This tiny drone comes with features rivaling the big birds [Deals]

Meet one of the smallest drones in its class to also sport a camera for shooting photo and video. It also keeps the best qualities of quadcopters, with omni-directional controls perfect for the dips, dives, and barrel rolls of modern day barnstorming (probably a gingerbread barn, but still). It’s a feature-rich flier that you don’t […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


Прочетете повече

Withings Home Review: New Apple TV App and Baby Monitor Features Make a Solid Camera Even Better

Roughly a year ago, popular accessory company Withings introduced its Home security camera and air quality monitor, giving users an easy way to keep tabs on their homes with video streaming, push alerts for activity, and cloud storage of footage. Withings has continued to improve the Home with software updates since the launch, and several recent additions such as an app for the new Apple TV and a Baby Monitor mode have made the user experience even better.

Priced at $200, the Withings Home is a 5-megapixel HD camera with a 135-degree field of view, night vision, sensors for motion, sound, and air quality, and more. A companion iOS app [Direct Link] makes it easy to control the camera, receive alerts, and monitor video, audio, and other data from the Home.

The Home is a fairly attractive looking camera about the size of a coffee mug, with a wood grain shell that can be rotated to physically cover the device’s camera to eliminate any potential concerns about accidental activation of the camera at unwanted times. The lower portion of the main body can glow in a variety of colors to indicate device status or act as a nightlight.

The Home sits on a magnetic saucer-like base that makes it easy to adjust the angle of the camera to suit its position within the room. Other features of the Home include a large speaker on the top, two microphones for picking up sounds from the environment and noise cancelation, an Ethernet port for wired connectivity as an alternative to Wi-Fi, a micro-USB port for power, and a regular USB 2.0 port that can be used to provide passthrough power to other devices. Finally, an ambient light sensor and an infrared LED near the camera itself work together to support a night vision mode.

Withings Home live view in landscape with quick access to air quality, snapshot, lullaby controls, and push-to-talk

By default, animated timeline items (one photo every 5 seconds for detected events) and timelapse recordings (the past 24 hours shown in a one-minute series of shots) are stored for two days free of charge, but Withings offers subscription plans to extend those storage times and provide for continuous footage. An „Improved Security“ plan priced at $7.95 per month increases storage to seven days of continuous recording, and a $19.95 per month „Premium Security“ plan pushes the limit to 30 days. A 30-day free trial for either plan is available.

Withings Home main view (left) and air quality detail (right)

The Home’s air quality sensor measures the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), displaying a parts-per-million (ppm) reading and a corresponding rating of Good, Medium, Bad, or Very Bad. Graphing features in the iOS app make it easy to check levels over time, as well as receive alerts when air quality degrades beyond preset thresholds.

Notification thresholds from the Withings Home are customizable, with slider bars in the iOS app letting users set general sensitivity levels for motion and noise, as well as specific ppm thresholds for air quality.

Withings Home control center (left) and settings (right)

Back in August, Withings rolled out a software update that brought a redesigned Control Center to the Home’s iOS app to easily switch camera modes, as well as new Baby Monitor features that automatically send audio to the iPhone even when the Withings Home app is in the background. And a few weeks ago Withings launched new „Lulla Lights & Music“ lullabies that combine music or other soothing sounds with nightlight functionality to help with the nighttime routine. Push-to-talk functionality through the iOS app also makes it easy to send reassuring words to the little ones.

Withings Home lullaby settings

Other changes with the version 2.2 update introduced in mid-November include full HD support for timeline event videos from 7-30 days old for Premium Security subscribers, as well as an improved Timelapse view to make it easier to scrub through video events. The update also lets users download videos directly to the Camera Roll on their devices for easy saving and sharing.

Another nice addition to the Withings Home is a new Apple TV app, made possible by the opening of an App Store for the updated set-top box late last month. Withings Home was one of the launch apps on the platform, quickly embracing the new platform to expand access to information from the camera.

Once signed into your Withings account, the Apple TV app displays a live feed from up to four Withings Home cameras simultaneously, making it easy to check on little ones, pets, or any other issues right from the living room. Air quality measurements are also overlaid on the screen. It’s not a sophisticated app, but it gets the job done.

Finally, showcasing its commitment to Apple’s ecosystem, Withings also has an Apple Watch app for the Home, allowing users to see one-snapshot-per-second feeds right on their wrists, play lullabies, and receive activity alerts.

