at least look to see if a different brand lists the cable’s USB certification. Otherwise, you could end up with an inferior cable that lacks official USB-IF certification and could potentially damage your device.

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/53587/usb-explained-all-the-different-types-and-what-theyre-used-for/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

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