Fitbit Preps Alta Successors?

A pair of Fitbit devices just passed thru the FCC. And, given aggressive $90 Versa pricing today, my first thought was a quick refresh of the company’s relatively new smart watch. However, with ‘activity tracker’ verbiage and narrow “e-label” screens, a revamp or replacement of the Fitbit Alta line seems way more likely. From limited … Read more

Amazon Echo Auto Now Shipping!

Tipster Susan H shouldn’t have been doubted… as a small number of lucky folks did indeed receive Echo Auto invites. And orders have started arriving! Not much yet in the way of commentary, but Tod Kuntzelman has posted some nice pictures while we await more well-formed initial thoughts, including the requisite Roav Viva comparisons — given experiences … Read more

Arlo Pet Tracker To Intelligently Monitor Furry Friends

Along with the new Arlo Gen 5 wirefree camera, the Netgear spinoff is also poised to unveil a somewhat curious pet tracker. As they already promote pet-friendly video monitoring, perhaps this collar tag isn’t an entirely unusual pivot… And, as one Twitter buddy suggests, it’ll likely integrate with the Arlo video line to include/exclude those … Read more

Google Home Hub Is The Holiday Gift Of 2018

The refreshed Amazon Echo Dot will make a nice stocking-stuffer, but the newly introduced Google Home Hub could be an excellent holiday gift giving centerpiece. While it features a significantly smaller screen than the competing Amazon Echo Show and sister smart displays… that may actually work to its benefit, in terms of versatility (and contribute to … Read more

Replace Your Echo Dots. All Of Them.

The new Amazon Echo Dot is out. And Alexa’s reviews have been exceedingly positive. From The Verge: I’m going to cut right to the chase: the new Echo Dot smart speaker is so much better than its predecessor that it would not be totally out of line to replace a whole houseful of old Echo … Read more

Amazon Recalls Bricked Cloud Cam(s)

Can’t tell you how many devices this applies to, but Amazon wants my buddy’s Cloud Cam back.

About two weeks ago, he had told me the WiFi camera died. He attempted a factory reset, but no love. He hadn’t found time or energy to follow-up with Amazon when, out of the blue, he received a voicemail and an email “message from Amazon’s Engineering Team” (device-recovery@amazon.com) this week stating:

I was calling to talk about one of your Cloud Cam devices. I’d like to get you a replacement Cloud Cam device as soon as possible at no additional cost to you. Additionally, I would like to schedule a pick-up to have the original device delivered to our lab for analysis.

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The Best Fitbit Versa Faces

I gotta be honest. I’m jst not completely sold on the Fitbit Versa. It’s decidedly less sophisticated and less premium than the similarly priced Apple Watch. Not to mention, Versa band replacement is just awful. Yet, Apple doesn’t natively provide some of the basics I expect from an activity tracker, such as a simple step complication and … Read more

The Coolest CES Gadget I Can’t Use

As with every CES, all sorts of sexy gadgetry parades about the various show venues. And, while I wasn’t in attendance this year, you can bet I was obsessively ingesting of the tech blog coverage and press release fire hose. While some swooned over recycled approaches that are unlikely to move markets and televisions only corporate entities could entertain, I found myself smitten with an inexpensive Anker accessory.

The Internet of Everything seemed to be the overarching theme this year, with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant garnering much attention through all sorts of integrations. Yeah, many of these are superfluous with a number of open questions regarding security, privacy, and reliability. But, but gadgets! As such, the $50 Anker Roav VIVA caught my eye. It’s cheap, fun, and … shipping next month — something you can’t say about so many CES unveilings. No, I don’t need Alexa in my car. But that didn’t stop me from driving around with an Echo Dot like Alan Wolk. In many ways, Alexa is largely inferior to the native Android or iPhone voice assistants as an automative communicator (think text messaging and navigation). Yet, Alexa is so much better with random queries and sports a humgo list of skills (and my daughter loves calling Elmo).

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