Do you watch a lot of YouTube? If you have a lot of subscriptions or find yourself going down a rabbit hole on a regular basis, you may be spending more time on the service than you really should. YouTube will now make it possible for you to limit yourself and take breaks from streaming videos through their service.
YouTube is now introducing their feature that will encourage watchers to “take a break,” says Android Authority. The newly updated version of YouTube is adding settings that let users customize how long they watch. In the “General” section of the YouTube app’s settings, users who have updated the app will find an option called “Remind me to take a break.” Using this setting will prompt YouTube to send out reminders after a certain length of time. These reminders can be dismissed and won’t actually lock watchers out of the app. But they will let people get an idea of how long they’ve been watching and then choose to pause for a while.
With this setting, users can decide how long they can watch before being prompted to stop streaming. There are six options to choose from, including “Never” as the shortest time and “”Every 180 minutes” as the longer time. There are also more moderate options like “Every 60 minutes.” If you’re really wanting to cut back on your watching, you can even pick “Every 15 minutes,” though I don’t know many people who can really stop themselves after just 15 minutes.
There are plenty of really great videos and channels on YouTube, and of course it’s not necessary to stop watching altogether. But some people can find it hard to stop bingeing videos, which means it can be really helpful to get some reminders to stop wasting so much time. Since they’re just reminders and they don’t actually lock the app, the main concern is that YouTube binge watchers will simply get in the habit of dismissing the notification periodically. But there are other apps that can do this if necessary, and YouTube’s approach will be a much gentler one for those who just need a little bit of a push.
The update is being rolled out now, according to Android Authority. Look for this new feature in your app’s settings after you’ve updated.
Health is an important topic, including in the world of tech. There are many different smart devices and services that can help you track and improve your health. If you use some of them (or are planning to), it’s important to keep track of updates to your options.
Over the past week, news has come out about updates for Google’s Wear OS, Apple’s Health app, and Samsung’s Gear S2. Read on to learn more about what’s changing!
Google’s Wear OS updating, will extend life of battery
Wear OS by Google, previously known as Android Wear, is getting some updates soon. Google’s Developers Blog has posted their developer preview and outlined some upcoming changes to their Wear OS, specifically previewing it on their Huawei Watch 2.
One major part of the preview is its emphasis on extending battery life. Three of the five points on their outline focus on updates that will “improve power.” Specifically, certain features will be limited or turned off to make batteries last longer. According to the blog post, background apps will only be able to run if the watch is currently charging. If the watch is off the body for a long enough time, the watch will also disable services like WiFi and Bluetooth. And in the future, when Bluetooth is disabled, the watch won’t connect to WiFi automatically.
All of these features are intended to make the watch need to be charged less often. They also note other changes, including a darker theme to make the watch easier to look at quickly.
Apple Health app adding access to some medical records
Apple’s Health Records is making it a little more convenient to see some medical records from an iPhone. Apple has posted a blog detailing the new feature added to Apple Health. If you use Apple Health and are a patient at one of the health services connected to the feature, you can see some of your medical history. Not only can you see your records, you can even get an alert if or when the information is changed or added to. For those worried about privacy, don’t get too worried. Apple is stressing in their blog that the information is encrypted. You’ll also need to use your passcode to see the data. The blog post also lists some of the health systems that currently support Apple Health Records.
Samsung’s Gear S2 updated with more health features
Samsung’s years-old smartwatch is getting an update. The Verge reports that many new changes have come with the update, including some new features for fitness and health. One new health-oriented feature is the ability to set a routine. You can then get alerts that encourage you to stay active. You can also track things like your exercise, calorie intake, and heart rate. These are just a few of the changes included in the update.
It’s important to keep up with your health and make sure you’re living well. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps and devices that can help you monitor your health, get help, and learn healthy habits.
You may already know about Fitbit, but there are plenty of other health devices available with great features. And though you really shouldn’t skip going to the doctor altogether, did you know you can get advice from a doctor right from your phone?
Always remember to make regular visits to your doctor. However, you have plenty you can do between visits. Here are some really useful apps and devices you can try to better keep up with your health!
Manage your doctor visits
- Doctor on Demand (Android & iOS)—This app lets you connect with real doctors using live video. You can get prescriptions and advice for things like colds and anxiety.
- HealthTap (Android & iOS)—Using HealthTap, you can get help from doctors in-app. You can search for answers in their database, or you can pay to talk with a doctor personally though either text or video, getting advice, prescriptions, and more.
- ZocDoc (Android & iOS)—With this app, you can search for and find your next doctor to go to. You can even set up an appointment and get reminders right in the app.
