Everyone is raving about Brave, the new web browser. They say it’s three times faster than Google Chrome.
I like Brave on my phone and my computer. It blocks ads and trackers which means it makes websites load faster, saves data, and saves battery life. But even if it only blocks ads, I would like better than an ad blocker extension. Whenever I use AdBlock Plus, for example, I get bombarded with messages asking me to turn it off. I haven’t seen one in Brave.
In Brave, you can choose to receive an occasional text ad in the corner of your screen. Viewing them earns you points for gift cards and allows you to tip websites you like. So far I have earned 38 cents for myself and 59 cents for others. Oh man!
You won’t see Brave’s new private search engine, still in testing, unless you turn it on in settings or go to search.brave.com. But if I were you, I would leave Google by default. For example, I researched “how many reward points it takes to earn a trip on Southwest Airlines”. Brave’s links to the airline’s own pages contained a lot of gibberish. I have no patience for this. Using Google, I learned everything I wanted to know in a few sentences at the top of the screen. (You need 70 points for every dollar of airline ticket.)
On the other hand, if your searches go through Google, Bing, or some other search engine, your search data can be tracked and stored. The Brave search engine adds another layer of privacy.
Getting started with your phone
TripTech’s $ 20 FlipSide is a ring and kickstand that sticks to the back of your phone.
On a flat surface, it is remarkably stable. I watched the CEO hammer on it in a demo on Zoom. He did not tip over. It would be great on an airplane tray table. The double kickstand has clips on each leg so you can mount your phone on the car air vents.
The FlipSide tilts your phone at a good angle, so that you don’t have a neck cramp when looking at it. When not on a table, the ring on the back makes it easy to hold the phone with one hand while texting with the other. You’re much less likely to drop it that way, and you can rotate it from horizontal to landscape without changing your grip. Neither the ring nor the kickstand interfere with wireless charging.
Of course, not everyone wants something stuck on the back of their phone. But it may be worth it if you watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, or like to use a large keyboard with your phone and like me always forget what you did with your phone holder. Incidentally, it won’t work if you’re using a silicone or ribbed phone case.
Suppose you are in another country. Do you prefer to use the free GoogleTranslate app on your phone for live chats in another language? Or would you pay $ 199 for two dedicated on-ear wireless headphones, each weighing just an ounce?
The WaverlyLabs “Ambassador Interpreter” is aimed at business people. He actively listens to anyone speaking within eight feet of you and puts his words to your ear in your native language. Up to four people can converse together, each hearing their own language, in one of 20 languages and 48 dialects. There is even a conference mode. Give a speech in English and the audience can hear it in their language through a wireless speaker. Check out the demo on YouTube.
A big advantage of Google Translate is the ability to work offline. When the app opens on your phone, it asks you to choose a language, which is downloaded immediately. To try it, I imagined I was in Paris. After choosing French, I pressed the microphone in the Translate app and said a sentence in English. It appeared as French text in the lower half of my screen. Then I hit the speaker icon so whoever I’m pretending to be talking to can hear my words in their language. In the meantime, they could do the same, backwards. They were speaking French on their phone and pressing the speaker icon so I could hear it in English. In addition to French, I tried Danish, Catalan, Chinese, Japanese, Afrikaans and Arabic. Each translator is a different person, men and women. They all sound great.
Google Translate will translate 109 languages into text, but it doesn’t speak them all aloud. It’s informative just to look at the list. For example, I did not know that in Malawi, we spoke Chichewa.
(subtitled) A peloton for little Tikes
When my 10 year old neighbor comes to my house, she often uses my non-electric exercise bike while we watch a movie. There is now a children’s version of the Peloton called “Cycle Pelican Explore & Fit” from Little Tikes.
On this mini stationary bike, a child sees a landscape scrolling on a screen. For example, a video shows a snowy scene with the constant chatter of a dinosaur, which I found irritating. If I had one, I would mute it and use the TV instead. While it hasn’t been released at press time, Target will have it by the time you read this. Competitive products include the Fisher-Price “Smart Learning and Thinking Cycle” for preschoolers, priced at $ 480. It connects to a television for lessons.