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1 week ago

Android Oreo released for Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 7

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8.0 Oreo is available now for both handsets.

There are a lot of OEMs that could learn a thing or two from HMD Global – the company responsible for all of the current Nokia-branded Android phones. Following Oreo updates for the Nokia 8, 6, 5, and 2, Oreo is now officially on its way to the Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 7.

Nokia 6 (left) and Nokia 7 (right).

The 2018 version of the Nokia 6 was just announced on January 5, and one of our biggest complaints was that the phone was shipping with 7.1.1 Nougat. However, seeing as how pre-orders just opened on January 10, it looks like most folks will be able to start playing with Oreo from day one.

While the Nokia 6 (2018) will likely make its way to other markets outside of China later this year, the Nokia 7 is still exclusive to the country following its launch this past October. That phone also shipped with 7.1.1, so the Oreo update should come as a nice treat and breath of fresh air for its owners.

As per usual, the Oreo update includes picture-in-picture, notification dots, overall better performance, and more.

Android Oreo

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1 week ago

What is Chrome 'Site Isolation' and how does it keep me safe?

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Chrome's Site Isolation feature is a brand new way to keep your web session more secure, but you'll need to enable it.

The web is a scary place. There are scams, malicious links and other vulnerabilities hiding everywhere. Most users don't see this because of protections built-in to their web browser or email client, and with Chrome 63, Google has brought another key feature to keeping users safe: site isolation.

What is site isolation?

The Chrome browser is known for using a lot of system resources, but with good reason: each tab in the browser is dedicated a single process. This uses more resources, but if a website causes one tab to crash, the other tabs continue working without issue and without crashing the entire web browser.

When one tab — for this example, an email client — has an action that opens a new tab — clicking on a link inside an email — both of those tabs share a single process. Another example is if you have one tab for the Android Central home page and another tab for the (awesome) [Android Central forums](https://forums.androidcentral.com — because these share the same domain, they are also been sharing on single process.

That changes with site isolation in Chrome 63. Each tab will get its own process, no matter what. This does have an impact of system memory: the Chrome browser will use 10%-20% more RAM. Having said that, I've used site isolation on Windows machines with 4GB of RAM and didn't notice any performance impact.

How to enable site isolation

Unfortunately, site isolation is not (yet) enabled by default, but can be easily turned on inside Chrome on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Chrome OS. Here's how to enable it on your computer.

  1. Type chrome://flags into the Chrome address bar.
  2. Press Ctrl + F on your keyboard to open the search window.
  3. Search for "Site Isolation." You should see the option listed as "Strict Site Isolation."
  4. Click Enable. The browser will restart, and that's it!

IT administrators can enable Site Isolation for their organization by enabling the policy within the Google Administrative Console.

Should you use site isolation?

Yes. The only (potential) downside is a performance tax, but the protections that come with site isolation are well worth it. It's another layer in the security ogre that will keep you safe in the online world.

Have you started using site isolation? Let us know down below!

Chromebooks

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1 week ago

LG is reportedly ditching the G7 and starting over from scratch

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LG's CEO issued the order right after CES.

The year of 2018 has been an odd one so far for LG. A report came out on January 3 that the G6's successor wouldn't be called the G7 and instead replaced with all-new branding, and this was followed up on January 11 during CES 2018 where LG's Vice Chairman confirmed that the company was moving away from yearly flagship smartphone releases.

Now on January 15, a report from The Investor says that LG's Vice Chairman and CEO, Jo Seong-jin, has issued an order to the company's mobile department to halt all current development of the G6's successor and start over from scratch. We were initially expecting this phone to be announced during MWC this February, but this announcement now means we're looking at an inevitable delay.

LG is said to decide on a new launch date during the Lunar New Year holiday (February 15 - 21), and as such, the phone likely won't launch until April or later.

