As you probably already know, it is Black Friday this Friday! Black Friday was originally a tradition in America, but now UK retailers are getting heavily involved. On Black Friday, shops drop their prices on many of their products. It is known that the name of ‘Black’ Friday came along because this date was supposedly a date when retailers were going ‘into the black’. ‘Going into the black’ means to make a profit. These profits were shown in the retailer’s financial records. In the records, where red ink has been used it meant there were losses, black ink meant a profit. Black Friday initiated the first day of the holiday season where there was only profit.
This year Black Friday takes place on Friday the 24th of November! However, you will already be seeing deals appearing as of today in some retailers. We decided to take a look at the best upcoming tech deals which you can get this week and on Friday.
The Microsoft Surface Pros have become very popular and now Currys are doing a great deal on one that you won’t want to miss. Get a 128 GB Microsoft Pro with a Black Typecover included for only £849 compared to the usual £1099.99 that it would be. That saves you a massive £250.99, so head over to Currys to buy yours now.
You may have seen recently that Amazon brought out a new range of products including the all-new Amazon Echo. Well, Amazon has decided to get involved with the Black Friday deals and have brought the Price of the Amazon Echo down from £89.99 to £69.99 making it that little bit more affordable, and a perfect Christmas present. You can buy the new Amazon Echo from the Amazon website.
The Google Home is very similar to the Amazon Echo but uses the Google Assistant rather than Alexa. Currys have decided to reduce the Google Home down to £78 from £129. This saves you a massive £51, which really should not be missed. It has been predicted that these are going to sell very quickly so get in there fast. You can get the Google Home from the Currys website.
Amazon has revealed that they are selling the Sony PlayStation Pro with FIFA 18 + Call of Duty: WW11 (PS4) for only £299.99. That’s a massive £50 discount off of the of the price that it is originally being sold at, plus you have the games included. The PS4 Pro is the upgrade of the PS4 and has twice the amount of power as its predecessor. You can buy this off of Amazons website.
Udemy is an online course marketplace. A little different from the above products, here you can buy online courses to help with your learning development. Udemy has a Black Friday deal on with over 55,000 online courses at £10 or less. They host many different types of courses ranging from foreign languages to music and IT. Take a look at Udemy’s website to see if there is anything that takes your fancy and get it quick whilst the Black Friday sale is on.
Many more retailers such as Tescos, Argos, John Lewis and Game have an array of deals on already and more to come this Friday. Good luck with your Black Friday shopping and remember to keep safe on the busiest shopping day of the year. We have put together some tips on how to keep safe whilst shopping online and in-store on Black Friday.
Last month our team liked the new update to Ebay caled ‘Image Search as well as the exciting Amazon Echo Show and the brand new smartphone from Razer.
Ebay have now introduced ‘Image Search’, if you have previously heard of Pinterest’s ‘Visual Search’ then you may be aware of the concept. Ebay have now unveiled their new feature to the app, simply take a picture or pull up an existing photo from your camera roll of something that you like and this will produce an ebay search of the exact match or similar items. So if you have seen an item in a shop or in a picture that you like but want to find it online and are unaware of the name, then this is ideal for you. This feature has been rolled out onto both the Android and Apple app.
Razer are a globally popular gaming hardware and peripheral company and they have just announced they they will be releasing a high spec phone with its emphasis being on entertainment. There are many great features on this new smartphone. UltraMotion technology backs a stunning screen that delivers refresh rates up to 120 Hz for a smooth, lag free vibrant experience. The ‘true-to-life cinematic audio’ sound experience comes from the Dolby ATMOS standard which is produced through front-firing speakers and dual amplifiers. It has superior battery life with a 4,000 mAh battery, allowing you to enjoy your gaming experience for longer. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB RAM, you canbe sure that you are getting the ultimate viewing excperience. With 12MP cameras and dual tone flash, you will always get a natural and balanced image. The Razer Phone also comes with Game Booster which optimizes the phone for game play. The Razer phone will set you back by £699 and you can now pre-order it on Three for £41 a month contract with a 49 up front fee. If you’re an avid gamer, then this smartphone is what you need.