- Your smartphone’s health app—Depending on which smartphone you have, you likely have a health app pre-installed or ready to easily connect with your account once installed. For Apple devices, you can use the iOS Health app to track your activity, monitor your sleep, log your eating habits, and more. If you have a Samsung device, Samsung Health offers the same kinds of features. These apps can be incredibly useful and may make it unnecessary for you to download anything else. Take a look at your phone and see which health apps might already be available specifically for your device.
- Fooducate (Android & iOS)—Fooducate helps you keep track of your eating habits so you can learn to eat healthier. It not only helps you log and track your habits, it also provides information on healthy eating. This means you can not only keep track of what you eat, you can also learn along the way.
- Lose It! (Android & iOS)—Using Lose It! is another way to focus specifically on your weight. It’s a weight loss program, so it works to help you meet your weight goals. You input and track your eating every day, take part in challenges, plan meals, and more.
- MyFitnessPal (Android & iOS)—This app is offered by Under Armour. You can track what you eat, learn about your nutrition, add recipes, include meals from restaurants, and even add foods using a barcode scanner for more convenience.
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (Android & iOS)—The Sleep Cycle alarm clock contributes to a healthier lifestyle by focusing on an important (but often overlooked) area of health: your sleep habits. It listens to the sounds of your sleeping, learns your habits, and figures out the best time to wake you up (during a window of time that you choose). This way you’ll wake up at the right time and feel as though you’ve gotten a better night of sleep.
Use a device
Wearables—There are many wearables available to purchase. Fitbit is extremely popular, but there are other options, as well.
- Fitbit does have many different options, so you can choose to buy a more pricey but full-featured watch, or you can spend less and get just the features you need. One of their lowest priced wristbands is around $60.
- Garmin also offers a line of activity trackers. They can track your activity and things like your heart rate, and some have GPS built in. They even have some wristbands designed specifically for kids. One of their least expensive devices is around $70.
- Moov Now also offers a wearable device to track activity. Their device is designed to be especially light and unobtrusive. It also includes an app with plenty of detailed information on your activity, as well as “real time coaching” so you can learn how to improve what you’re doing. This tracker is about $60.
- Samsung offers a way to track activity, as well, with their Gear Fit series. Their wristbands use GPS to follow your activity, and they can detect what kind of activity you’re doing. It also has things like a heart monitor and different displays, as well as plenty of options in the connected apps.
Smart speakers—Any smart speaker can be a useful tool when taking care of your health. Most smart assistants can answer many of the health questions you may have, and there are skills and services available to personalize things further. Google Home can easily give information on how many calories are in a certain food and what nutrition is offered. Using your Amazon Echo, you can enable skills like Virtual Nurse, Fitbit (to link with your device), and Nutritionix. Just ask your smart speaker and see what health information is available.
After this article was published we came across some really great information on how to make sure your sleep cycle is optimized, and how important your sleep cycle is to your overall health. Health Ambition, a site full of great resources and information on living a healthy lifestyle, recently published an article on resetting and optimizing your sleep schedule, and if you enjoyed this article and are serious about improving your health then check out this article.
Uber is getting in the medical transport field with their newly-introduced Uber Health ride service.
You’ve probably heard some crazy stories about people calling for an Uber when they needed to go to the hospital. Some people have been calling for a ride instead of calling an ambulance, because ambulance rides are so expensive and Uber rates are much more affordable by comparison.
Well, Uber Health won’t address the issue of costly ambulance rides or injured people calling for an Uber driver, but the company is still getting involved in the medical field in a different way. While people are desperately trying to cut back on their medical bills by hailing an Uber instead of calling 911, many other people can’t make it to their basic medical appointments because they don’t have a vehicle or any other form of transportation, and they also can’t afford to shell out the money up front for a ride.
Uber Health lets healthcare organizations set up rides for their clients so people don’t have to worry about how they’re going to make it there. According to the Uber Health website, the purpose of the new service is to make it easier for clients to get to their destinations so there aren’t as many missed appointments.
Organizations can set up a ride in advance or at the time it’s needed. Then the client will get a text or call to provide the ride details, followed by another text or call when the driver is actually headed there to pick them up. Organizations are billed monthly for their clients’ rides, and they can get detailed information on the rides, including cost and how long the ride lasted.
For riders, this means they don’t have to enter their card information into the Uber app or, actually, use the Uber app at all. Riders using Uber Health don’t even have to send or receive texts to use the service, since they can get their information through a phone call. This means people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy can get a ride to their appointment through the rideshare service.
Uber Health’s website notes that there’s “HIPAA-trained support” for the people organizing the rides. A rider’s data is encrypted, and drivers don’t see that a requested ride is coming through Uber Health. This means there’s a high level of privacy with Uber Health, which is necessary in the medical field.
