The Good The Cyclotiricity Stealth’s powerful motor turns a country ride into an exhilarating race and its suspension forks make for a comfortable journey.
The Bad The motor has to be limited to be legal for use on the road, at least in the UK. The brakes and gears need improvement and the battery doesn’t last long at full pelt.
The Bottom Line If you want a bike for an extreme adventure rather than a city commute, the Stealth’s high-powered motor and burly suspension makes it a hell of a lot of fun on hillside tracks.
The Cyclotricity Stealth is for the adrenaline junkies among you.
It’s a mountain bike at its heart, complete with 26-inch wheels and springy front suspension that easily absorbs stones on rough off-road surfaces. It looks every bit as aggressive as you’d want a serious off-road mountain bike to look. Made in Britain, it costs £1,295 from the company’s website, which roughly converts to around $1,720 or AU$2,260. Cyclotricity ships around the world.
In the rear wheel is the electric motor, which provides a massive 1,000 watts of power. That’s enough to propel you to 30 mph (48 kph) which, I can assure you, is an exhilarating speed when you’re belting down gravel trails.
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The motor can provide assistance to your pedalling, but there’s a throttle too, which you can push down to ride the e-bike on the motor’s power alone. You can use it if you’re feeling lazy, but I found it immense fun to tear around hills purely powered by the throttle — it turns mountain biking into something approaching motorcross. The Stealth is comfortable to ride on- or off-road, and even without motor assistance it’s not difficult to get up to speed.
With a new glass-backed design, dual cameras and Huawei’s top internals, the Honor 8 looks like being a serious competitor for the likes of OnePlus.
We’re almost a year removed from the Honor 7, and that means it’s time for the Huawei-owned brand to launch a new high-end handset. A European launch event has been scheduled for Aug. 24 in Paris, but thanks to the fact that the phone’s already broken cover in China, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
With a glass-backed, metal-framed design, the Honor 8’s appearance is somewhere between an Honor 6 and a Samsung Galaxy S7. Although we only have official promotional photos to go on, the build quality appears to be a solid step up from the Honor 7 — even with less metal in the mix — and is a reflection of the progress we’ve seen Huawei make in build and materials at the high end.
You’ve got two layers of “2.5D” glass, which is a fancy marketing term for glass that tapers towards the edge, giving a curved appearance. And the outer trim is accented by antenna lines and reflective chamfers. By any standard it’s a good-looking phone — one that wouldn’t look out of place with a better-known brand emblazoned on the back. The use of curved glass and metal gives it a less industrial look than the angular Honor 7, making for a more elegant appearance overall.
On the inside, the Honor 8 is more or less a Huawei P9 — and that’s a good thing.
Many of the technological hallmarks of Huawei and Honor have made it across to the Honor 8. There’s a fingerprint scanner around the back, along with a Huawei P9-esque dual camera setup. It’s unclear whether this is exactly the same camera setup used by the P9, but specs match up — dual 12-megapixel sensors (one color, one black and white), laser autofocus and dual-LED flash. Like the P9, the Honor 8’s dual camera setup enabled a bunch of neat photographic tricks, like virtually changing the aperture after the fact to create bokeh-like effects, in addition to claims of enhanced detail and contrast thanks to the dedicated black-and-white sensor.
The P9’s camera was a bit of a mixed bag at launch, but has improved with successive software updates. And that gives us hope that the Honor 8’s camera will be, at the very least, a decent all-rounder.
Kirin 950, dual cameras, 3,000mAh and quick charging.
On the inside, the P9 similarities continue. It’s running Huawei’s own Kirin-branded silicon — Kirin 950 to be precise, not the higher-clocked Kirin 955. (That’s the chip used in the Huawei Mate 8.) Along with that you’ll get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage in the base model, or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the more expensive SKU. It’s worth noting that in the case of Honor phones with two RAM/storage configurations, the lower-specced one is usually what buyers outside of China end up getting — so expect 3GB/32GB in a European Honor 8.
In any case, Huawei’s latest 16-nanometer Kirin chips are a known quantity, with Kirin 950-powered Mate 8 outclassing many of its rivals in late 2015 in terms of raw performance.