What does this mean for the G7 (or whatever it's called) when it finally hits store shelves? Prior to this announcement, we were anticipating pretty minor upgrades compared to the G6, such as an OLED display with slimmer bezels, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, improved cameras, etc. The source that The Investor spoke to says that LG "hasn't been able to find a strong selling point for the G7", so it'll be interesting to see what LG changes in order to make its phone more appealing over the likes of Samsung's Galaxy S9.

Until then, what feature does the LG G7 need to have in order for you to consider buying the phone?

LG will stop releasing new phones every year

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1 week ago

Zolo's $40 Halo Bluetooth speaker has Amazon Alexa built right in

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Sounds like savings!

Zolo's Halo Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Smart Speaker is down to $39.99 on Amazon. This speaker sells for around $51, and it has never dropped directly from that price.

This speaker works with Amazon Alexa, but you don't have to hook it up to your Echo to get it to work. It has Alexa built right into it, and she can access whatever place you stream music from the most.

Features include:

  • Professionally tuned 5W high-excursion speaker and bass port deliver exceptional sound quality and rich bass from Halo's miniaturized body.
  • Voice-activated Alexa functionality with over 10000 life-enhancing skills. Stream audio and music services (including Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Audible ); Check news, traffic, and weather; find answers; control smart home devices; and shop with your voice.
  • With simplified Wi-Fi connectivity, link up to 6 Halo speakers simultaneously for house-wide audio and Alexa communication.
  • Not only a Smart Speaker, Halo works as a stand-alone high-fidelity Bluetooth Speaker.

Zolo backs this speaker up with an 18-month warranty.

See on Amazon

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1 week ago

The biggest VR and AR announcements of CES 2018

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This year was all about polish, and that's a very good thing.

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As virtual reality and augmented reality continue to grow in popularity, CES remains one of the best places to see what we can expect in the coming year.

This year, in particular, we got a look at some very cool new headsets aimed at improving the overall experiences we have today. Lots of companies are eager to ditch the cord, remove the phone, and generally make it so VR headsets are self-contained wonders. In the augmented reality world, it feels more and more like we're returning to the notion that "smart glasses" for specific use cases are the way of the future.

Curious to see what made CES extra awesome for VR and AR fans? Here's what we've found.

Lenovo Mirage Solo

Daydream Standalone is real at last! No more messing around with putting your phone in a headset if you don't want to. This headset is its own computer with its own display, and not only will it play every Daydream game at launch but there will also be new and more immersive experiences to take advantage of the ability to move around quite a bit. It's a massive step forward for Daydream, and we will surely be hearing lots more about this soon.

Everything you need to know about the new Lenovo Mirage Solo

HTC Vive Pro

The second most popular "full" VR headset in the world now has a cooler, more mature brother. The Vive Pro is designed to be an upgrade over the Vive, but not a replacement. It comes with higher resolution displays, a significantly more comfortable head strap, more capable built-in headphones, and an overall lighter frame.

On top of all of this, there's a new wireless accessory from HTC that allows you to ditch the big cable entirely and spend a couple of hours in VR with no restrictions.

Check out our hands on with the Vive Pro

Huawei VR2

While not strictly speaking a new headset, Huawei bringing its tethered headset to the US is kind of a big deal. This headset can connect to multiple sources with a cable, which could potentially mean you have a VR headset that will offer up fun from a PC and a phone separately. The headset has a fairly familiar look and feel, and could easily be confused with a Daydream headset with some of the software inside.

We'll be learning a lot more about this headset in the future, but it's very cool to see Huawei bringing more tech to the U.S.

Arsenz Thermoglass with FLIR

Being able to pop a FLIR camera onto your phone and get a quick thermal readout is fun, but in a professional environment it takes time and relies on the user to keep the software up to date on the phone. Now FLIR is working with Arsenz to stick its miniaturized thermal smarts into a headset you wear almost like Google Glass. This design gives the user a thermal readout of the world right in front of them without obscuring their view or occupying their hands.