Many healthcare organizations are already using Uber Health. To find out if your organization is using it, contact your healthcare provider. And in the meantime, learn more about Uber Health on their website.
It’s that time again—time for another Tech Spotlight! I’m on the watch for cool, fun, and helpful technology you can buy right now. Each week, I’m writing about three of the items I’ve found.
This week, I’m shining the spotlight on a 360-degree camera, a light for indoor plants, and a stress management device. Take a closer look at each item, then add it to your cart on Amazon!
This camera from Giroptic makes it easier to take 360-degree photos and videos with your smartphone. It’s available for Android and iOS, so whether you have a Galaxy or an iPhone, you can capture in 360 degrees.
iO Pop is pretty straightforward when it comes to setting up. You use the iO360 app to manage the device, and you simply plug the device into your phone using one of the included connectors. After you plug in the device, the app will open.
Photos are in 4K, while videos are in 2K. Photos and videos are stored on your device, and using the app, it’s easy to share them all on the social media platforms you use. You can also livestream—your 360-degree video can stream straight to Facebook, YouTube, or Periscope.
Though it is possible to create 360-degree content in less expensive ways, it can often be tricky, and the results aren’t always great. The iO Pop promises to be easy and provide good quality photos and videos. Check out more about the iO Pop on Amazon!
This pretty flower pot is a smart way to take care of your houseplants inside by providing them with all the “sunlight” they need.
The light kit from SimLife is an attractive white or pink basket-shaped flowerpot with an LED light. It’s meant to mimic sunlight so plants can get the light they need to survive and flourish. The light has 3 settings so you can choose what’s best for your environment. When the flowerpot is turned on, the light stays on at all times. When it’s set to auto, the sensor in the front of the flowerpot detects whether there’s enough light for the plant and turns the LED light on and off as needed. Off, of course, turns off the light.
This grow light kit is designed to be convenient. It plugs in to any USB port, even with low power. You can also use a DC adapter if you don’t want to stick with USB. You’re also able to take the soil pot out of the grow light pot, which makes it easier to remove, add to, or work with your plant. And the item even comes with a little watering pot for keeping plants hydrated.
If you like to keep indoor plants but have trouble keeping them in the sun, try out this grow light kit from SimLife!
The Spire Stone is meant to help you stay aware of your stress and work to manage it.
This wearable device is attached to specific areas of your clothing and keeps track of your breathing and other activity. The device is always working to monitor your breathing and make sure your breathing patterns don’t suddenly change. When the Spire Stone detects stress indicated by a specific change in breathing, it gives a “gentle notification” so you can address the issue. It also keeps up with things like your steps and other activity.
Using the accompanying app, you can pause during times of stress and follow along with a guided meditation or with visual exercises. You can also look at your “breath-wave,” which shows you your breathing in real-time.
Spire Stone is designed to be as convenient as possible. Its battery can last up to 10 days, and when it needs to be charged, it’s placed on the wireless charging pad that comes included. It’s also “washer-proof,” meaning if you accidentally keep it attached to your clothing when you wash your laundry, it won’t be ruined.
If you’re dealing with stress and want to learn more about the Spire Stone, check it out on Amazon!
It’s time again for our Tech Spotlight! Every week, I’m sharing three of my tech finds with you. This week, I’m showcasing three fairly different products—a body camera, a posture device, and an instrument for art. Take a look at what’s in the spotlight this week, and then click over to Amazon to add them to your cart!
This camera from FrontRow is designed to let you capture moments throughout your day. The camera is meant to be worn, and it can be worn on a lanyard, on your own necklace, or as a clip. Then you can go on with what you’re doing and capture it all with the small camera.
The camera can capture hours of footage. You can also livestream to several different social media platforms, including Facebook. Once you’ve captured video, you can use the app to send your videos to your phone.
The camera itself has a touchscreen and buttons. With the touchscreen, you can do things like look at your pictures and videos, as well as control what the camera is doing. You also have power, media, and home buttons. This way, much of what you do is done on the camera itself, instead of controlling everything through your smartphone.
If you’re interested in trying out a wearable camera and capturing more moments of your day, check out FrontRow’s Wearable Lifestyle Camera on Amazon!
The 3Doodler Create is a fun device that lets you “3D print” in midair. Using the pen, you can draw and build on a surface or in the air. You can create art or even make useful little items.
The 3Doodler Create heats plastic that then hardens immediately as it leaves the tip of the pen. This means you don’t have to wait for anything to dry—you just start drawing! The plastic filaments that are used for drawing are non-toxic and come in many different colors.
In the video on their Amazon product page, people are shown drawing and building things like motorcycles, inventions, a piece for a broken remote, a double decker bus, and more. They’re shown either drawing freehand or using a stencil. Stencils and project ideas can all be found for free online.
