The HomePod was the surprise everyone saw coming. Given the success of Google Home and Amazon Echo, it was only a matter of time before Apple announced its own smart speaker. And when Tim Cook unveiled it at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, it was clear that the tech giant wasn’t pulling its punches. In what’s essentially an industry standard at this stage, users will be able to control lights and change songs by simple verbal commands. The device will also map the room whenever it’s switched on and adjust the sound according to its surroundings. The only question is if Siri – updated with the new iOS 11 – will be enough to give Alexa and Google Assistanta run for their money when the HomePod begins shipping in the US, the UK and Australia in December.
The iMac Pro is a beast. The new desktop is a serious upgrade to the standard computer. In fact, packing up to an 18-core processor, 128GB of memory and a 4TB solid state drive, the iMac Pro is the tech giant’s most powerful computer yet. The hardware will allow professionals to render huge 3D models, create multiple test environments for cross-platform development and keep numerous apps open at the same time. And with the new two-fan cooling system, it can do all these tasks without the risk of the device overheating, which is fortunate considering it will cost at least $4,999 when it begins shipping in December. We don’t know about you but we’re already working on our Christmas lists.
Anyone who’s ever misplaced their keys knows how stressful it can be to turn over every sofa cushion and look behind every flower pot. So when TrackR offered the first version of its Bluetooth tracking device to help keep track of your personal possessions, it’s hardly surprising that it was a huge success. Now the startup is back with the new TrackR pixel. Smaller than previous incarnations, its alarm, LED lights and wider range enable users to find lost items within 30 metres. The pixel also enables people to find lost smartphones by pushing a button on the device, making the phone ring even if it’s on silent. So if you’re constantly misplacing your mobile or your wallet keeps wandering off, then this may be the device you’ve been looking for.
Since launching in 2013, OnePlus has been committed to the co-founder and CEO Pete Lau’s ambition to make it the “Muji of the tech industry”, offering inexpensive but high-quality products. And the new OnePlus 5 stays true to this tradition. With an asking price of £449, it’s £150 cheaper than a Google Pixel but the slimmed down price doesn’t come at the expense of quality. Available with either 64GB or 128GB of storage, the OnePlus 5 comes with a dual-lensed camera similar to the one used on the iPhone 7 Plus. An additional perk for entrepreneurs juggling both private and professional phones,is that the OnePlus 5’s dual sim support enables you to have two phone numbers and two plans in one device. For anyone looking for a high-quality Android phone, the OnePlus 5 is a solid contender.
Amazon has been particularly prolific lately, offering almost monthly device releases. And June was no exception, seeing the reintroduction of the Dash Wand. Some readers may remember the name from 2014 when the device enabling users to scan barcodes and add them to your shopping list made a quick appearance before disappearing equally fast into obscurity. However, this updated version is available with Alexa. and allows users to effortlessly control things in their smart homes, like the lights or the temperature. However, in contrast to the Amazon Echo, the Dash Wand doesn’t play music. The device is only available stateside at the moment and there’s no news as to when the Dash Wand could make it across the pond. However, given that Amazon Echo also had to prove itself first in the US before coming to the UK, there’s still a chance that the wand will soon make the jump across the pond.