As augmented reality products go, this is both technically fascinating and one of those things that will make certain jobs infinitely easier to do.

Vuzix Smart Glasses with Alexa

While we've seen Vuzix at CES for several years now, there's never been much about its smart glasses that really feel like something most people would benefit from. This year, the new Vuzix Blade glasses pay closer attention to aesthetics by looking more like a standard pair of glasses and now also feature Amazon's Alexa service. This means you have Alexa available everywhere and you don't need reach into your pocket to get it, which can be a huge plus for anyone who is all in on the Alexa ecosystem.

It's a solid step forward and demonstrates how dedicated Vuzix is to the wearable computer concept.

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1 week ago

Do you plan on getting the Samsung Galaxy S9?

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The Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are great, but the S9 is shaping up to be a beast of a phone.

Following months of leaks and rumors, we're finally getting close to the announcement of the Galaxy S9. We have a pretty good idea of what the phone will look like and what major features it'll be shipping with, and all that remains is for Samsung to officially unveil it.

The Galaxy S9 will look a lot like the S8, but thanks to things like a repositioned fingerprint sensor, even slimmer bezels, and possibly a camera with a physically changing aperture, there's plenty to be excited for. Some of our forum users recently got into a discussion about whether or not they'll be picking up the S9 once it's available, and this is what they had to say.

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cwbcpa 01-12-2018 09:14 AM “

While I have no doubt that the S9/S9+ will be awesome, I'll wait for the Note 9. The Note 8 will get a refresh with Oreo. Even if it didn't, the Note 8 does everything I need it to and more. Then we will see how much of a leap the Note 9 is from the Note 8.

Reply
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jamezr 01-12-2018 09:41 AM “

I love my Note 8...but there is a S9+ with my name on it. Just wish I could get it in Pearl White!

Reply
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strikeIII 01-12-2018 10:06 AM “

S9+ features definitly look nice but that just means the N9 will be even better. Of course I'll be getting the S9+ tho.

Reply
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bassplayrguy 01-13-2018 03:46 PM “

The more I read about the S9 series, there's just no real upgrades over the note 8. There are some minimal things but that's it. Less ram, smaller screen, no S pen for $1000? It's def a no for me. The Note 9 is the only phone that can take the note 8 off of the throne.

Reply

How about you – Will you be upgrading to the Galaxy S9?

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1 week ago

Actually, the Pixel 2 is the best Android for Windows phone converts

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The Pixel 2 (not the OnePlus 5T) is the best Android option for former Windows phone users for a couple of important reasons.

Recently Windows Central Senior Editor Zac Bowden proclaimed the new OnePlus 5T as the best Android phone for Windows folks who were finally moving on to another phone and another platform. I don't deny the OnePlus 5T is a great phone (I haven't used one for more than 60 seconds, but still) and that company is doing some great work.

But I disagree that it is the best. And this isn't just because I prefer a different phone. I've been using Android in some form since 2010. I've seen a lot of phones come, and that OS is even responsible for my employment at Mobile Nations. Until November, I was using an HP Elite x3 every day, until the curtain dropped on Windows 10 Mobile and I decided I should probably buy a new phone.

There are many good reasons to buy phones from Samsung, LG, and OnePlus, but there's always been one great reason to buy a phone with Google's badge on it. And now, with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, there are two really great reasons to buy a phone with Google's badge on it.

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1 week ago

HTC U11 EYEs unveiled with 18:9 display, dual front cameras, and 3930mAh battery

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The U11 EYEs features the largest battery on an HTC smartphone yet.

Renders of the HTC U11 EYEs leaked late last week, and the phone is now official. The highlight of the phone is a dual 5MP camera setup at the front with f/2.2 lenses, HDR, 80-degree field of view, and portrait mode. The U11 EYEs also has a 3930mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, which is the largest battery on an HTC smartphone yet.

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1 week ago

Micromax's first Android Go phone coming later this month, and it could cost just $30

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India's Micromax is all set to unveil its first Android Go phone, with rumors hinting at a sub-$50 price.

