One hot device
THE iGrillmini from iDevices is a slimmed-down version of the iGrill, an app-enabled Bluetooth meat thermometer. It measures an inch and a half rounded and sits in a rubber base that can be angled for easy viewing. A smart LED on top indicates when it's paired with a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth 4 and flashes a ring of different colours for different temperature ranges.
The hardware works with a free iOS app and Bluetooth 4 technology, giving you a range up to 45 metres. The app displays the temperature of your meat as it cooks and allows you to set alarms and custom temperatures along with a minimum and maximum temperature range required, depending on what's cooking. It has recipes and if, for some reason, you wish to share your cooking information on social media, there's a direct connection for that as well.
Using the iGrillmini is simple; just plug one end of the included thermometer probe into whatever is being cooked, the other into the iGrillmini. Then watch the temperature until the meat needs to be flipped. The probe is attached to a 1.2-metre fireproof cable, which you can wind up for storage on the included probe wrap. It runs off a quarter sized CR2032 battery (included) which should be good for about 150 hours of cooking.
Details: $39.99; http://idevicesinc.com/igrill
Obama's on the line
RINGTONE Director is an app created by No Tie ( www.notiesoftware.com) to do something the iPhone and Siri don't -- actually tell you who is calling. The app lets users create a ringtone to broadcast whatever you type in, from more than 50 text-to-speech voices. This includes talking caller ID for incoming phone calls, email, alarm clocks, text messages and more.
According to No Tie, the popularity of the app has resulted in users creating more than seven million custom talking ringtones using the variety of text-to-speech voices. The app recently added the classic voice of Apple's Siri, which is called Appy (for legal reasons, I'm told). You can share ringtones with friends, which will work on different platforms including the unthinkable of having the voice of Apple's Siri announcing a call on an Android phone. In a recent email the company pointed out that "The 'uncensored' nature is appealing as well, leading to many ringtone scripts that cannot be printed here."
For the politically correct calls, there's the Ringtone Director Presidential Edition to create talking ringtones using U.S. President Obama's and president (George W.) Bush's voices. Ringtones Euro is loaded with more than a dozen European voices, including French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. In addition to iOS, the app is available for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices.
Details: 99 cents each; the Presidential Edition is free until Feb. 21; http://ringtonedirector.com
For listening to your gold records
I haven't tested this -- and you'll see why -- so I'll have to take the company's word that Happy Plugs 18-carat solid gold headphones, created for those who like luxury, sound great at $14,500.
The functional jewelry takes five weeks to produce and is individually handcrafted by a Swedish goldsmith in Stockholm. The earplugs are formed by pouring 25 grams of solid gold into a mold.
For that low, low price it even includes an in-line mic for hands-free calling and music controls along with speakers for both ears. A 3.5mm connection at the cord's end makes them compatible with most any portable device. Plus, you even get a user manual -- making it well worth the splurge.