Whether you want to get creative with a new art project or build a new invention, give the 3Doodler Create a try!
UPRIGHT GO is a device that can help you work on your posture. The device is simple—it’s a small wearable and a connected app. After placing the UPRIGHT GO on your back, you can begin to track your posture and make changes.
This device builds a program for you so you can train yourself and improve your posture. It tracks your posture and your progress, so you can look at your stats and see how you’re doing. There’s also a customer care team that you can contact through the app at any time. They can help keep you on track and encourage you to do what you need to do to meet your goals.
Another way the device keeps you focused on your posture is by alerting you when you’re slouching. If you slouch, the UPRIGHT GO will vibrate to warn you that you need to maintain good posture. With all of these features, Upright says you’ll begin to notice your posture improving after just two weeks of use.
Bad posture is an issue for many people, and it can be hard to fix. If you want to improve your posture, learn more about the UPRIGHT GO and see if it might work for you!
It’s time for another Tech Spotlight, where I talk about three cool tech items available on Amazon! This week, all three items have to do in some way with health or outdoor activities—not just for us humans, but for our pets, too. I know, we’ve just had Black Friday, and we’ve all looked at a lot of things to buy. But this tech will be perfect for you or for someone you’re buying for this Christmas. Log in to your Amazon account and check out this week’s tech!
Bellabeat Leaf Urban Health Tracker | Rose Gold
I’m sure we’ve all seen the different health trackers that are available, and many of us have used them at some point. Bellabeat Leaf is different from most because it helps people understand and track aspects of their health while also incorporating fashion elements. Bellabeat Leaf is a pretty and sleek-looking piece of jewelry that can be worn many ways, like as a necklace, bracelet, or (as pictured on the product page) as a clip. Instead of being an obvious bit of tech, it looks like a statement piece that can be worn every day.
Bellabeat Leaf tracks many different activities, like steps and burned calories, and it also tracks things to do with sleep, meditation, periods, and stress. It can track quality of sleep, fertility, and sensitivity to stress, and it can set up meditation sessions, plus even more features.
Your information is sent to the device’s app so you can keep track of different aspects of your health. You can also sync your information to apps like Google Fit and Apple Health, so if you already use those apps or simply prefer them, you can stick with them.
There are different designs for the smart jewelry, as well, so you have options when it comes to appearance. There are even different colors (aside from rose gold, there is also silver).
If you want to keep up with and track your health, Bellabeat Leaf is a fun and different choice. You can track health and look good while doing so. Check out Bellabeat Leaf if you’re interested in a pretty, fun, and different way to stay fit!
Lifepack Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack with laptop storage
This backpack by Lifepack includes some really useful tech. If you’d like to be able to charge devices and listen to music while you’re out with your backpack on, this is for you. The Lifepack includes what they call their “Solarbank” with three different features. Its design is also meant to be extremely helpful.
The “Solarbank” in this Lifepack is comprised of a power bank so you can charge devices, a solar charger to refill your power, and Bluetooth speakers in the backpack. This could be useful for most people who want to use a backpack, but of course, it could be especially helpful if you’re going outdoors and maybe going for a hike or camping. If you’re a student, you could feel more confident about keeping your phone and tablet charged while on campus.
It’s also designed to be secure and survive inclement weather. It has a lock built into it, so you won’t have to buy your own to keep your things safe. It also comes with a rain cover so you can protect your stuff and the backpack’s tech if there’s rain in the forecast.
If you use a backpack regularly, owning one with this kind of tech integrated could make life much easier. Check out the Lifepack for a fun and useful backpack option!
CleverPet Hub – Exercise Your Pet’s Mind + Body
You’re not the only one who needs to exercise and keep your mind in top shape—your pets do, as well. The CleverPet Hub is a cool way to keep your pet moving and active. Many pets can get restless around the house, or they can have so much pent-up energy it’s hard to know what to do. This item can help with that.
The product description notes that neuroscientists designed the CleverPet Hub. It’s meant to stimulate your pet’s mind and keep him or her engaged throughout the day. The Hub offers challenges to your pets and can motivate them with food as they solve puzzles. You can set up a schedule for your pet to use the Hub and then track your pet’s activity through the accompanying app.
It’s also important to note that the Hub is meant to be extremely durable and stay put while being used. The device is designed not to move across the floor as it’s played with. It’s also made of material that’s very hard to damage—the product description says the Hub’s dome hasn’t been broken into yet, despite being used by thousands of dogs. So even if you have a particularly wild pet, the CleverPet Hub is a viable option.
This product is great for people who have pets that need more stimulation and activity than they can offer. It’s also just a great idea to keep pets playing and moving around. Check out the CleverPet Hub if you have a pet that could benefit from an engaging new pet device.