Welcome to Smart Guides our weekly series featuring in-depth reviews and recommendations aimed at helping you live a smarter, more connected digital life. Make sure to check back often, because we think every day could use a little extra genius.
You may not have noticed it, but our homes are getting smarter — from thermostats to fridge freezers, from television sets to music systems, more and more of our gadgets and electrical goods are connecting to the Web and automating our lives. You may have also seen the Wi-Fi Kettle, which lets you start making a brew remotely from your phone (and get an alert when the water's ready). Super-smart, interconnected technology is having an effect across every part of our homes.
Whether you're off on a business trip or heading to a sunny beach for a relaxing vacation, you'll want to minimize the stress and struggle of getting to your destination as much as you possibly can. Airports, taxi ranks and train stations are not places that are typically associated with calmness and serenity, but there are apps that can lend a hand and help you complete your journey in a peaceful state of mind.
Modern phones such as the iPhone 5s can be found lacking when it comes to battery life.
Our smartphones are getting more and more powerful, but the batteries packed into them are struggling to keep up. With the technology of today you can consider yourself lucky if you make it through a whole day without needing to reach for your phone charger. There are ways to extend your mobile's battery life, however: here's our pick of the best 10 tips, which will work across all handsets and manufacturers.