Electronics

The Clash of Consoles

Decrypted: Why the PS4 Is Winning

Now that the gaming trifecta -- PS4, XBox One, Wii U -- has been on shelves for over a year, it’s become increasingly clear that one in particular is pulling ahead. What’s Sony doing so right with the PS4? We’re glad you asked.

Is That Half-Off Slingbox Worth It?

Decrypted: An Argument to End Black Friday

It's that time again. No, not Thanksgiving. That time of wasted money, squandered vacation time, dishonored holidays, and tramplings: Black Friday. This year, ask yourself: Why?

Serenity Now

7 Best Noise Canceling Headphones

Because they make it so much easier to hear hushed dialogue in movies or the pianissimo finale of a favorite symphony, active noise canceling headphones have become standard items to pack for any serious traveler (especially anyone with a window seat next to the plane’s engine). They’ve also become popular with office workers who want to eliminate the chatter of colleagues and other workplace noise. We tried out more than 15 different pairs of ANC headsets on planes, trains, buses, noisy subway cars and riding mowers across the U.S. and Europe to settle on seven models that lead the pack.

Apple Pay vs CurrentC vs the World

The Trials and Tribulations of Paying With Your Phone

A month ago, U.S. consumers couldn’t care less about tap-to-pay systems. In a flash, that all changed. What does the heated competition between Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and CurrentC mean for the future of your wallet?

if you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Decrypted: With Health, Microsoft Admits Defeat — and Adapts

Microsoft's newly minted CEO Satya Nadella has no shortage of challenges ahead, with revenue streams from Windows and Office thinning. But the Microsoft Health signals a more forward-thinking direction for the company: focusing on the cloud.

Master your domain like never before

5 Essentials for the Well-Connected Home

The next frontier for mobile devices and connected technology is all about the physical domain. Phrases like "smart home" and "the internet of things" are creeping into our collective vocabulary; can those lofty ideas really change your life? Considering the advanced features offered by smart home essentials, and the answer should be obvious.

So Good, It Skipped Windows 9

Decrypted: Windows 10 Looks Backward to Go Forward

We may never know the truth behind the chosen "10" nomenclature, but we do know a thing or two about the software that’s set to replace Windows Phone and eventually show up on the Xbox.

A Road Warrior’s Best Friend

For Seasoned Travelers, the iPhone 6 Plus is a Worthy Upgrade

Starting at $749, the 6 Plus is also the most expensive iPhone ever produced, but it offers jetsetters, journeymen, and tried-and-true road warriors a few things that no Apple smartphone has before. After traveling around for a week with the 6 Plus, I’m confident in at least one thing: it’s a must-have for those who can’t seem to stay in one place for long.

... And Hopefully Those Damn Stickers Too

Decrypted: The Specifications War is Over

If the topic of mobile technology happens to come up at your local water cooler, it’s unlikely that a fight will break out concerning which colleague’s phone has the most RAM. Tech specs used to be consumers' top priority; what do the numbers mean to us now, with supercomputers in our pockets?

You can't bullshit your health data

Decrypted: Caution in the Age of the Quantified Self

Tracking your health and fitness with the help of smartphone apps and wearables is fun and motivating; auto insurers are now allowing drivers tracking options to prove their safety and save money. But for consumers, there are also troubling implications looming concerning how a person's digital portrait can be used and the security of important data.

Wear Them Well

The State of Wearables, 2014

Wearable tech is a growing and increasingly diverse market; they all track distance and calories, and most tell time. They all have their pitfalls -- battery life, compatibility, reliability, size, price -- but what determines the best device is your individual needs. Do you need to streamline your workflow or measure how streamlined your backstroke is? Do you need a sleek timepiece or do you dig the outright nerdy look? Weigh your responses and use our guide of the best options.

One More Thing Than Apple's Thing

Meet the iBuckle, This Autumn’s Must-Have Wearable

With the release of the Apple Watch, wrist wearables may finally be finding their stride. But who cares? Watches had perfected timekeeping by the time the personal computer was invented. What wearable technology really needs to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers worldwide is a revolution. So from GP's own department of disruptive innovation comes a proposal: the iBuckle. Here's a breakdown of its groundbreaking features.

