November's Best Smart Gadgets at Your Fingertips

BY Olly Mann

1st Jan 2015 Technology

November's Best Smart Gadgets at Your Fingertips

Top gadgets that will make your technology smarter than the rest!

A Smarter Phone: Apple iPhone 6 Plus, from £619 

iPhone 6

Inspired by Samsung’s technique of throwing smartphones at the market and seeing what sticks, the iPhone 6 comes in two flavours: the 4.7 inch standard, or this whopping 5.5 inch “Plus” model. It feels like a small tablet, (the iPad Mini Mini, perhaps?), and one-handed operation is now a distant memory. It also looks less refined than previous incarnations, but a larger body means longer battery life, it’s impressively thin and the front-facing camera is now in HD (for those all important selfies).
Available at apple.co.uk


Retro Meets Modern: Olympus Stylus SH-1, £350

Olympus camera
Back in the dying days of summer, and in a holiday mood, I impulsively purchased this premium compact camera at the Terminal 5 duty free. I’m a sucker for Sixties style, so I couldn’t resist the combination of its black leather and silver metal case, resembling the classic Olympus Trip, and appealing modern features: a three-inch touchscreen, built-in wi-fi and 24x optical zoom. It turned out to be a stellar choice. The battery endured the duration of my fortnight away, my holiday snaps looked great and photo transfer via the free iPad app was a breeze.
Available from Olympus.


Tv at Your Finger Tips: Roku Streaming Stick, £49.99

Roku Streaming Stick
This thumb-sized drive docks into the back of your TV and connects you to a world of on-demand content: transforming a “dumb” telly into a smart one (providing you have broadband wi-fi and a spare HDMI port). Netflix, iPlayer, Now TV and YouTube are among the supported apps. It can’t “cast” videos from any web page like its cheaper rival Google’s Chromecast, but this means it’s simpler to control via a remote, just like a set-top box, with no need for a “second screen”.
Also available from PC World.

Apps of the Month

Android App of the Month

You've Goat to be Joking: Goat Simulator, £2.99

Goat Simulator App
For some reason, the internet loves goats—almost as much as it loves cats. A spike in the popularity of goat-themed apps, therefore, seems a bizarre inevitability. In this vividly-imagined game, you play a billy goat accruing points for performing typical goat actions, with extra available for manoeuvering into or around a car, human or a pile of leaves. A compelling distraction for the goat devotee.
Available from Google Play.


Apple app of the month

Type away!: Swiftkey keyboard, free

Swiftkey Keyboard App

iPhone and iPad users now have the option of downloading keyboards made by third-party companies. My favourite is Switfkey, which draws upon its own user-generated dictionary and scans the most common phrases in your mail inbox to provide a personalised service. It’s increased my typing speed significantly.
Available from iTunes.

Olly is a technology expert, LBC presenter and Answer Me This! podcaster.

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Top image: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com