There’s a 3,000mAh fixed internal battery powering all that stuff, same as the P9, and Honor claims 1.77 days of use for regular users, or 1.22 days for heavy users — the bottom line being that whatever you’re doing, you can probably expect a decent day of use per charge. The Honor 8 also boasts 9V/2A quick charging — basically the same tech underpinning Qualcom QuickCharge 2.0 — the first Honor phone to charge at more than a basic 5V/2A.
It’s also the first Honor phone with USB Type-C, but data speeds are limited to USB 2.0 spec according to the Chinese specifications.
Honor 8 could be the first real rival for OnePlus around the €300-400 mark.
Around the front, the Honor 8 boasts what appears to be a similar display to its Huawei-branded counterpart — a 5.2-inch panel with a 1080p resolution and 96% NTSC colorspace coverage. There’s also an eye-friendly reading mode that’s designed to reduce blue light output to avoid eye strain. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s exactly the same JDI-made panel used in the Huawei device — and given the quality and brightness of that screen, that’s a good thing.
As for pricing, the Honor 8 sells in China for the local equivalent of around $300 (currently ~€270), but we wouldn’t expect this pricing to translate directly over to Europe, where taxes and shipping costs are likely to drive up the price tag. We’d expect European pricing to land somewhere in the low €300s — maybe around €330. UK prices are anyone’s guess given the current volatility of the British pound, but somewhere around the £300 mark wouldn’t be unreasonable.
If our ballpark figures are right, they’d put the Honor 8 in direct competition with the fan-favorite OnePlus 3. These two devices take very different approaches to design, hardware and software, but both look like offering a very similar class of experience at a comparable price point.
The question of whether the Honor 8 is actually worth your cash will have to wait until we’ve spent some time with the phone at the Paris launch event. But with Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 software (based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow) now being more usable than ever — and the promise of great things from future EMUI versions — combined with some impressive hardware, the Honor 8 is a phone to watch.
Your kids are playing Pokémon Go, but are they doing so safely? We can help!
You’ve heard of Pokémon Go by now. This global phenomenon recently exploded to popularity, and is being talked about everywhere. There’s not one specific group of people playing the game, either. Kids, teens, and adults from every walk of life are wandering out in the real world with smartphones to play the game. The popularity of this game is unlike anything the world has ever seen before, and with that comes some very real concerns. News reports of car crashes, muggings, stabbings, and even the accidental discovery of a dead body have been connected to playing Pokémon Go, and it’s easy to be concerned about your kids wandering out at all hours to play this game.
What you may not know is this game has some tools baked in that parents can use to ensure kids are playing this game safely and responsibly. Here’s what you need to know!
A brief intro for parents
Pokémon Go is a game that requires you to venture out into the real world with a smartphone. As you walk around in the real world with the game open on your phone, you can discover characters in the game that can be captured and used in other parts of the game. The game rewards users for walking certain distances in different locations, so many players are going to want to play the game in a bunch of different places. This includes parks, near water, and in city centers where there’s a lot of artwork or churches nearby. The more locations you encounter and interact with, the further your character advances in the game.
More: The Ultimate Guide to Pokémon Go
It’s complicated, and a little silly — especially if you’ve never really experienced the rest of the Pokémon games — but this game is encouraging millions of people everywhere to get out into the real world and walk around. People are seeing parts of their city they’ve never seen before, meeting people they’d otherwise never have had a conversation with, and doing so with a smile on their face. It’s a generally positive experience, as long as you’re playing safely.
Talking to strangers
One big concern every parent has is talking with strangers. Chat rooms in games are always a concern, because there’s little control over the language being used in the chat, and it’s easy to convince people you are someone you aren’t. We’ve all seen the terrible stories of kids being tricked into meeting adults in the real world through chatrooms and winding up getting hurt, but Pokémon Go doesn’t have one of these chat systems in it at all. There’s no way for users to communicate with each other through the app, communication has to happen either in person or through a separate chat service.
This doesn’t eliminate concerns, but it certainly helps manage them. If your child is out playing with friends you know, they are significantly less likely to be put in a dangerous situation by wandering off with a stranger. You’ll still need to monitor conversations had with strangers about the game through other means, but the lack of an internal chat system means you’ll be doing the same things you are already doing to keep them safe from talking to strangers online.