The Amazon Echo Show is a new product from Amazon. The Echo Show has all of the Alexa features from the original Echo, but now Alexa can show you things too. With an additional 7-inch screen and a 5 megapixel camera, you can now enjoy a more interactive experience. The screen will show you brief videos, Amazon audio content, music lyrics, recipes, security camera, weather forecasts, photos, shopping lists and much more. You are able to make hands-free video calls to anyone with an Echo Show or Echo Dot with the Alexa app. In terms of audio quality, the Echo Show has “Dolby processing speakers [with] crisp vocals and extended bass response.” With 8 microphones and beam-forming technology, Alexa can hear you from across the room. This really is a great product within the line of Amazon Echo products. You can pre-order the Amazon Echo Show for £199 right now. Amazon even has a deal on that when you use the code ‘SHOW2PACK’ after placing 2 Echo Show’s in your basket, you will then receive £100 off. Do not forget to check the terms and conditions.
Last month our team have been loving the new releases! The Nintendo Classic Mini SNES and the very new Amazon Echo Plus have been the hot topics here as well as a very practical app for your storage if you are an Android user!
If you are an Android user and find yourself using up your storage and then having to delete various apps and images to get more on there, then this app would be ideal for you. Link2SD is an application manager that makes it easy to move applications to the SD card. Link2SD uses a secondary partition on your SD card and uses it as another segment of internal storage. There is a multitude of exciting features such ‘force move’ which allows you to move apps over to SD even if the app does not support moving to SD. The ability to link apk, dex and lib files of apps to the SD card, freeze and un-freeze system and users applications and much more. If you regularly find yourself running out of storage on your Android phone then this is worth looking into, you can download it here.
Nintendo Classic Mini SNES was released last Friday and it is so popular that stock is already sparse! The SNES Mini is a tiny version of the original console from the 90’s and comes with 21 games from that era. It comes with two controllers that connect via USB. It also comes with a HDMI cable so that you can connect it to the TV. A new feature that has been added is that you can now rewind up to five minutes of gameplay. Also you can wrap a border around your games with the new Frame feature. If you have an Nintendo Wii, you can simply plug the Wii Classic Controllers and accessories in and play! Due to how popular the SNES Classic Mini was in the 90’s, it sold out mostly just from the pre-sale and they completely sold out on launch day. However, you may be able to pre-order on Amazon France. Although this is the France stock, UK members are still able to pre-order.
You would probably think that the Echo Plus will have a whole new look, but it actually imitates the old version. But dont be put off by this as there are many new changes beneath this. The first thing that has been added is Zig-Bee friendly hub. The purpose of the Zig-Bee is that it allows the Echo Plus to easily connect to a wider range of smart home devices. All you have to do is say ‘Alexa, discover devices.’ The Echo Plus is compatible with everything from light bulbs to locks. Alexa will automatically name the devices too so the first light set up will be called ‘first light.’ Amazon is even going to ship every Echo Plus with a Philips Hue light bulb so that users can see the real potential from this new device. Additional features are pretty much the same as the new Amazon Echo, including a dedicated woofer, a tweeter and Dolby-certified audio which is meant to make the sound a whole lot better. As well as this, it also has 7 microphones that can hear you from any direction, even when music is playing. The Echo Plus is even cheaper than its predeccesor selling for $149.99, you can pre-order it now.
Amazon customers have now been informed they could risk losing up to £750 if they fall for this email scam.
‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ is the email address that fronts this scam and it is very convincing! There have been several reports about this scam so far, however it is unclear how many people have received the fake email. The email claims that shoppers have ordered particular products which are fairly expensive, including things like iPhones, luxury watches and Bose stereos. The way that this scam extorts your money is by putting in a ‘help me’ link for if you didn’t make these purchases and you can then get a full refund.
The way that this scam extorts your money is by offering a full refund for these items via a ‘help me’ link. The idea being the recipient will know they have not purchased the items and quickly request the refund before being out of pocket.
So here are some tips on how to know if your email is real or fake and how to ensure that you aren’t scammed.
If you receive an official email from a well known name, there definitely will be no typos or grammatical mistakes. Another thing to look out for is the American spellings of words. For example ‘color’ instead of ‘colour’.
Be careful of any attachments within the email. You should not click on these attachments if they are not from a trusted sender.
If you see any suspicious links in your email, do not click on them. Taking Amazon as our prime example, Amazon will never put ‘Amazon.co.uk’. They will always put a dot before – ‘http://”something”.amazon.co.uk’. They also will not include any numbers in the email address. Such as ‘http://123.5335.345/amazon.co.uk’. If they have hyperlinked some text, you can hover over it and see if the address seems dodgy, if so don’t click on it. Or type the address into a separate window.
Although we are talking about scammers acting as Amazon, you should also look out for emails from companies who you have never signed up to or recognise. Also, if you receive an email from an address like ‘email@example.com’, this is not safe and certainly not secure.
