I bought the AAWireless adaptor in April 2022 for my 2017 VW, and have been using it ever since.
It has worked perfectly from the word go, and I can't recommend it highly enough. It simply plugs into the USB port in your car where you normally plug in the wire for your phone, and then you setup the app on your phone (one time only) and then your phone connects automatically to your car's Android Auto facility without you having to do anything. On my car its incredibly quick, because I think as soon as I unlock the doors, the device powers up (the USB port must go live at unlock time). By the time I've got in, put on my seatbelt and driven off, its usually available on the car's screen. In my car, the adaptor hides in the wee cubby with the door shut to cover it and you can forget its even in there doing its thing.
The one small snag is that you then need another place to plug in your phone for power, as on a longer journey your power will drain. But for me that was actually a plus point, as the USB port in my car only charged my phone slowly, but now I have a 12v adaptor for it that charges it quicker. Recommended.
I was a late arrival to wireless bluetooth headphones, my first ones being the Oneplus wireless bullets, but I was intrigued to try these. The reason I was reluctant to go wireless originally, was because it became yet another thing to remember to charge up.
I bought the Pixel Buds A Series shortly after they came out (I got them as a deal with a Pixel 6 phone) and they immediately lent themselves to a particular use-case - housework! Because they have no cable to get in the way, you can dive around doing things around the house without them ever getting in the way - except that is when they occasionally fall out... These rarely leave the house, except when I am doing gardening or washing the car, due to the fact they let all external sounds into your ears. So if you're near traffic they're hopeless. They're also hopeless to use in a noisy office situation. I'm very happy with them, but you need to know what they do and don't do. Battery life seemed fine and my top tip is if you're wearing them, put the case in your pocket always!
A year later, I bought the Pixel Buds Pro in the sale. I wanted to try to use the noise cancelling feature in the office, as I was finding the background noise distracting after 2 years working from home during the pandemic.
The noise cancelling feature is amazing, and combines with the fact that these are a snug fit and shut out all external sound - quite different to the A series. They're also more comfortable and never fall out.
I tried a video call in the office with background noise, but others on the call complained that there was too much background noise coming through the microphones (using Google Meet with background noise filter enabled), so I had to give up with that use-case unfortunately. They do work well on a video call with low background noise however.
So in short, both are highly recommended, but they're good at different things.
I bought this years ago - not sure how many - however it went largely unused until I was forced to work from home every day during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has come into its own during this time, offering a far better image quality than any laptop can offer. It also has the huge advantage that it can be placed on top of the monitor to provide a better angle.
Highly recommended - don't rely on your rubbish laptop webcam!
In 2015, I bought an early first generation x360 laptop. I absolutely adored it from the word go. I loved how sleek, posh and modern it looked, and on top of that it was responsive and fast, and the touchscreen was superb - I couldn't now cope with a laptop without a touchscreen! The ability to fold it into a tent to watch a video, or into a tablet when reading something was also frequently useful.
Scroll forward to 2019, and I'd realised a flaw with my lovely laptop - the RAM is soldered in, can't be upgraded, and there's only 4GB of it. Windows 10 is struggling. What to do? I can't justify the cost of a new one... but I find a second generation one online, much higher spec (Pen input with pen, 4k screen, i7-6600U processor and crucially 8gb ram), at a very reasonable price, and am delighted when my bid of £344 is accepted. I go on to get £210 for my old one - so I have a bargain upgrade on my hands!
The "new" laptop is significantly faster than the original one, the screen is better - brighter and higher resolution, although I'm afraid I can't find a use for the pen...gimmick maybe? In fact the performance seems far better than 8gb should give, I load it up with lots of things at once but it never struggles.
I'd highly recommend it!
Bought this for just £29, to place on the kitchen counter, and to complement the Google Home in the living room.
Its a cracking wee thing, especially for the price. I use it for cookery timers, and to ask it questions, and for radio stations, and to play music from Spotify (it sounds surprisingly good, and loud for its size). Its very discreet to look at.
One of the neatest features is it can be synced to the Google Home in the lounge, and provide seamless music in both rooms. Just a few years ago, you had to pay a lot of money for this functionality. Overall then, highly recommended.
My Oneplus 3 reached the age of 2 in my ownership, with no complaints - a record for me! But I had itchy fingers to get more up to date, and looked around at all the new smartphones available. I quickly realised the prices have risen dramatically since I got my OP3, so I decided to get a used phone.
My choice was a newer version of my existing phone, the Oneplus 5T. Initial observations are very good - nicely made, the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor which I was worried about is mostly in the right place when I need it, the battery life is dramatically better than the OP3, due I presume to the improved CPU technology (low power cores), as well as the fact the battery is newer and slightly larger capacity. It also has a HEADPHONE JACK and performs very well indeed. The speaker, which I use often, is louder too.
I paid £330 for a phone from eBay that was a few months old, and expect to get around £120 for my OP3, making my upgrade cost about £210.
I own a nice VW Golf mk 6 (Volkswagen Golf mkVI) which had a rather rubbish in car entertainment system in it. The Bluetooth played up, and the single-line monochrome screen really wasn't cutting it. So I went researching - surely someone has a neat solution for this very popular car?
After much searching, I found that Alpine make a bespoke kit just for this car. The G6/G7 bit of the product name indicates which mark of Golf it is for, although the electronic components are very similar.
It supports Android Auto and Apple Car Play, has DAB built in (more on that below), can play USB music with album artwork displayed, the steering wheel controls still work, as does the dash display. The car's built in microphone works (although it was very difficult to work out how - had to get Alpine tech support to assist). Installation is fiddly and you need to cut small parts of the fascia away (reversible by replacing a couple of parts) so I'd recommend getting it professionally fitted if you don't know what you're doing.
I also purchased the KAE-DAB1G6 DAB Radio Signal Splitter - this thing is ingenious. Its invisibly installed into the rear spoiler, and uses the car's original amplified antenna, to provide a very high quality DAB signal to the head unit (my original stereo in the car did not have DAB).
Its been tricky to learn to use, it was very expensive but 2 months on I've got the hang of it and am very happy with it, and think it was a worthwhile addition to the car.
I got this because my existing Virgin Superhub 3.0 struggled to give me a strong signal throughout my house, and also was a bit of a closed-box in terms of helping me investigate when it didn't seem to be working correctly.
First I switched the Virgin Superhub into Modem only mode. Then I connected the first Google Wifi unit and turned it on. I installed the app on my Android phone, and followed the really clear instructions. I copied the wifi username and password from my Virgin Superhub, which saved all the hassle of having to re-configure my wifi-connected devices. I moved my existing network Switch over to the Google Wifi unit, which means the Google Wifi unit controls all routing and IP addresses etc. At this point, I already had strong wifi, a great internet speed, and all my devices showed up in the software. I was able to, for the first time, easily prove what speed my Virgin internet connection was giving me (normally 106 down and 6 up). I then added the second Google Wifi unit downstairs to create a wifi "Mesh" throughout the house. A few different locations were tried before I settled on the best. The software allows you to test the Mesh strength easily.
All in all - its a bit expensive, but it JUST WORKS.
If you're the sort of person that is interested in networking and wants to dive straight into advanced settings, maybe don't get this.
If you're the sort of person who knows a bit about how networking works, but don't want to make a hobby of it or waste time on it OR you know absolutely nothing but can follow instructions, I'd say get it.
My top tip - don't try and combine with an existing setup. Ditch your existing setup and move completely to Google Wifi, letting it do all routing etc.
Verdict - 5 out of 5 - LOVE IT!
I have been into the latest gadgetry and technology since a young age and enjoy trying out the latest tech.