Mobile Tech 018: This Week's Picks

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With black friday come and gone in the US, the last-minute holiday deal hunt is now in overdrive. With the non-stop ads on our phones, in our inboxes and plastered on every open space nearby, it's easy to think that popping into the store or digging through the net is the only way to go.

But as Motherboard points out, the best deal around might be collecting dust in your closet or hiding in plain sight on your favorite classifieds site. If you’ve got a damaged or aging mobile device, game console or computer sitting around, getting it back up and running might be easier than you think.

Even if you don’t use it, you can always try to sell it to pad your holiday budget! Not to mention, its one less item for the landfill. It’s green on multiple levels!

Reduce, re-use and read on!



There’s plenty of options out there for adding a virtual number to your phone. But most of them simply behave like a spare number. Listen caught our attention with its list of privacy and notification options. You can mute notifications by contact, create automated responses and set reminders for important follow ups. We’d love to see this become a part of standard messaging and contact features, but until then a free app is just as good!

Cobi Smart Biking System


It seems that there are kits out there to make any item a smart item these days. The COBI caught our attention with its smart integrations and the potential for it to not only provide additional benefits but improve safety as well. Providing a weather-resistant hub for your phone, this kit adds navigation, weather reports, lighting and more to your biking experience. Very cool!

Updates to GMail for iOS


While it’s latest update has users divided on the overall look of the app, Google’s Gmail app for iOS is smoothing out the Gmail experience and bringing features inline with that of their Android app. New features include Undo Send, improved search and gesture-based controls to make that quest for inbox zero faster and more intuitive. If you haven’t checked it out in a while, the latest update might breathe new life into the app.

Aud Shower by iLuv


Bathrooms are your electronics’ worst nightmare. Water, heat, humidity--there’s always something lurking nearby. The Aud Shower uses suction cup mounts and an IPX4 water resistance rating to let you stream your favorite music or podcasts into your shower or bath. While it won’t shake the walls like your home theater system, reviews for the sound quality and overall volume are great. It also supports hands-free calling, though we might suggest waiting until you’re out of the shower to take that important call from the office.



By themselves, mobile devices are only so useful for getting things done. A comfy chair, a source of power and fast Wi-Fi make a huge difference. If you’ve ever ran across town to hit a Wi-Fi hotspot only to find a crowded room or no power outlets, Workfrom might be the best app you install this week. From crowdsourced ratings on popular co-working spaces to GPS searches for nearby Wi-Fi options, we love the potential of this app. While current information is limited to large cities, their database is growing fast. So keep this on your radar!



After raising nearly $1-million on Kickstarter, the ECLIPSE is now available for preorder on IndieGoGo. While there’s plenty of options out there to keep cords tangle-free, the ability to manage multiple cords, flexible mounting options and the classy design of this little pod caught our eye. The hub supports up to 3 8-foot cables and outputs up to 3A of charging power to ensure even your latest gear is topped off quickly and safely.

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