Google formally unveiled its Android Oreo (Go Edition) platform last month, detailing how devices running 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage will benefit from the lightweight OS. We haven't heard much on the device front, but that's set to change soon as India's local handset manufacturer Micromax has announced that its first Android Go phone will be launching later this month. Dubbed Bharat Go, the phone will be the first to be powered by the lightweight platform, with current rumors hinting at a retail price of ₹2,000 ($30).

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1 week ago

From the Editor's Desk: Post-CES hot-takes

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Las Vegas skyline

So long, CES 2018. You were kinda weird.

*/ /*-->*/

As we come crashing out of CES week and into 2018 proper, it's time to reflect on a big (and slightly weird) week in tech.

It's a working weekend, so I'll just touch on a few of the show's major highlights for Android and Google followers. I could go way longer on a lot of these, so consider this assembly of CES hot-takes to be my initial, largely unfiltered thoughts on the show.

Here goes...

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1 week ago

Best Android Tablets in 2018

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

See at Best Buy

The two most important things to have in a full-size Android tablet are a great screen and software that uses every inch of it. That's what makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 the best Android tablet.

An amazing screen from Samsung is no surprise. The 9.7-inch 2048x1536 Super AMOLED on the Tab S3 carries on the tradition, and it's simply the best display on a tablet. Android and Samsung mesh to provide a great software experience and the new S Pen and its 4096-level pressure sensitivity makes taking notes or producing digital artwork a breeze.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Tab S3 is the best tablet Samsung has ever made, as well as the best Android Tablet you can buy.

One more thing: The internal hardware is also top notch and will keep up with everything you would want to do.

Why the Galaxy Tab S3 is the best

It's exactly what we want from a tablet.

In 2018, a tablet is no longer just a bigger version of a phone. They have to pull extra duty and be a media player, a book reader, a web browser, and a work tool without any complaints or complications. Some tablets are great at some of these things, but the Tabs S3 is great at all of them.

Working, whether it's on a presentation for your boss or a paper for your professor, is very different on a tablet than it is on a more conventional computer. Apps are designed to be more simple and easy to use with a touch screen, while omitting many of the battery-hungry features you would find in their desktop counterparts. The biggest hurdle has always been finding a way to organize the things you're doing on your screen while you're doing them. Samsung has had this figured out for a while and with the debut of native features with Android Nougat, you'll be able to run your apps just how you like to run them.

The S Pen takes things over the top. A tablet with a wonderful screen, a custom-fit keyboard and cover, and powerful hardware is made better with a fully capable digital pen. The excellent Wacom integration makes taking notes or using photoshop a fluid and enjoyable experience that you won't find with any other tablet on the market.

Best smaller tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

See at Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is an 8-inch tablet that would have been the best tablet you can buy last year. It's the predecessor to our top pick, and shares features like an incredible screen, great battery life and plenty of power.

The Tab S2 may be a year old, but it's still a great tablet if you're looking for one in the 8-inch category. And the price won't make you cringe — you can pick up a Tab 2 for under $300.

Bottom line: If you want something super thin and ultra-light, the Tab S2 is the best.

One more thing: The Tab S2 also has a fingerprint sensor!

Best on a budget

Amazon Fire HD 10

See at Amazon

The Amazon Fire HD 10 isn't going to blow you away with speeds and feeds — that's not why it exists. Instead, it's simply the best budget tablet for doing many things, from watching movies and TV shows to playing mindless games. Best of all, at under $150, you can hand it to your kids and not worry about it.

Bottom line: The Fire HD 10 is one of the best values in technology products you'll find.

One more thing: Did we mention that it's under $150?

For the enthusiast

Pixel C

See at Google

We liked the Pixel C when it first arrived at the end of 2015. We thought the design was striking and the NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor handled everything well. We really loved the crisp display and thought the package represented the Pixel brand very well. It reached its full potential with Android 7.0 and the native multi-window display feature.

