Go Go Gadget

Most of you who know me know as well that I’m a gadget guy. I love technology, and love how it’s made my life richer. Over the course of the past few months, I’ve gotten a couple additional toys to help me on that ongoing quest A review and perspective on these devices follows.

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Amazon Fire Stick

I already have AppleTV devices all over my home, and can feed to them from multiple devices, stream from various internet content providers, etc. In my office, I also love how I can add my television as an additional monitor using these great, and well thought out products. I’d had only one complaint, which was that I couldn’t stream Amazon Prime, and as a Prime member, I wanted that. I did have a work-around, which was to stream the Prime content to my laptop, and then beam to my TV, but that caused some lag. So, for very little money, I purchased this cute little device. For that one gap, it does perform the discrete task. It performs this fine. Sometimes, when the network is saturated, I still get some lag with this, as it’s only WiFi, but as there’s no hard-wired option available, I’ll deal.

Amazon Echo

I like the device, the implementation, and the sound from this remarkable little device. As to functionality, I see it as enabling or emerging. I’ve yet to play with a some of the IFTTT (If This Then That) programming tools that are being released for it, but these will add functionality. I know that there will be software updates to it that will make things far more functional moving forward. At the moment, asking “Alexa” for the weather, to tell me a joke, and to play some music of my choosing is quite phenomenal. The voice recognition surpasses anything that I’ve had on my iPhone to date.

AppleWatch

As a wearer of the Pebble for the previous year, I was excited about the prospect of a new “Smart Watch.” Let me start by saying that I find it able to do everything that the pebble did and better. The display is fantastic, I chose the 42mm sport version, and I don’t find that I miss the icons I choose very often. Implementation on this cute little tool is awesome, and Siri voice recognition is truly better than I’ve ever gotten on my phone. Combining my fitness tracking as well as notifications into one device is great. The ability to use the watch for responding to text messages allows me to send a response while driving even if it’s just to say that I’m driving, and will respond later is a vast improvement over my Pebble. If the person to whom I’m responding has an apple device, I can even send the message as voice. Again, future software updates will promise to improve the functionality even as it stands today.

All in all, I am very happy with these new toys, and truly look forward to the future.

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