If an e-mail requires ‘immediate reaction’, then call the proposed company directly. The customer service department will look up your account to see if anything needs to be done.
If you are requested to enter any personal details, you should be wary as this could be a scam. If these details are for a particular website, you should visit that website and enter your details on there.
So these are all different ways that you can insure that you keep yourself safe from scam emails. If you want more information or you have received an email that you’re unsure about and want somebody to take a second look, contact us today on 0800 304 744 or via our email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We have put together a little guide on the best presents to get any tech lover this Christmas, without breaking the bank! Take a look at our top 5 picks…
The Amazon Echo Dot is an amazing present to give somebody this Christmas. The Echo dot is a smart-speaker that has been developed by Amazon.
The Echo Dot is a hands-free device that is voice-controlled. The Echo Dot has a small built in speaker but it can also connect to your speakers or your headphones. This is done through Bluetooth or and audio cable. Similar to the Amazon Echo, the Echo Dot has the Alexa Voice Service. Alexa can provide information, news, weather, play music and so much more. As long as you address her with Alexa before a command, she can hear you from across the room – even when there is music playing. This fantastic device goes perfectly in any room in your house priced at only £49.99.
The Roku Streaming stick will make anyone’s Christmas this year! This handy stick cant be taken anywhere and plugged into any TV via an HDMI input.
The Roku Streaming Stick holds over 2,000 streaming channels and 100,000 films and TV episodes. You can control Roku via the controller or an app on your smartphone or tablet. You can even beam your photos, videos and songs from your phone onto your screen. You can access Netflix, Now TV, BBC iPlayer and more. Some of these programmes need extra payment. This price of the Roku Streaming Stick is £29.99.
The Logitech Keyboard can type on anything! You can enjoy the convenience of desktop typing on your tablet or smartphone with this mobile keyboard.
The keyboard is connected by Bluetooth which therefore makes it wireless. The Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard will connect to Windows, Mac, Chrome, Android or iOS devices. Due to the lightweight, compact design the keyboard can be taken anywhere. You can connect up to three devices simultaneously. This could be an Android tablet, iPhone and a Windows Computer. There are 3 buttons at the top of the keyboard and you can simply switch between devices by clicking on the buttons. The Keyboard is pre-installed with two AAA alkaline batteries which have two years of battery life. Priced at only £34.99.
Amazon have a great tablet at such an amazing price. Lots of entertainment for a little amount of money.
The Amazon Fire has a fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and both rear and front facing cameras. If the receiver is a prime member, they can streams thousands of prime videos and have access to over a million book titles, two millions songs and thousands of audiobooks. You can also expand your storage by using a microSD card and there is free unlimited cloud storage for all the Amazon content. This fast and responsive tablet is £49.99.
Do you know somebody who is a music lover but also loves their tech? Well if so, the iQ Gravity Speaker may be just for them. This speaker is essentially a Bluetooth speaker however, it levitates.
Electromagnetism technology is used to make the speaker float. There are magnets concealed within the base itself and within the sphere-shaped speaker. A fool-proof placement tool helps you locate the magnetic sweet spot that enables the speaker to levitate. In addition, the speaker is completely wireless due to Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. This will work up to 10 metres away from the device. You can use any device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. This speaker has up to 7 hours worth of battery life. Due to the magnets in the speaker, you can use it on any metal surface – stick it to your fridge or a metal chair or even attach it to your bike. You even get a one year warranty with this speaker. This product has been dramatically reduced in cost which makes it ever better at the price of £49.97.
So, you may or may not be aware that this Friday is Black Friday! Black Friday was originally a tradition in America, but now UK retailers are getting heavily involved. On Black Friday, shops drop their prices on many of their products. In America, this day takes place a day after Thanksgiving. It is known that the name of ‘Black’ Friday came along because this date was supposedly a date when retailers were going ‘into the black’. ‘Going into the black’ means to make a profit. These profits were shown in the retailers financial records. In the records, where red ink has been used it meant there were losses, black ink meant a profit. Black Friday initiated the first day of the holiday season where there was only profit.
Black Friday takes place on November the 25th this year! However, the deals have no longer been restricted to just the one day, some retailers begin them as long as a week in advance. Also, following on from Black Friday, there is Cyber Monday which is full of tech deals. We are going to take a look at where you can find the best deals this year.