Enthusiasts will love the Pixel C because the hardware is open and unlockable. Third-party Android builds or Linux builds or something nobody has thought of yet can be flashed to the tablet with no worries and the path back is as easy as downloading the software from Google.

Bottom line: The community will continue support for the Pixel C long after it officially ends because of its open hardware and bootloader.

One more thing: Because this is a Google hardware product, the Pixel C will be among the first Android tablets to be updated with new features.

Conclusion

Like most things, there is no one Android tablet that's right for everyone. That's one of the big reasons Google was able to break Apple's dominance in mobile computing — it offers a choice for just about everyone. Whether you want the stylish look and thin profile of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 or the high-powered yet low-priced NVIDIA Shield K1 — or anything in between — someone is making a tablet that will work for you.

Our pick with the Galaxy Tab S3 is tough to beat. Great construction, an awesome screen, and Samsung's unique S Pen experience put it at the top of our list.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

See at Best Buy

The two most important things to have in a full-size Android tablet are a great screen and software that uses every inch of it. That's what makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 the best Android tablet.

An amazing screen from Samsung is no surprise. The 9.7-inch 2048x1536 Super AMOLED on the Tab S3 carrys on the tradition, and it's simply the best display on a tablet. Android and Samsung mesh to provide a great software experience and the new S Pen and its 4096-level pressure sensitivity makes taking notes or producing digital artwork a breeze.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Tab S3 is the best tablet Samsung has ever made, as well as the best Android Tablet you can buy.

One more thing: The internal hardware is also top notch and will keep up with everything you would want to do.

Update, January 2018: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is still the best Android tablet you can buy right now.

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1 week ago

How to connect PlayStation VR to your PC

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How to connect PlayStation VR to your PC

You can connect your PSVR to your PC with the help of some third-party software.

Sony's entry into the VR world has been a hit — their head-mounted display is as comfortable as they get, and the library of quality games continues to grow. For some of you, however, PlayStation VR (PSVR) games might not be enough. Thanks to some clever programming by the developers at Odd Sheep Games, you can actually connect your PSVR to your PC. Trinus PSVR is a piece of software that handles all the communication between your PC and PSVR that would normally never happen.

Why would you want to connect your PSVR to anything other than a PS4? If you have a library of Steam games on your PC, whether VR or not, you can play them with Trinus PSVR. If you'd like to watch movies or TV in VR, you can also do so through the PSVR head-mounted display.

If this is something you've always wanted to do, we're here to show you how to get it all set up.

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1 week ago

Google and Qualcomm are poised to put assistants in all the things

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Get ready, because little digital helpers are going to be in a lot of the things you buy next year.

You know what I want? I want a microwave oven that has Wi-Fi, a really good speaker, a small touchscreen and Google Assistant. I can make my Hot Pockets while listening to some music, and even tell my little digital buddy to add Pizza Rolls to the shopping list or to turn the heat up a little bit because my feet are cold. And I think I'm going to have the chance to buy it this holiday season because new chips from Qualcomm and changes to Android Things will make it easy to put Assistant in everything.

Cheap specialty hardware and free software makes it silly to not put a voice assistant in your next product.

That's what it takes to make it happen. Everyone is talking about Lenovo's Smart Display Google Assistant video thing-a-ma-jig they demoed at CES, but it's the tech you can't see that makes it happen. You need the right microprocessor(s) with support for the right things and an operating system that can power it all without adding too much overhead. That's what Qualcomm and other chipmakers like NXP, Intel or Broadcom and Google have quietly been doing.

Enter the Low Power Bluetooth SoC QCC5100 from Qualcomm. As you can tell from the name (who named it anyway?), it provides Bluetooth support and doesn't use a lot of power. Two very important things for any modern electronic device. What the name doesn't tell you is that it also has baked-in support for voice assistant services, Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo, aptX HD audio, and integrated hybrid/active noise cancellation. This chip was designed just for headphones that use Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa service. Other chips in development or already for sale offer similar support for specialty products.

