Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -


When us­ing Google’s Gmail, how do I set up au­to­matic mes­sages show­ing the ad­dressee has opened­my­mail?

What you are de­scrib­ing is know as a ‘‘read re­ceipt’’ and, un­for­tu­nately, they are only sup­ported in Google Apps for Busi­ness, Ed­u­ca­tion and Government. Mi­crosoft does of­fer this op­tion in its free on­line email, Win­dows Live Mail, how­ever. You can sign up for an ac­count at

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON Padacs, $59.95 ★★★★ Stu­dents who re­ceived an iPad Mini for Christ­mas could ap­pre­ci­ate this pow­er­ful ac­ces­sory. The En­duroMini looks like a typ­i­cal fo­lio case, al­beit slightly thicker. The iPad Mini clicks into one side of the case, with rub­ber cor­ners to keep it in place, while the other side of the case con­tains an 8000mAh lithium-ion bat­tery. To charge the case, you con­nect it to a com­puter, with charg­ing tak­ing about five hours. When your iPad Mini or iPhone (or any other de­vice that can be charged by USB) runs down, you plug a USB adapter into the case and use your de­vice’s ca­ble to con­nect the two. One down­side is that you still need to carry your iPad Mini’s USB ca­ble. It will charge up your Mini in about three hours, although you can use it while it’s charg­ing. This case adds some bulk and about 500g to your iPad Mini, but the ben­e­fits will out­weigh that for many peo­ple. Cygnett, $139.95 ★★★★ A pair of de­cent head­phones can help high-school stu­dents stand the com­mute to school and th­ese Cygnett PurePhonic head­phones have a lot go­ing for them, in­clud­ing but­tons to nav­i­gate tracks, vol­ume con­trols and a mi­cro­phone to an­swer phone calls. You can link them via Blue­tooth to your smart­phone, tablet or MP3 player and en­joy up to 17 hours of use on one charge. They have a wire­less range of about 10m and you recharge them through a USB con­nec­tion. The PurePhonic cans are com­fort­able, with gen­er­ous pad­ding around the ears and your head. One at­trac­tion for those who will carry them in a school bag is that they fold up into a hard case for trans­port. They are also sim­ple to use with only one but­ton to turn the head­phones on and off, con­nect them to a Blue­tooth de­vice, an­swer a phone call and end a phone call. They come with an op­tional ca­ble, so you can still use them when they need recharg­ing. Crum­pler, $95 crum­ ★★★★ Not a story for stu­dious teenagers, but the orig­i­nal Crum­pler bag was de­signed to be strong enough to carry a slab of beer on a bike. They are tough and keep on keep­ing on. Instagram could learn a lot from Crum­pler about terms and con­di­tions: ‘‘If your Crum­pler bag fails as a re­sult of de­fec­tive ma­te­ri­als or work­man­ship un­der nor­mal use while you: a) draw breath and b) re­main the bag’s owner, we’ll re­pair or re­place the part(s) in ques­tion, no ques­tions asked.’’ The Pri­vate Zoo back­pack has had a re­cent up­date with the Con­fetti Print on the back pocket, against a black bag, the lat­est colour op­tion. This sim­ple but func­tional 17L back­pack is made to cope with the tough life of a school bag. The main com­part­ment has a padded sleeve that will fit a 15-inch lap­top and the front pocket is sur­pris­ingly large. Those af­ter lots of com­part­ments might find it too ba­sic, but it’s made of a tough, wa­ter­re­sis­tant ma­te­rial with strong hooded zip­pers. Log­itech, $149.95 www.log­ ★★★★ Meet one key­board to rule them all. The fea­ture that helps this Blue­tooth key­board stand out from the crowd is its ver­sa­til­ity. You can link this key­board to three de­vices, such as an Ap­ple iMac, iPhone and iPad, by as­sign­ing each de­vice to a key marked one, two or three. Typ­ing on your iMac, for in­stance, might in­volve hit­ting the num­ber 1 key. Hit the num­ber 2 and sud­denly you are typ­ing on your iPad. The key­board has the Mac keys you ex­pect which can be used to con­trol mu­sic play­back on your iOS de­vices, screen bright­ness and menu con­trols. The black strip across the top is a light-sen­si­tive charg­ing pad. Charge it up un­der sun­light or ar­ti­fi­cial light and Log­itech says there will be enough charge to use the key­board in to­tal dark­ness for three months. Not that we spent 90 days in a box to test this. It is heav­ier than the Ap­ple wi-fi key­board but with the ex­tra weight comes con­ve­nience and flex­i­bil­ity. Belkin, $29.95 ★★★★ This slick desk­top dock is sur­pris­ingly sim­ple to set up and en­sures your iPhone re­mains in plain sight. Users can run a Light­ning ca­ble through this dock by clipping the mag­ne­tised plas­tic cover off and run­ning it through a chan­nel. The dock’s ca­ble con­nec­tor sits sur­pris­ingly high, although that’s a good thing be­cause it makes this dock com­pat­i­ble with most iPhone cases. The Charge+Sync Dock also has a 3.5mm au­dio plug to plug into your phone in case you want to con­nect it to desk­top speak­ers. The au­dio plug folds down out of the way if you don’t want to lis­ten to mu­sic while charg­ing. Sadly, this dock doesn’t come with a Light­ning cord and it can be fid­dly un­plug­ging your phone when it rings. Over­all, though, it’s a great way to keep your iPhone or iPod Touch (5th gen­er­a­tion) charged.

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