5 Problem solving gadgets for April

BY Olly Mann

1st Jan 2015 Technology

5 Problem solving gadgets for April

This month's gadget must haves are real problem solvers. From maximising your music library to helping your baby sleep at night, Olly Mann gives us the lowdown on his April techie armoury. 

DJI Osmo Action 3


DJI Osmo

How do you spot a TV professional these days? Every bedroom vlogger can access 4K cameras, editing software and digital distribution.

The Osmo, from drone specialist DJI, blurs boundaries even further. An image stabilising monopod, or “gimbal”, it enables amateur videographers to create such smooth tracking shots you’d swear they were filmed using a movie rig.

Using a smartphone as viewfinder, the footage captured by the 94-degree wide-angle lens is glorious. The only drawback is that the whirring of the device can be detected in the background.


Pioneer XDP-100R


gadget april

Streaming app Tidal now supplies “high-res” music downloads, allowing savvy audiophiles to enjoy richer sounds on their home hi-fi than they could experience from services offering only MP3 files, which are more compressed.

Listening on the move, however, can be a pain: studio-quality songs consume loads of storage, so some smartphones struggle to accommodate them. Step in Pioneer’s portable player, running on Android.

It includes twin MicroSD ports, thus making space for a whopping 432GB of high-res ‘choons. With decent headphones, the sound is extraordinarily crisp—though I suspect the price will have to plummet before the appeal extends beyond weirdy-beardy musos.




Sometimes, the future can be the past: witness the bizarre upward trend for fax machines and cassette players. LG’s latest smartphone features many mod-cons to mark it out as cutting-edge: a VR-ready processor, for instance, and dockable accessories to transform the device into a drone controller or action cam.

The feature that gets me most excited is the most retro of all: a slide-out battery. You know, like we all used to have on the Nokia 3210! Fully-juiced spare batteries are always in style. 


Apple app: Facet


apple app facet

When the British weather is drizzly and dreary, I cheer myself up by perving over other people’s holiday snaps.

Facet offers users the chance to share Vine-type video vignettes of their coolest travel experiences, whether braving white-water rapids in Uganda or slurping down frog legs in France.

You can even swipe to add a location to your shortlist or book a nearby Airbnb. A great escape.



Android app: Sound Sleeper


android sleep sound

Newborn babies, accustomed to the ambient noise of the womb, often struggle to adjust to the silence of the night—which is why, sadly, my son spends so much of it crying.

Sound Sleeper simulates the distant rumble of household appliances as heard in utero (my boy especially enjoys “vacuum cleaner”), soothing him immediately. Absolute magic!

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Feature image: Pioneer XDP-100R via Expert Reviews