See where they’ve been playing
Anyone with access to the Pokémon Go app on your phone can see where you’ve been playing the game, because location data it attached to every Pokémon captured. If you want to know where your child has been playing Pokémon Go, take a look at the Pokémon they have captured. Here’s where you look:
Tap on the menu ball on the bottom of the main game screen
Tap on any creature in the list
Swipe down to the map
The map you see at the bottom of this screen is the general area your child was playing the game, with the date just above the map for some added context. This doesn’t give you a specific location, but the circle on the map gives you the general idea.
More: How to find wild Pokémon in Pokémon Go
See if they’re playing when they shouldn’t be
Pokémon Go keeps an internal log of everything that happens in the game, so you can go back and confirm what items you’ve collected or what creatures you’ve transferred. It also adds a timestamp down to the minute the action took place, which means parents have a complete log of when children have been playing the game. Here’s where you look:
Tap the head in the bottom left corner of the main game screen.
Scroll to see timestamps.
This Journal is everything that happened to this character in the game, and can’t be deleted or edited by the user. It’s set in stone, making it a reliable way of confirming when your kids have been playing the game.
Tips to ensure everyone is playing safe
It’s easy enough to look at the app after your child has returned home to see what has been done, but it’s more important that your child know how to be safe while out playing the game. As long as everyone is playing safe, the chances of something bad happening are significantly lower. Every parent has different rules for their kids, but there are some universal things that make sense for this game.
- Use something other than your first and last name as a username in the game.
- Don’t stare at your phone while crossing a street. Use Battery Saver and hold your phone at your side when walking somewhere dangerous.
- Avoid going out after dark by yourself, and travel in groups of three or more at night.
- Make sure someone knows the general area you are going to play.
- Take breaks. Squinting at your screen in direct sunlight for hours is terrible for your eyes.
Most important of all, have fun! This game can be deeply rewarding if you’re out playing with friends, and it probably wouldn’t kill Mom and Dad to give the game a shot as well. Who knows, maybe you’ll be better at it than your kids!
- Join our Pokémon Go forums!
- How to deal with GPS errors in-game
- Which team should you choose?
- How to play without killing your battery
- The Ultimate Pokémon Go Game Guide!
New reports claim that LG is likely gearing up to launch the LG V20 in September, which would be just 10 months after the company launched the V10. An interesting piece to note is LG likely moving towards the V20 branding instead of the V11, which may have appeared to be the obvious next release. Moving up the launch by two months would be a surprising move from LG, though it does make a lot of sense considering the upcoming phone launches that are already expected.
From the Etnews report:
Industries believe that LG is releasing V20 (tentative name) earlier since its popularity can be dominated by Samsung and Apple’s new phones if it is released in October. “Although V10 was released in October of last year, there is a high chance that its next model will be released a month earlier this year.” said a representative for an industry. “It can fall behind of Samsung and LG if it is released late.” However if LG pushes forward its release date, it is inevitable for LG to go head to head against Apple since it is likely that iPhone 7 will be released in early September if Apple’s consistent pattern on release dates is considered.
We already know Samsung is hosting an event on August 2 to reveal the Galaxy Note 7 officially, and Apple is likely going to announce the next iPhone in early September. If LG waited until November to announce the V20, odds are that it would simply be too late for most people.
Are you interested in the LG V20 or does something else have your attention this time around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Sharing the screen of your Android phone is about to get even easier with Inkwire. This app, which is about to hit its Alpha stages, will allow you to share your screen with another Android phone. That’s right, no need for ADB or even a computer. Developer Koush, who is well-known for previous apps like Vysor, ROM Manager and more, has revealed a brief description and some screenshots of the app.
From the announcement on Google+:
Unlike Vysor, it doesn’t require ADB or a computer. Just plain old Android to Android screen sharing, without the cords. Since ADB is required to send the touch and keyboard events, Inkwire can’t do that. I’m working around this by drawing over the screen to show the remote user where to touch; the experience is still pretty good. Also has built in voice chat.
If you are interested in checking it out, you will need to join this Google+ community for the Alpha release.
What’s the best travel app for Android?
