Don’t you just love it when someone invents something great that makes our lives a whole lot easier? From personal robots that make you coffee to the ergonomically designed computer mouse, there are so many toys to choose from that make our lives better.
Whether they’ve been out a week or a decade, gadgets (or gadgies, as the Aussies say) and apps that help us hack life and business are worth a mention in our little black book. Here are our three favourites.
What’s Wooing Us in Tech Right Now?
1. Beaver Builder for WordPress
While it’s not exactly hot out of the tech oven, WP Beaver Builder has made the jobs of so many web developers and amateur designers a whole lot easier.
Essentially a drag-and-drop framework for website design, Beaver Builder sets itself apart from the usual visual editors in use today in several ways:
- Firstly, you build with a front-end interface, so you can see your changes happening in real-time, as opposed to the usual edit/preview/publish routine we’ve all become accustomed to.
- Secondly, Beaver Builder has developed its own theme specifically designed for use with the builder plug-in. It’s lightweight and simple, meaning quicker site speeds; yet it delivers a look and feel that is exceptionally pleasing.
- In addition, there are several pre-built templates available that can be inserted into the page to speed up the design process. These are unique in themselves in that you can drop them in while you build without importing loads of unwanted images.
We’re in love with Beaver Builder because it offers a happy medium between functionality and customisability.
The theme options are simple and uncluttered, and targeting specific CSS classes for customisation is easy and transparent. No need for messy code or sticky themes.
If you’d rather let a professional that is well-versed in WP Beaver Builder design your website, drop us a line.
These nifty little sound hackers will enhance the sound of anything you’re listening to.
Created by BoomCloud 360, the device uses unique algorithms to amplify the sound of whatever it’s plugged into, which means listening to podcasts, music and videos just got a whole lot better.
While you can probably live without it, why would you?
The simple design, 14-hour USB rechargeable battery and the fits-all audio jack make it a must-have for any birthday bag or Christmas stocking. Available on Amazon.com in late May.
Ready or not, the USB-C migration is happening. Over the years the standard USB-A port we’ve come to love has stayed the same, but as more and more users adopt devices for work and play, the drive for mobility and convenience becomes stronger.
Cue the USB-C.
While USB-A works just fine, it is rather large, only plugs in one way and doesn’t fit into the smart device framework. USB-C is the smaller, cuter sibling that not only fits all devices, but is reversible too.
It can support a range of different protocols, and due to its bi-directional nature, enables a device to either send or receive power, and transmit data at the same time.
Why this is cool:
- No more cable bouquets – one USB cable for all.
- No more laptop-charging cables, you can charge your laptop the same way you charge your smart device.
- The USB-C is capable of carrying enough data to support display, which could mean the end of HDMI and Thunderbolt ports.
- More space on your smart device as ports are smaller.
The Big But:
If you’re not prepared, you’re going to get stuck with devices that can’t connect using USB-A.
Forward-thinking companies, like Unitek and Satechi, have created USB-C hubs to help users through the transition. There’s still no word on when hubs will be available in SA, but they’ve assured us they’re working on it.
Some manufactures are still on the fence about whether or not to implement USB-C across their product lines, but given the epic benefits it will have for device users, it’s only a matter of time before consumers won’t want to buy a computer without it.
If you have a favourite app or device that you feel is worth a Valentine’s Day mention, please let us know about it in the comments section.
About the Writer
Kate West is Head of Digital Learning at Shift ONE Digital. Along with her passion for online media and education, she is fascinated by how users interact with the technology around them and why they make the choices they do. She wears many hats at Shift ONE, but focuses on the business’ training offerings. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and experience in Digital Marketing, Social Media, IT Training, Public Relations, and Editorial. She loves piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.