Ask and you shall receive

Meet the Only Smartphone with Firefly Technology

Search engines changed how we discover information about the world around us forever -- not to mention how we shop. Amazon's new Firefly technology embedded in the new Fire Phone, exclusively on AT&T, is primed to flip the script once again. At its core, Firefly is designed to help users easily identify everything from web addresses and phone numbers to over 100 million products including various forms of media like movies, TV episodes and songs.

The mobile interface of the future, today

Meet the Only Smartphone with Dynamic Perspective

Sci-fi movies have teased us with the power and convenience of 3D interfaces for years. But Amazon's newly launched Fire Phone, available exclusively at AT&T, proves that the wait for an advanced smartphone interface that harnesses the full potential of 3D is finally over. So-called Dynamic Perspective is powered by four front-facing infrared cameras that constantly track the position of the user's head in relation to the phone's screen -- even in the dark. The result is a persistent 3D viewing experience that doesn't require special glasses or a fancy 3D display.

Is the Sixth Time the Charm?

Decrypted: The iPhone 6, What Matters and What Doesn’t

The iPhone 6 and6 Plus are being dubbed “the biggest advancement in iPhone history”, and it appears that Apple’s referring to a lot more than the actual size of the units. Aside from growing up, what’s there to know about the new iPhone duo? And, more importantly, are they worth the upgrade?

Is a dedicated TV streaming device irrelevant? It depends

Tested: Slingbox M1

It's easy to think that the ground made up by "TV Anywhere" streaming services from television providers as well as on demand resources like Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO GO have made owning a dedicated device like the Slingbox M1 irrelevant. But is that really the case? After spending a few days testing the newest member of the Slingbox family, the realistic answer is: it depends.

Like Post Secret for Adults

Decrypted: Navigating Anonymous Social Media Networks

Within the past year, two anonymous social apps, Secret and Whisper, have launched and secured millions of dollars in funding while racking up thousands of new users per day. The question is, should you be using them?

Playing Muddy Waters from the Mud

Eight Great Rugged Bluetooth Speakers

All-weather bluetooth speakers make sure that you have listening options in any climate, on the edge of any pool or in your pack on any adventure. No plug, no jacks, no need to check the weather report. Just durable music wherever you need it. These are the eight best.

Doesn't sound fun, does it?

Decrypted: A Guide to Avoiding Data Throttling

Throttling is a term that has snuck up on laypeople all of a sudden, particularly applying to how mobile data is delivered. Rather than just cutting users off altogether once a certain usage level is reached, carriers far and wide are instead putting a chokehold on the speed at which data is delivered. In other words, those who consume too much lightning-fast LTE data may find their emails loading much slower until the next billing cycle. That’s better than no data at all, but it’s a very poor user experience that you’d be wise to avoid.

Just In Case

7 Best New iPhone Battery Cases

What with our ever-growing use of smartphones, few things are more annoying than a dead battery. And with this new crop of options, an iPhone battery case is a wiser investment than ever.

My watch is smarter than your honor student

Decrypted: Are Wearables Worth It?

In a sense, producers of wearables are trying to convince you that they’re something you can’t possibly live without…. something like your smartphone. Chances are, however, you can. Darren Murph examines the current state of the smartwatch.

Potent portables

27 Accessories to Make Your Smartphone Smarter

You don’t need us to tell you that smartphones are becoming exceedingly central to our lives; just look at the massive market for phone accessories. Whether you’re a fitness buff, a photographer or an avid traveler, there’s tons of gear for your phone that matches your lifestyle. We've picked our favorites for both the Android and iOS ecosystems.

No relation to one Katy Perry

Tested: Sound Blaster Roar SR20

Creative's new Sound Blaster Roar SR20 boasts improved Bluetooth pairing, a sound-boosting "Roar" mode, and half the price of its Bose competitor.