Overall, the Withings Home is a nice option for those looking to keep an eye on young children or pets, and it also serves as a basic security camera. The air quality sensor is also a nice addition for helping keep a general eye on your home environment, although it won’t detect some dangerous situations such as elevated carbon monoxide levels.

Withings’ paid storage plans feel rather pricey (although they actually compare favorably to Nest Cam’s similar Nest Aware plans), and the animated clips and screenshots available with the free tier may not be enough for many users’ needs, particularly those wanting to use it for some security functions. But for those more interested in live look-ins or baby monitoring, the free tier could be sufficient.

The Withings Home is priced at $199.95 and is available from a number of retailers including Apple and the Withings website, and can sometimes be available for a few bucks less from Amazon. Withings and Amazon have also just partnered up for a new Baby Bundle in support of the newly enhanced baby monitor mode. The bundle includes blue and pink covers for the Withings Home as alternatives to the Home’s standard wood grain outer shell.

Tags: review, Withings, Withings Home
Discuss this article in our forums

Прочетете повече

Fleksy Keyboard for iOS Gains Custom Theme Builder

The developers behind popular third-party keyboard Fleksy today announced the debut of a new custom theme builder for a keyboard with deeper personalization. With the custom keyboard feature, the Fleksy keyboard can be customized with a range of unique colors, photos, and other effects.

Fleksy has long had different themes available in the app as additional in-app purchases, allowing users to adjust the look of the keyboard, but its new options take customization even further. As can be seen in the image below, a photo can be used underneath a keyboard for a one-of-a-kind look.

The background color of the keyboard can be customized, and users can also select specific colors for things like keys, word suggestions, and autocorrected words. According to Fleksy, its built-in themes have been popular with users, so the idea was to allow them to create personalized content that can be changed and updated on a regular basis.

Custom themes created by Fleksy users can be used on their own devices and also shared with friends. A sharing tool within the app makes it easy for themes to be shared with other users. Theme recipients who have the Fleksy app on their iOS devices can install new themes with a click, while those who are not current Fleksy users will be prompted to download the app.

Fleksy Keyboard can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]



Прочетете повече

Plex hackers steal your data and passwords, not credit card details

Plex, the popular media streaming service that makes it easy to access your entire video, music, and photo catalogs from pretty much anywhere, has been hacked. A server breach this week allowed hackers to gain access to user data — including…Read more ›

Прочетете повече

Save 85% on the fastest way to convert DVDs and videos and play them anywhere [Deals]

Play any video, on any device. This bundle at Cult of Mac Deals makes it easy to convert videos and rip DVDs for playback on all of your Apple and Android devices. It’s also one of the fastest solutions you’ll…Read more ›



Прочетете повече

Video Review: Pronto Turns Your iPhone Into a Smart Universal Remote [iOS Blog]

Pronto is a small hub that’s able to turn your iPhone into a universal remote, allowing it to control a range of electronics and devices within your home using 360 degree infrared. The Pronto connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and works with an accompanying Peel Smart Remote app, which provides the remote interface and lets you see what’s on television through an included guide.

As you can see in our video review below, the Peel app and the Pronto work together well, and with the included IR extension cable, you can put devices out of sight without losing the infrared connection.

Pronto is compatible with a huge number of televisions, Blu-ray players, DVD players, and set top boxes. It can connect to and control almost any television set, and it works with the Apple TV, Roku players, and more. Compatibility information is available on the company’s website.

The Peel app includes simple controls for all devices and it makes it easy to switch between each one. There are also profiles available for different rooms, so the iPhone and Pronto pairing can essentially replace all of the remotes in the house.

Smart remotes have been around for ages, and many technology companies already offer apps allowing the iPhone to control things like televisions and media players, but the Pronto goes one step further and lets you control all of your devices with one app. It’s quite similar to Logitech’s line of Harmony smart remotes, but without some of the bells and whistles and with a lower price.

The Pronto can be purchased from Best Buy or NewEgg for $49.99.





Прочетете повече

OS X 10.10.3 With All-New Photos App Launching Later Today

OS X 10.10.3 with the all-new Photos app will be available Wednesday as a free software update for Mac users, according to The Associated Press. The news organization mentioned the release date as part of its in-depth review about the all-new Photos for OS X app, which it praised for making basic photo editing easy.

„Procrastinate no more. Apple’s new Photos app for Mac computers, available Wednesday as a free software update, makes it easy to organize and edit your pictures. The app, which replaces iPhoto, bundles professional-level tools such as granular color correction into one free consumer package.“

OS X 10.10.3 will be available through Software Update in the Mac App Store.




Прочетете повече