These are the must have best Tech Gifts for Christmas 2018

These are the must have best Tech Gifts for Christmas 2018


Words by Megan C. Hills and Sunil Makan

From the wireless headphones to speakers with built in Alexa and fitness trackers to hair straighteners these are the best tech gifts for Christmas 2018.

Fitness trackers

Oura Heritage Ring

tech gifts 2018

Prince Harry is known to wear one of these and if it’s good enough for the Duke, it’s good enough for us. Smaller and sleeker than a chunky tracker bracelet, these stylish Finnish rings are packed with a ton of sensors and other tech. The Oura ring tracks your activity, sleep and keeps tabs on everything from your body temperature, steps and even your breathing. Available in several different shades, it’s a pretty nifty piece of tech and syncs to an app on your phone.

Rings start at £279, available at Oura

Buy now

Hair straighteners

ghd Gold – Glacial Blue Professional Styler

tech gifts

A great hair styler is a total investment piece and luckily, ghd’s released a luxe icy blue version of their best-selling product. Designed to both curl, straighten and keep your hair looking smooth and sleek, it’s as tech-forward as they come with two heat sensors to optimise the temperature.

Priced at £139, available at lookfantastic

Buy now

Tech teen gifts

Super Mario Party

tech gifts

Nintendo stans have been waiting a long time for this classic party game and it’s finally dropped. If you thought Mario Kart could get competitive, you’ve obviously never given Mario Party a go as you’ll have to compete with one another to win mini games and collect the most stars.

Priced at £49.99, available at Nintendo

Buy now

Tech geek gifts

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Enabled Droid

tech gifts

If you or someone you know is a massive Star Wars buff, this little droid is the perfect gift. Perfect for if your landlord won’t let you have a pet, you can instead grab BB-8 from the new gen of Star Wars and make him roll around from an app on your phone. For those who are more old school, there’s also an R2D2 version.

Priced at £96.48, available at Amazon

Buy now

Tech gifts for kids

littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

tech gifts

It doesn’t get much cooler than this. This Avengers-themed kit both teaches kids how to code and make their own superhero identity a reality. It syncs up to an app which will help walk them through step by step how to assemble the electronic building blocks to create circuits and bring cool new powers to life.

Priced at £149.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Tech gifts under £50

Echo Dot (3rd Generation) Smart Speaker with Alexa

tech gifts

Ever wanted to channel your inner Tony Stark and have your own computerised butler? Amazon’s upgraded their voice-controlled speaker and it’s enabled with Alexa, their digital assistant. If you give her a shout, she’ll be able to do things like help you stream music from Spotify, check the weather, set alarms and even work with your other smart home products if you’ve got them.

Priced at £49.99, available at Amazon

Buy now


Shark DuoClean Cordless Upright Vaccum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet IC160UKT

Shark DuoClean Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet IC160UKT

The new Shark DuoClean Cordless Upright With Powered lift-Away and TruePet, is designed for homes with pets. You wouldn’t expect such great performance from such a lightweight and cordless vaccum bit it really does make light work of the whole vacuuming thing. And, with an impressive battery run time to boot. Huge thumbs up from us.

£479.99 from Shark.

Buy Now


RIVA Concert Speaker, Compact & Portable Smart Speaker, £199

RIVA Concert Speaker, Compact & Portable Smart Speaker, £199

This powerhouse of a speaker which features RIVA’s Patented Trillium Audio Technology – which means impressive surround sound without distortion at any volume – has Alexa built-in and several methods of connectivity.

£199 from Amazon.

Buy Now.


Mophie power station plus 600 Universal Battery with Lightning Connector, £69.95

Packing an impressive 20 hours of extra life in here (around 4 charges) this handy Mophie power station with integrated Lightning cable is a real game changer.

£69.95 from Apple.

Buy Now.

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This is the most influential person on Twitter (and thankfully it’s not Donald Trump)

This is the most influential person on Twitter (and thankfully it’s not Donald Trump)

He’ll just have to shake it off.

most influential person on twitter
Patricio Murphy/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Twitter’s long been the bastion of global discussions, sparking huge conversations with breaking news, silly memes and candid celebrity thoughts (some hilarious and amazing, others Kanye West). Well it turns out there’s a few big names on the platform that wield the most influence over the Twittersphere and new research by a company called Brandwatch revealed who was queen of the social media platform’s hearts. We’ve already given it away slightly, but yes – it turns out a female celeb was the most influential, so congratulations are in order for Taylor Swift.