Amazon are probably the biggest retailer within Black Friday. Last year they sold more than 7.4 million products on just Black Friday. This year, Amazon has started their deals 12 days earlier! The deals launched on the 14th of November. These will include the likes of HD TVs, phones, home accessories, fashion, toys and beauty products – so there is something for everyone! They even have something called ‘lightning deals’ these are offers on top of deals and are available as often as every 5 minutes. If you are an Amazon Prime member you will get early access to all of the deals too! If you are not, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, which after will cost you $79 per year. Amazon will have some of the best deals so make sure to keep an eye out on their website!
Last year, Tesco’s knocked 70% off their electrical items! This year they are back for even more – by opening their shops as early as 5am for shoppers on Friday! They have also begun their deals yesterday, Monday 21st and they will carry these deals on until the 1st of December. If you visit the Tesco Direct website, this is where you will find all the deals opposed to the general Tesco site. Expect to see large discount on electrical appliances, gaming, kids toys and much, much more.
Argos are another retailer who are beginning their sales early. The deals will run for 13 consecutive days in the run up to Black Friday and will follow on through to Cyber Monday. You will find toys, electrical items, home appliances and more. However, comparing the electrical product prices to Amazon, Amazon still come out on top. However the toy sale is massive so get yourself to Argos if you have some little ones to shop for! Argos are telling customers that there will be no larger discounts on Black Friday than there is on their other days of deals and if a customer finds something which seems to of been discounted, then they will refund them the money back.
Currys begun their deals late last week in order to keep up with the competition of all the other retailers. They will have even larger reductions on Black Friday itself. Currys have called this the ‘Black Tag Event’. You can find money off speakers, laptops, TVs, wearable tech and more. But this year it seems that Currys are putting their largest reductions on their TVs, so visit their website to see what bargains you can grab yourself this year.
John Lewis cut prices on so many items last year which included iPads, MacBook products, household items and more. Due to John Lewis’ commitment to being ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ this means that they will match any price on a product that another store may be selling it at. The benefit of purchasing through John Lewis is their great warranties. So this year, expect to see designer handbags, household electrical items, furniture and toys. If you sign up to a Partnership card too, you can receive double points on items at certain times of the year.
Black Friday is not just subject to these retailers, many highstreet stores will be joining in on Friday to deliver you some great deals. Throughout all these retailers, you will find deals online for those who do not want to fight the masses in store. So if you decide to get involved on black Friday, make sure you keep safe online and in-store – take a look at our top tips for Black Friday to find out how you can do that!
Our pick of this month’s best gadgets includes the latest from Microsoft, Amazon and more. Our team has taken a look at what new developments have taken their fancy throughout this past month, read on to find out more!
So, you may have seen the Microsoft event the other day which showcased their updated and brand new products. The product that really caught the eye of our team was the Microsoft Surface Studio. The Surface Studio turns your desk into a studio. The Surface Studio has been designed for the creative process. With the thinnest monitor ever at 12.5mm, 10 point multi-touch and 28″ PixelSense display, you really do get the highest of the range. With a smarter display, you can rest your hand on the screen as you write! There are over a billion different colours. 32GB of RAM, 270W of integrated computer power and an Quad-Core Intel i7 Processor brings the Surface Studio to life.
The Surface Studio has a zero-gravity hinge that will move the display effortlessly and can be done with one hand. This enables the computer to turn from a desktop computer into a studio computer. The Surface pen which goes hand-in-hand with the Surface Studio, now has real-time writing so it feels just like pen to paper. This new updated surface pen will also work with the Surface Book and Surface Pros. A new tool that Microsoft have released alongside the Surface Studio is the Surface Dial. The Dial will sit on the screen and once pressed will display a radial menu of tools, supporting your workflow. The Surface Studio really is very impressive. It is available for pre-order now with prices starting at £2,999.
The Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker and it is controllable by your own voice. This is done through a connection to the Alexa Voice Service. You are able to play music, provide the news, sports scores, information and much more. If you are an Amazon Prime member you will even be able to ask the Alexa Voice Service to order products. The Echo has a total of seven microphones and has a perfectly tuned speaker which enables it to fill a room with a full 360 degree immersive sound. The Amazon Echo also has beam-forming technology which means it can hear your voice in noisy environments and from across the room.
The Amazon Echo will provide hands-free control for Amazon Music, Spotify, Prime Music, TuneIn and of course you can stream via a tablet, iTunes, YouTube etc. When you want to use Echo you should awake it with the word ‘Alexa’ – this will make the Echo light up and respond to you. The Alexa Voice Service is updated straight through the cloud and it is always learning in order to add new functionality and skills. For instance, Alexa can order a takeaway from JustEat, order a ride from Uber, check train times from the National Rail and so much more. This can be done through the Alexa app.