On the Google side, new APIs for Android Things make it easy to make a cool thing with the next generation of chips. Android Things is an operating system for small connected devices that runs fast and lean. It's also easy to develop applications for because you use the same tools and methods that you would if you were building an app for an Android phone. And like Android "proper", it's free for the taking, and if you follow Google or Amazon's guidelines on what the OS can do and what features it will support when you build it, you also get Google Assistant or Alexa for free.

Not every company is as ambitious as Samsung and wants to build their own infrastructure and service backends for a voice assistant. What companies like Qualcomm and Google are offering is a turn-key solution to building a product that people will buy. This allows a company like Lenovo to build out a Smart Display. Or a company like Nest (an Alphabet holding) to put Google Assistant in the next generation of smart thermostats. Or Xiaomi to put Assistant in a television, or Kenwood to put it in your car's dashboard.

The closest any of us here has ever been to a Maserati.

It's important to remember that these aren't Google products. They are made by the companies selling them using off-the-shelf parts and a purpose-built operating system that they get for free. Companies can add a new feature to a product without much extra cost to the bill of materials in the hopes that it will be a hit and they will sell millions of them. Everyone makes money — Qualcomm sells their specialty hardware, Google gets more data for their giant advertising machine in the sky, and companies like LG and Pioneer get to keep the profit from the things they sell. It's sort of like that Perfect Storm scenario from the movie, but with less rain and death (hopefully).

My prediction is that once you can add Assistant or Alexa to a product without spending a lot to develop it, companies are going to do it to everything. From a toothbrush that works with Google Health and Google Fit to a doorbell that reminds you to take an umbrella along as you leave the house, these products are coming. The question is, are we ready for them?

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1 week ago

Take a break and chat in this weekend's comments thread

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Everything stressful has been postponed until Monday.

CES is over, and we all saw a ton of stuff that someone hopes we want to buy. And we might even want to buy some of it, as long as it works as well as the product demo videos show. I get a kick out of the little things that end up on a table or in a booth there. The big stuff from the big names overshadows them, but silly things like tiny sad robots are still fun to see.

Another thing I can't help but think about when we see consumerism on display at a show like CES is what happens to all this stuff once nobody wants it any longer. I'm hoping that televisions and phone cases and tiny robots all get properly recycled once they've reached their end, but I have a feeling a lot of it still gets buried in the desert somewhere like bins of E.T. Atari cartridges. Two thousand years from now, future archeologists will think we were insane and savage when they dig it all up.

Anyhoo, it was 70-degrees yesterday and it's snowing right now so I want to think about anything besides the weather. Take a minute and share what you're up to this weekend while I sit here and wonder why I ever left Florida.

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1 week ago

Best GPS Trackers for Kids

Best GPS trackers for kids

Keeping a closer eye on your children is now simple, safer, and more accurate with a GPS tracker. But what are the best options? Here are a few to check out!

It can be difficult to keep track of your children, and it can also be hard to gauge when it's appropriate to get them a cell phone or something a bit more mature in order to keep in contact with them.

GPS trackers are fantastic, potentially life-saving tools that help keep track of your little ones, so you won't have to worry about where they are. Just have them wear their GPS tracker like a watch, and the rest is up to your watchful eyes.

Here are a few great options to check out if you're looking for the best GPS trackers for your kids!

Tinitell

Tinitell

Stylish looking with a simple, modern design, the Tinitell GPS tracker is an innovative new smartband that worked effortlessly with an app from your smartphone.

Tinitell isn't only an interesting-looking, modern device, it's also an incredibly durable and resilient GPS tracker. Tinitell is designed to take some abuse, including splashing water and dirt (although the device itself isn't 100% waterproof by any means), and for a price tag of $126, you're certainly getting your money's worth.

