Posted in Tech Hardware

Best Tech of 2015… So Far!

Even though New Year’s might seem like it was only yesterday, we’re already more than halfway through 2015, and plenty of great products have come out  From completely useless to surprisingly useful, there’s plenty of variety.  I recently came across an article that features some of the best tech products released so far this year, listed below:

Amazon Echo

While it looks like nothing more than a basic black cylinder that you put on your shelf, the Amazon Echo has all of the features of Siri or Android Now;  it understands your spoken commands from across the room, no matter what you’re doing.  By starting every command with its name, Alexa, it automatically knows when you’re addressing it.  “Alexa” can answer any questions you might have about sports, weather, unit conversions, news, geography, facts or just about anything on Wikipedia.  She can even tell jokes or reorder something you’ve previously ordered on Amazon.  Since Echo works with various music apps through a rich Bluetooth speaker, you can also ask her to play music.  While its vocabulary is somewhat limited, this device is off to a great start.  

Apple Watch

While the Apple Watch isn’t the first smartwatch to be released, it’s still been able to make a huge splash in the media world.  It’s a nicely-designed accessory that allows wearers to check the news, weather forecasts and social media without having to pull out their phones.

ResearchKit

This software toolkit allows researchers to write iPhone apps for medical studies.  While this might sound strange, it allows researchers to track countless bytes of useful data by monitoring activity, sleep, heartbeat and much more.  It has a great potential to unlock that data and safely make it available to researchers without violating your privacy.  As the phone owner, you have total control over how much of your data you want to share, how long you want to share it and which studies you want to join.  

Galaxy S6

Not only is this arguably the most attractive smartphone that Samsung has ever produced, but it also has one of the best cameras of any phone out there.  It’s fast, has a gorgeous display and metal body and boasts both a mobile payment system and built-in fingerprint reader.

LG G4

Much like the Galaxy S6, the LG G4 has got an exceptional camera, that can capture the most accurate and colorful image out of any major smartphone on the market.  In a series of tests that compared this phone to the S6, Note 4, iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the M9, it offered the sharpest and most vivid photos of them all.

Lenovo LaVie Z

Even though it isn’t as attractive as Apple’s signature sleek, minimalist computers, it’s lighter than any other 13-inch laptop on the market, with the processing power to edit photos and videos without slowing down.

MacBook

Ever since the iMac debuted without a floppy drive, it seems like Apple designers have been trying to take away anything that’s not absolutely essential.  Unfortunately, their definition of “inessential” is often-times ahead of the public’s; their new product is super thin and light, causing Apple to eliminate a lot of connectors, such as the standard USB, video output, Thunderbolt, Ethernet and MagSafe power port.  There’s only one USB-C port, which handles both power and data connections.  While some might think Apple’s gone too far, plenty of others find that this works just fine.

Nintendo 3DS XL

Even though they’ve dominated the handheld video game business since the 1990s, this doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped constantly tweaking its systems, as can be seen with their new 3DS XL.  From intelligently repositioned switched to an analog stick nestled above the face buttons, there are improvements everywhere.  Of course, it isn’t perfect, but when compared to other platforms, it remains the best handheld video game system on the market.  

Roku 3

There are plenty of boxes that stream Internet content to your big-screen TV, but none of them are as reliable or easy-to-use as the Roku 3.  With over 2,000 channels to choose from, the Roku 3 allows you to search for something to watch by just speaking the name of a show or channel into the remote.  It will even alert you when shows you’ve been waiting to watch are finally available.  

Sling TV

The arrival of this product is great news for anybody that likes watching sports and other live TV but hates paying their cable provider for it.  For just $20 a month, this app delivers a dozen popular “cable stations” to any connected device.  And for another $5 a month each, you can add packages offering more channels.  While there are occasional connection problems, the Sling TV is an exceptional device whenever it’s working.

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Author:

Adult Learners. Online Education. Technology. Lifelong Learning and Relevancy. Opinions are my own. http://donnamurdoch.me