Looking for a clever new gadget or just want to stay up to date? Here’s our pick of the best new tech
A new way to listen to music
If your record collection is taking up a lot of space in your home, there's a simple solution. You can use a digital music service, such as Spotify, which allows you to ‘stream’ the music you like onto a computer or phone and get rid of all your records, cassettes and CDs. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Spotify?
Spotify is a digital music library containing more than 30 million songs. If you have a Spotify account, you can listen to or save music from the Spotify library and put it on your computer, laptop or smartphone.
How much does it cost?
You can listen for free, but you will have to listen to ads after every few songs. Or you can take a paid Premium membership, which costs about £9.99 a month. You can then save as many songs as you like onto your computer or smartphone and listen to them even when you don’t have internet access. (You can only listen to the free service when you are online.) Paid members also have access to Discover Weekly, which will suggest other artists and songs, based on what you’ve been listening to that week.
It’s easier than you might think
Go to spotify.com and download the app. Then look at the menu and find the ‘search’ button. Start tapping in all your favourite artists, albums or song tracks. For example, type Frank Sinatra and a list of his albums and songs will come up.
You can then press ‘play’ and listen to a song or album, or press ‘add’ to your playlist and start creating a personalised list of your favourite music. If it’s an album or track you know you’ll want to listen to a lot, you can press ‘save’ to your library. Spotify also has its own radio stations. So, for example, if you want to listen to music from the 1950s or 60s, there’s a radio station to match.
Spotify has been going for nine years and already has over 140 million users. It could open up a whole new world of music to you, so why not give it a go? If you’re considering a paid subscription to Spotify, look out for ‘free 30-day trial’ or ‘first three months for 99p per month' special offers for new members.
If you’re always misplacing your keys, wallet or remote control, a nifty little tracker called the Tile could be the answer. You attach the Tile to whichever item you lose the most and then download an app to your smartphone. When said item goes missing, just tap an icon on the app and the Tile will ring loudly. You can also use it the other way round to find your lost phone, by pressing a button on the Tile. The Tile Slim, £29.99, is as thin as two credit cards, and the Tile Mate, £22.99, is even smaller and can be attached to a key ring. Available from unforgettable.org
Did you know?
It’s not only teenagers who are wedded to their smartphones. The UK Gadget Usage Report 2017 revealed that 77% of adults aged 55-64 and 64% aged 65 and over would not leave home without their smartphone. The report also confirmed how fond older people have become of their tablets and iPads, using them twice as much as laptops. Vaping machines, however, are far less popular with the older generation. While more than 15% of people aged 25-34 vape every day, only 2.4 per cent of the over 65s do.