Whether you’re planning your first trip away from home or you’re a frequent flier, there are a ton of travel apps available for Android that will help you find the best flight, learn a new language, or get the best information about your desired destination. Here are our favorites.
- XE Currency
- Evaneos Travel
- Google Maps
Tripit lets you store all of your travel plans, including information about your itinerary, hotel, and car rental bookings in one convenient location. It can import this information direct from your email box, and you can easily share your travel plans with your family and friends. It’ll even add your trips to your calendar.
Tripit is free, but there is a paid version called Tripit Pro, available for 99 cents, which removes the ads and updates you on any changes to your flights such as delays or gate changes. It will also inform you when a better flight becomes available and will let you change your flight plans in-app.
If you travel a lot, or even if you simply want an easy way to share your travel plans with people you know, give Tripit a try.
Download: Tripit (free)
If you’re traveling on a budget or you’re after an alternative travel experience, give Airbnb a try. It’s free and helps you find places to stay, which are offered by private hosts in over 34,000 cities worldwide.
Whether you’re looking for a luxurious house with a pool and hot tub for just you and your family, or you’re open to sharing a room or suite with another traveler, Airbnb will help you find the right accommodations for you.
Communicate with the host directly through the app, as well as view pictures and get information about the offered amenities, the area the space is located in, price, and much more.
Download: Airbnb (free)
LiveTrekker is a free travel diary app that lets you document your travels through interactive maps, pictures, video, voice, and text. In addition, you can share your travel experiences in real time or upload them to the cloud to view or share another time.
With the tap of a button, the app starts tracking your movements via GPS and displaying your route on a satellite map. Annotate this map with photos, video, or text, and you have a detailed documentation of your journey to share with others or play back at any time.
If you enjoy documenting your travels and sharing them with others, download LiveTrekker.
Download: LiveTrekker (free)
Skyscanner is a great little app for searching for the cheapest flights to anywhere you want to go. You can book flights directly from the app, and you can also search for and book hotels.
Pick a location you want to travel to and the app will quickly find flights to that location and sort them by the cheapest price. Skyscanner is simple to use, and lets you quickly get the information you want.
If you want to find the cheapest flight to anywhere, or you just want to check prices and dream about your next vacation, Skyscanner is for you.
Download: Skyscanner (free +IAP)
If you’re a frequent flier or you know you’re going to have a long layover somewhere, having a spot to relax, nosh on some tasty food, and have a little drink while you wait for your next flight may appeal to you.
Almost every airport in the world has lounges that are off-limits to the general public but open to people who have certain perks. Don’t worry, though, lounges aren’t just for the rich and famous — you may have the needed perks to get in without even knowing it, and that’s where LoungeBuddy comes in.
Give the app a little information about yourself, such as whether you’re flying business or first class, if you belong to the military, and which credit cards are in your wallet, and the app will let you know if you qualify for lounge access in over 900 airports worldwide. It will even let you book your chosen lounge in-app.
In addition, you can browse photos of each lounge and read reviews from other travelers.
Download: LoungeBuddy (free +IAP)
When you want to know how many pesos your dollar is worth while you’re in Mexico, XE Currency, an app from the makers of the trusted currency exchange site, XE.com, will let you know in an instant.
XE Currency updates its rates every minute, so you always have the most accurate information, and it can also be used offline using saved data — no internet? No problem.
In addition to current rates, XE Currency offers market analysis information as well as charts that track your selected currency’s rate over time.
If you want up-to-the-minute currency rate information, XE Currency is a must have for you.
Download: XE Currency (free)
Evaneos Travel is a free travel guide app with absolutely no in-app purchases or advertising. Using information compiled by seasoned travelers, it offers a wealth of information on destinations all over the world.
Evaneos is especially handy for people who want to veer off the beaten path a little bit. Each destination has reviews from other travelers that tell you what you can expect, sights you must see, what to avoid, the best time to go, and much more.
If you crave an adventure on your next trip, pick up the Evaneos Travel app.
Download: Evaneos Travel (free)
Learn another language for free with Duolingo, a language app that’s similar to Rosetta Stone.
As of this writing, you can learn the following languages from Duolingo: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish Gaelic, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, and Turkish.
