TECH BATTLE ROYALE
The world of consumer technology is full of choices, some of them expensive. Here’s some help with the decision-making.
As an Apple loyalist, I have the annual subscription plan, which gives me the radio stations with human-selected new music that comes with the standard monthly subscription, plus the ability to use Siri to change music hands-free in the car. But if you already have Spotify, stay with it. Most won’t miss the exclusives it lacks, and suggestion algorithms such as Discover Weekly are reliably great.
Now that Uber has scheduled pickups, an option to add stops and tipping, Taxify doesn’t win for features. It comes down to Taxify being less expensive, better profit sharing for drivers and being generally more likeable. Service on both can be iffy at times, so it comes down to cost and which service you’re used to using. Uber’s trump card is the volume of drivers, and it’s currently more widely available.
Both apps offer fairly similar features with small differences helping make one of them the winner of this clash. Accuweather provides satellite images, two-week forecasts and severe-weather alerts. It lacks a pollen count, though, which the app from The Weather Channel has. Accuweather is more versatile.
Bose’s patents mean it’s still the best at noise-cancelling headphones. I wear the last-gen QC 35s every day at my desk, and won’t fly without them. Xqisit’s oe400 active noise-cancelling ’phones are the new upstarts giving Bose a run for its money. The noise cancelling is great and it’s so comfortable, it’s basically a mother’s hug. It also costs less.
Easy menus and voice search make the Roku the best TV operating system right now. But Apple wins for user interface. Besides prettier menus, you can type your Netflix or Amazon Prime passwords on your iphone or ipad if it’s nearby, instead of moving a square around the on-screen keyboard.
Chrome’s new built-in ad-blocking is effective, but it still uses too much system memory, which can slow down other apps if you have too many tabs open. I use Safari for daily driving because it blocks cross-site tracking and never crashes or slows down.