The hot list – March 2014

Facebook’s $19bn acquisition of WhatsApp has set tongues a-wagging about where the next big thing in the digital space will come from. In the meantime, we’ll continue to showcase some of the other top apps and gadgets that have piqued our attention lately

The hot list  - March 2014

Google Glass frames 

More a much-anticipated update than a gadget in their own right, the release of frames for Google Glass has certainly made it more attractive to those with traditional specs, as well as those with an eye for fashion. You can grab a set of frames and get them fitted for your prescription at your local optician or pick out a style more in keeping with your personal aesthetic. Regardless of your feeling toward Glass, you can no longer claim it’s lacking in hipster-appropriate style. 


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

It was with more than a little sadness last month that we heard Sony was stepping down from the laptop market, after the long life of its excellent Vaio series. But if the Japanese electronics giant continues to produce handsets of the calibre of the Xperia Z1 Compact, we can probably keep the tears at bay. Packaged with a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, a whopping 2GB of RAM, a jaw-droppingly crisp 20.7 megapixel camera and Sony’s now-standard waterproofing, this is a fitting rival to the iPhone and Nexus alike. 


Facebook Paper

With many elements of Facebook’s service seeming increasingly old-fashioned, it seemed unlikely an app could deliver the required breath of fresh air. However, it appears Paper may be just what the doctor ordered. Pulling together your feed with a much more pleasing aesthetic and eschewing the clunkier branding of its elder brethren, the app also delivers curated content and recognises Facebook’s value as an aggregator as well as social space. Unfortunately, UK consumers will not be getting their hands on it any time soon, as the tech giant intends to keep it Stateside, at least for the time being.   


4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano

Every so often, an invention is announced that just brings out the sceptic in you. An everlasting pen that doesn’t use ink and has no need for refills? Pull the other one. But, as God as our witness, the 4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano is just that, featuring a nib made from ethergraph, an alloy that marks paper without ever needing to be refinished. It’s also sexy enough to make a Macbook Air look a bit dowdy, bringing the aforementioned gadget‘s aluminium finish a touch of class with a polished wooden inlay. However, the Italian designer isn’t exactly known as a discount supplier so don’t count on being able to sneak this one into your office’s stationary budget.  


It can’t be denied we’re living in an age where privacy on the internet is a hotly contested battleground. Tor-based solutions, that route your traffic through random locations, provide an option for those who don’t want every detail of their family’s intimate lives easily tracked. However, until now, these have lacked the simplicity to be widely adopted by the consumer. Safeplug addresses this issue, bringing a plug-and-play approach to net privacy, simply sitting between your connection and your router and preventing your home computer from being identified.

Josh Russell
Josh Russell

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