Each lesson includes a segment where you match a word in your chosen language to a picture and a section where you hear a sentence spoken and must translate it, as well as other types of learning tools.
You can take as much time to complete each section as you like and can also go back and repeat lessons you’ve already completed. If you’re diligent about working with the app, you’ll be speaking another language in no time.
If you want to learn another language for free, Duolingo is the app for you.
Download: Duolingo (free)
You probably already have Google Maps installed on your device, but if for some reason you don’t, you can download it from Google Play for free.
Google Maps is a great map app that lets you plan your route and gives you directions to help you get there. It even has indoor maps for large places such as airports, stadiums, and malls. It will even tell you where the nearest restaurants and stores are based on your location.
If you haven’t tried Google Maps yet, try it out next time you’re traveling.
Download: Google Maps (free)
While Hipmunk does essentially the same things as many other travel apps that let you find and book flights and hotels, it has an interesting sorting metric for finding the best flight for the lowest cost.
It’s called Agony and it’s a combination of price, number of stops, and layover time. Flights that score low on Agony will be at the top of the list while flights that score higher will be sorted lower. So if you want the shortest flight with as few layovers as possible, for the cheapest price, you can quickly find it with Hipmunk.
If you’re looking for the cheapest and least onerous flight for your next trip, try Hipmunk.
Download: Hipmunk (free)
What do you use?
Do you use an awesome travel app that we missed out on? Sound off in the comments below!
Soldiers have always had a problem with powering their equipment and with the increasing need for battery-powered kit, BAE Systems has been working on a potential solution. Say hello to Broadsword Spine.
The idea behind Broadsword Spine is to make it simple to connect and charge powered devices – that might be anything from small portable computers, to all manner of communications equipment, or cameras and torches.
Broadsword Spine provides networked clothing using smart textiles. Rather than using wires, it uses conductive fabrics instead. Typically, the it would offer a number of connection points spread around the wearer’s body, using a secure but quick-to-release system.
The advantage of using conductive fabrics is being able to integrate it into clothing, such as a jacket, vest or belt, meaning there’s no need for trailing wires that can get caught when moving around in an operational environment, like through buildings and in and out of vehicles, but it still remains flexible and waterproof.
The vest itself has no battery power – you have to connect batteries to some of the points as a power supply, but you can then connect your devices to the other points. The hardware behind Broadsword Spine then smartly manages the devices and the power connected to it.
One of the huge advantages that this brings is that you only need one type of battery. Currently there are different types of battery for every type of device, and the idea of Broadsword Spine is that everything is using the same connections, so you clip on the battery and they might then power your GPS and your radio, for example.
Taking it further, rather than disconnecting batteries from each different piece of equipment, you can quickly change batteries connected to Broadsword Spine and be on your way. Or, if you’re in a vehicle, you could connect yourself to the vehicles power supply to recharge – as we saw it, the vest was plugged into the wall.
The connection points all work on a USB 2.0 standard, so highly compatible with a range of technologies. On the example we see here, there’s a Samsung smartphone integrated as a controller, as an example of how a simple app could be used to manage the vest and all its connected devices.
At the moment Broadsword Spine is in testing and development, but could be powering soldiers in the not too distant future.
A walk through the woods. It sounds wonderful. Birds chirping, deer frolicking off in the distance, the majesty of the trees, the opportunity to get lost and drink river water that ties your stomach in knots. Hiking doesn’t have to be a combination of pure joy and fear of succumbing to the dangers of being outside.
To lower your chances of becoming wild animal fodder, we found some great tech to take along on your next jaunt into the woods. To stay in touch with your companions, the GoTenna turns your smartphone into a two-way FM radio-based texting machine with location sharing capabilities. So if you do wander off the trail, your GoTenna-enabled friends can quickly find you.
If you do get get lost or forget to bring along a canteen, the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter will make a nearby river or lake a source of refreshment, instead of a series of trips behind a tree to unleash your bowels. Our test to filter out anything that would destroy the intestines of one (un)lucky hiker was (thankfully) successful.
