Entertainment gadgets: Lights, camera, action
Mevo by Livestream, £320
If you fancy setting yourself up as a YouTube star, most smartphones now provide a camera, mic and editing software to do you proud. But with the advent of live-video networks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, what if you want to broadcast live?
Mevo is an HD camera, with built-in stereo mics, which syncs to an iPhone app and allows you (or a friend, if you’re the one on-screen) to cut between different parts of the shot.
It creates the impression of a multi-camera live shoot, in real-time as you stream to the world. A professional product at a hobbyist’s price.
Humax H3 Espresso Smart Media Player, £79.99
When I was at uni, I had a coat hanger plugged into my telly, doubling as an aerial. Nowadays I’d buy one of these little coffee-coloured boxes (hence “Espresso”), which offers live streaming of Freeview channels conveniently from its homescreen.
Perfect for students—or anyone lodging in a place where there’s plentiful wi-fi, but not necessarily a decent rooftop aerial.
That said, if you prefer your TV on-demand, I’d advise getting a Roku instead: the Espresso has apps for Netflix and YouTube, but not Amazon Prime, iPlayer or Now TV.
Glocalme G2 Personal Hotspot, £100
UK holidaymakers are charged through the nose for data-roaming outside the EU, and securing local SIM cards for multiple devices can be a pain. Enter GlocalMe—a pocket-sized gizmo that connects to 4G with no need for a SIM.
Data is around £4/GB (depending on the conversion rate), and can be shared by up to five devices at once. Still, it can’t find a signal where there isn’t one: we tested it on a 450-mile train ride across the US, and on occasion it had less signal than our phone.
In general, however, it’s a useful tool for services such as Maps, WhatsApp and Skype.
Apple app of the month: Natural Cycles, £6.99/month
Fertility apps, which track a woman’s menstrual cycle and predict the optimum day to conceive, have facilitated many a bundle of joy. But this one is aimed at couples who want to avoid pregnancy too.
The app monitors your temperature and advises when, in your monthly cycle, barrier contraceptives need not be worn.
Android app of the month: Pointless, £6.99
If you like playing along with the popular TV quiz show, then you’ll enjoy this app, which features the same music, graphics and gameplay.
Although there’s a lot of fun to be had playing against your Facebook friends, it’s hard for avatars to replicate the warmth of the hosts and the questions seem more difficult than they are on TV—no doubt because you have to pay a premium to reveal some pointers!
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