February's Must-Have Gadgets

Olly Mann

Olly Mann selects his top gadgets for February. Take a look at his top pics, you might just be surprised.

Vodka Zinger, £24.99

Cocktails have certainly come a long way since my youth, when they all seemed to look and taste like Toilet Duck. But even for those of us who know our Mojitos from our Manhattans, bartending gadgets can seem a gimmicky and unwelcome addition to the booze cabinet: all you really require, after all, is a shaker and some ice. Making your own flavoured vodka, however, has got to be worth a punt. Add fresh ingredients to the bottom chamber, add vodka to the top, and hey presto—coriander vodka!

Or perhaps melon, if you must be so predictable.

 

Apple iMac with 5K Retina Display from £1,999

At first glance, this new iMac looks much like last year’s model, but that’s the genius of it: Apple have somehow managed to double the resolution of the screen, yet encase it within the same gorgeous aluminium shell as last year, which is only 5mm thick. And it now runs on 30% less power. The drawback, as ever, is the price, but let’s not compare Apples with, er, oranges: though it’s expensive, it’s still more affordable than buying a cheaper PC and a separate 5K monitor.

 

Mother, £249.99

For years we’ve been told so-called “smart” appliances are the future—fridges that tell you when you’re out of milk, that sort of thing—but in truth nobody wants to throw out their perfectly serviceable “dumb” appliances without good cause. Mother allows you to convert existing household objects into smart appliances by attaching one of four sensors to them and tracking the activity via a central hub. For example, discover whether your kids have used their toothbrush today, or how many times the cat has used the litter tray. What you do with that information isn’t entirely clear.

 

Apps of the month

 

ANDROID APP OF THE MONTH

Tidal, £20 a month

Until now, if you wanted music in high-fidelity, you had to buy the CD. That’s because music was sold in a pre-broadband era, compressed MP3 format. With fewer size restrictions nowadays, Tidal have stepped in with a streaming jukebox, proffering 25 millions tacks, all in 1411kbps hi-fidelity. You’ll need decent speakers to hear the difference, though.

 

APPLE app of the month

Euan’s Guide, free 

Founded by Londoner Euan MacDonald, who has motor neurone disease and uses a wheelchair, this city-guide app allows you to search for venues and, based on user reviews, deduce just how good its disabled access is. For example, see if there are steps from the car park, if induction loops are installed for deaf visitors, or even if the disabled loos are regularly cleaned.