With your smartphone, you can connect and monitor your child with a precise GPS tracker, and you can even call your child using the Tinitell app. The smartband can have up to 12 contacts listed, so they never have to worry about being stranded without anyone to reach out to if they're in trouble. To make a call, all they have to do is press the front of the band, say the name of the person they'd like to contact, and that's it!

The Tinitell comes in four different, vibrant colors, including aqua, coral, charcoal, and indigo. You can use a Ting SIM card with your Tinitell for around $12 a month.

See at Tinitell

GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch

GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch

With all-day tracking, three-way positioning, and even an additional fitness tracker element, the GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch aims to make monitoring your children as effortless (and as accurate!) as possible.

Using a micro-SIM card, the GBD-GPS tracker is not only able to make two-way calls, but also immediate SOS emergency calls if your child comes in contact with unexpected danger. While some GPS tracking devices use one or two ways of triangulating your child's location, the GBD-GPS uses GPS, AGPS, and LBS positioning to paint a more accurate picture of where your child may be.

The GBD tracker allows parents to erect an Electric Fence, giving your child boundaries that will set off an alarm on your smartphone if crossed. If need be, parents can also call their child on their smartwatch for easy two-way talking, and can even use the app to set remote alarms and reminders for their children.

The GBD-GPS comes in three neon colors, including blue, green, and bright pink, so there's a color option to match almost every child's favorites. This particular gadget will set you back about $150.

See at Amazon

LG GizmoGadget

If you're a Verizon Wireless customer and are looking for a tracker that will allow your child to use text and voice to check in with you, then the LG GizmoGadget is an excellent option for a very affordable price range that starts at $27.

The GizmoGadget sports a 1.3-inch touch screen display, but in order for your child to make a call, they will have to press the physical button, and then use the touch screen to choose a contact. The GizmoGadget also allows you to pre-program up to 9 different texts messages that your child can send to 10 whitelisted numbers.

PC Mag rated the LG GizmoGadget 4.5 out of 5 stars:

The LG GizmoGadget is an excellent smartwatch for primary schoolers who need to stay in touch with their caregivers via voice and text.

The wearable also has a handful of other useful functions, including an activity tracker, a stopwatch, and a timer.

See at Verizon

dokiWatch

dokiWatch

Though the dokiWatch is designed for children 6 to 12, its sleek and modern looking design, high-quality, reliability, and wide range of color options make it a stylish (and incredibly practical) GPS tracker for people of all ages.

The dokiWatch claims that it's the world's most advanced 3G smartwatch for kids, and there's a lot to support that statement. The dokiWatch combines precise GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi tracking technology with video call capabilities, voice calling, one-way text messages, fitness tracking, and so much more for around $200.

The smartwatch automatically uploads location data directly to your smartphone, meaning you'll never have to guess where your child is. Video and voice calling is almost instantaneous, while parents can remotely schedule their child's appointments and reminders from the dokiWatch's compatible app.

With the dokiWatch, children can send out SOS alerts if they're in immediate danger to their preset contacts, including their location and a recording of their surroundings. Parents can even enable Class Mode which will remove the distraction of the device while their child is in class by deactivating it at specific times.

See at Doki

Trax Play GPS tracker

Do you have a kid that loves to wander? Want to keep an eye on your little one without them toting around a bracelet every day? Then why not take a peek at the Trax Play GPS tracker?

This particular tracker is designed to notify you every time your child leaves his or her dedicated safe zone and works in more than 40 different countries worldwide to provide the perfect amount of protection for your child.

The Trax Play GPS tracker will cost you around $99 and comes in blue and pink.

Oh! And did we mention that the Trax Play is water and dust resistant? 'Cuz it is.

See at Amazon

What's your favorite?

Is there a GPS tracker you've been using that you're extremely happy with?

Please let us know which model is your favorite in the comments and we'll be sure to check it out!

Updated January 2018: The Trax Play GPS tracker has been added to the list.

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