The Amazon Echo seems to be getting better and better! It can even control your smart home. You can switch the lights on and off, change the temperature in the room via the thermostat, turn the TV off and the same for other switches. It is priced at £149.99 and as a high-end speaker and an assistant – that’s not bad at all!
Headspace is an app that is your own personal trainer for your mind. It focus primarily on meditation, and although meditation may not be for everyone, they have plenty of topics for everyone. You will find topics on how to quit smoking, how to pass your driving test and how to reduce stress. Meditation has been shown to have a myriad of benefits and this is what Headspaces promotes. Meditation is said to make you focus, increase your creativity, relieve anxiety and lessen your stress.
You can sign up for free for the 10 day trial. This is 10 days worth of 10 minute medication sessions. You get progress stats, a mobile app and a buddy feature included. You can then choose to follow on from this to unlock more topics. This is an app for iOS and Andorid.
Although this is not new, it is very popular! The Amazon Fire Stick connects your HDTV to online entertainment. You can enjoy this Amazon Fire Stick whether you are a Prime member or not. The Fire Stick combines all your favourite subscriptions and streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video, Music, Photos, Games and much more. If you are a Prime member, you can gain access to Prime Video which includes thousands of videos and TV episodes at no additional cost.
If you download the Amazon FireTV app, you will be able to speak into in order to control your TV. For example if you say ‘Forest Gump’ into the app, Fire Stick will find this film for you. Another great benefit of the Amazon Fire Stick is that it is portable. If you are changing rooms in the house, going to or from University or out in a different city for work – you can watch your favourite TV instantly. Along with all of this you get cinematic surround sound, a dual-core processor enabling it to be very fast and an introductory credit of £2.00 to spend on movies in the Amazon Video Store. You can purchase the Amazon Fire TV Stick for £33.20.
iPads are being used more and more within the classroom. Something that a lot of teachers have been querying is ‘Can I reflect my iPad onto my interactive whiteboard?, and the answer is yes! There are many different ways now that you can actually use to mirror your iPad’s screen onto a PC which when connected to an interactive whiteboard, will then appear there.
You can use an adapter or cable to be able to mirror the reflection of your iPad onto an interactive whiteboard. You will need either an HDMI cable or an VGA input in order to connect with the projector. You also will need a lightning or 30-pin Dock connector. These are available on Amazon for your particular model. However this meant that the iPad had to stay stationary, as the lead was very short. But it does mean that the connection is very clear due to direct input.
But now there are a several different ways to mirror your iPad, wirelessly. We are going to take a look at some of the most popular ways.
When you purchase Apple TV you receive a small box. This box connects to the Interactive Whiteboard through an HDMI cable. You then are able to connect your iPad to the Apple TV box through a wireless network. The benefit of the Apple TV is that you can now work wirelessly, given you the freedom to walk around your class and interact whilst you teach. You must allow both the apple TV box and the iPad to be connected to the same wireless network. Many apps support ‘Air-Play’ and you can turn on mirroring to display the iPad on the whiteboard screen. The price of an Apple TV is around £60.00.
AirServer Is an application for the Mac. It enables you to mirror your iPads screen onto itself. AirServer comes with a few features that make it stand out., For example you can live stream your play on your device, to Youtube. AirServer is compatible for both AirPlay devices and Miracast, meaning for iPhones and Android. One last feature is the encrypted AirPlay protects your personal photos and videos when they are transmitted through the network. AirServer costs begin at £5.99 – £13.99 depending on preferred package. However you are able to have a 7 day free trial to see if it is right for you.
Reflector is an software that can wirelessly mirror your iPad or iPhone onto your PC or MAC, which when connected to the whiteboard, will reflect there. The advantage of Reflector over any other mirror app, is that the wireless connection is always on top. Reflector is compatible with AirPlay and Miracast. You can mirror multiple devices onto your interactive whiteboard which makes it appealing within classroom use. It will also black out the background behind the reflected devices, so the focus is purely on the mirrored reflection. One last thing you can do is to live stream straight onto YouTube, so you can live stream how to videos etc. The price for Relector2 is around £10.00 and you are able to download a 7 day free trial!
These are a few of the favourite options for reflecting your device onto an Interactive Whiteboard/Projector. Our personal favourite is the Reflector2, and this is the application that we use within our schools! The technology is not flawless, none of them will be unfortunately. However, from our experience Reflector2 is a very reliable and good value for money!