We documented all this borderline-self-abuse using two Narrative 2 clips. Unfortunately, only one of them actually delivered on the promise of shooting video or photos every few moments. But the one that did work as advertised caught some candid photos of our walk. But you have to make sure the clip on is pointed in the right direction. A lot of our photos were of trees because the Narrative was pointed slightly up.
To keep all this tech juiced up, we wore the Voltaic Offgrid Solar Backpack. The panels on the bag take the raw power of the sun and use it to keep your smartphone, tablet or any other gadget charged up. The internal battery is removable so your devices aren’t trapped in the bag when they need a to stay on during chats with your friends. It’s also helpful when you’re watching movies on your tablet while you fall asleep in your tent after a long day of enjoying the wilderness.
Since Amazon arrived in the UK and started shipping packages (and groceries) either same-day or next-day, brick and mortar retailers have been forced to step up their game. Sainsbury’s, one of the big four supermarkets, has already taken one big step to boost its presence by acquiring Argos, but it’s now decided to take a page from Amazon’s playbook and begin trialling its own one-hour delivery service. It’s called “Chop Chop” and it costs £4.99 per order.
Chop Chop exists as a standalone iOS app that was developed by the company’s in-house Digital Lab. Right now, it’s only available in Wandsworth, serving within three kilometers from its local store, and offers customers 20 specially-picked products. This trial, Sainsbury’s says, “is part of our strategy to give our customers more options to shop with us whenever and wherever they want.”
Although it’s very limited at the moment, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe has confirmed that the supermarket sees demand for having a basket of food delivered in a short amount of time. This, of course, would exist alongside the company’s existing home delivery service and its network of local shops and megastores, allowing customers to grab groceries without having to deviate from their schedule.
Source: Chop Chop (App Store)
Outfitting your home with Internet of Things devices can still be a pain. Figuring out which pieces of hardware from different companies work together is a trip down a confusing rabbit hole. But for those in the market for a connected home, is increasingly becoming a ready-to-go option.
Adding home automation elements during construction isn’t new. What’s changed in the last few years is that the prices have dropped dramatically (from tens of thousands to about $3,000) and the systems can be run from Apple’s HomeKit or a voice assistant like Alexa instead of proprietary hardware. Now large homebuilding companies like KB Home, Brookfield Residential and Lennar are offering IoT options for new houses.
Providing homeowners turnkey solutions gives these companies an additional source of revenue. But, it also shows that the current wave of connected home devices and platforms is finally reaching a level of maturity that will convince people that home automation is actually useful.
Jacob Atalla, KB Home VP of sustainability, tells Engadget, “We are at stage beyond the (individual) widgets.” He added now that different devices are working together thanks to the HomeKit platform, his company is able to deliver a real experience to homeowners.
You shouldn’t expect to walk into one of these new houses and see a Nest on the wall or a WeMo controlling the lights. A home is a decades-long investment. Sure the startup world is exciting, but homebuilders are relying on established manufacturers like Whirlpool, GE and Honeywell. David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures, tells Engadget, “When you buy a new home, it’s a significant piece of machinery. We rely on and take a lot of stock in the manufacturing process and quality control of the large manufacturers.”
The closest thing to a startup in these homes is Apple. All three homebuilders are working with the iPhone-maker to make sure the buildings are HomeKit-ready to simplify the transition to a smarter house. All the devices in the dwellings will be compliant with Apple’s IoT solution. “What people want is an entire package that’s simple and unified and easy to use. Consumers don’t want one device over another, they want an entire solution,” Kaiserman says.
But the executives all also noted that they are open to working with other platforms — which should be welcome news to Android-using home buyers. Plus, it’s a sign that the companies see this as a long-term trend. Brookfield Residential COO, Adrian Foley, believes once people see what a smart home can accomplish, they won’t go back. He used the car as an analogy, noting that people don’t want to return to a time before keyless entries and electric windows. “I think we’ll get very used to the convenience of the smart home,” he says.
In the meantime, house hunters have the opportunity to jump directly into a connected home without the headache of building it on their own. And while KB Home, Lennar and Brookfield Residential would like everyone to enjoy the benefits of IoT with a clean slate, the truth is that won’t happen. But, what will happen is that people will visit their friends in their fancy new automated dwellings will realize that maybe IoT is something they want in their own home — even if it still takes more effort than it should.