The study looked at ‘a selection of criteria that added together to create [a celeb’s] influence score’, which took into account things like ‘followers, retweets and replies’ and ‘genuine engagement’. The named celebrity would also get bonus points depending on how influential the people they were engaging with were, so for instance if Chrissy Teigen and Michelle Obama started having a natter then it would bump their score way up.

Taylor Swift’s account @taylorswift13 came in at first place with the top influencer score of 98 and an eye-watering following of 84 million at the time Brandwatch’s study was published.

most influential person on twitter

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Besides being the most influential female celeb, she was the most popular of all time tailed closely by Liam Payne (yes, really) at 97.

Liam Payne, whose account @liampayne had a following of 33 million at the time of the study, actually responded to the news – on Twitter, obviously. He screenshotted the research and said, ‘Wow can’t quite believe this. Couldn’t have done it without you….thanks for listening.’

Following closely behind Taylor Swift and Liam Payne were Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian West, Demi Lovato and President Donald J. Trump who shared the same influencer score: 96. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama slid in neatly behind him with a score of 95 alongside Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo amongst others.

There were a few surprising names we expected to be on the list but weren’t, including Twitter’s unofficial monarch Chrissy Teigen and Kanye West whose controversial tweets about slavery sparked a huge debate.

Marc Patrick/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Women also dominated the game as Brandwatch claimed ‘the women in our lists had a higher influencer score than the men’ and especially female musicians. On the flip side, women on the lists were typically younger than the men on the platform with the average age for women being 36.5, nearly 10 years younger than the men’s influential score of 44.7 years old

Pretty wild stuff, hey? We just wish Brandwatch’s research had honed in on which were the most talked about moments of all time as well, as it feels like there have been so many this year. Maybe something to consider for 2019.

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The Google Digital Garage is here to upskill Londoners

The Google Digital Garage is here to upskill Londoners

Offering totally free classes in a variety of online skills, the Google Digital Garage is creating a tech revolution in the capital

google digital garage

Promising Londoners a chance to change their life, Google Digital Garage, in partnership with the Evening Standard’s Future London project, has arrived in the capital in the most British way possible: via double-decker bus.

After huge success in UK cities such as Manchester and Leeds, the award-winning platform is bringing its workshops on digital and personal skills to London. Whether you need to brush up on social media, digital marketing or just want a reminder of how to stay safe online, Google Digital Garage has a course for you. The best part? It’s free.

Google Digital Garage

Ronan Harris, Vice President and Managing Director for Google in the UK and Ireland

The strong emphasis on accessibility is something that Google Vice President and Managing Director for the UK and Ireland Ronan Harris highlighted at this morning’s launch, ‘At Google, we’ve always been about organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible… we saw an opportunity to bring some of the work that we’ve been developing over the last number of years to the citizens of London.’

Since launching in 2015, the Digital Garage has visited over 500 UK locations and trained over 300,000 people, and some of those success stories sharing their experiences today.

Seyi Ayinla, founder of LoveWeddingsNG, at today’s launch

Seyi Ayinla, 30, spoke to Marie Claire about the huge benefits Google Digital Garage has given her. The founder of LoveWeddingsNG, an online portal that helps Nigerian couples connect with brands and vendors for their weddings, shared her favourite take aways from the course: ‘First thing, use your data: find out who’s coming to your website and find out who your clients are… when you know who your audience are, try and find ways to bridge the gap between you and them. That could be creating a service or product, or putting on an event.’

Alex Sharp and Jessica Wise, co-founders of ConservationWise, at today’s launch

Wildlife biologists Jessica Wise, 25, and Alex Sharp, 33, also spoke about how Google Digital Garage had helped them. As co-founders of ConservationWise, an online community encouraging sustainable choices in all aspects of life, the skills they gained with the scheme have been indispensable: ‘Building our business plan as part of the five-week Start Your Own Business course has been really amazing. The other course we did was centred on social media: as scientists we can sometimes be a bit technical with the language we use, so [Google] really helped us shape our message.’

Google’s Digital Garage bus is touring London throughout November and December, stopping in 10 locations and offering training to hundreds of people. Book in, turn up, and log on.

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How did we actually survive without this new iPhone hack?

How did we actually survive without this new iPhone hack?

Minds blown.

Instagram pods

Words by Emily Lambe

Food blogger and now certified genius, Krissy Brierre-Davis, discovered an iPhone hack that sent Twitter into shock.

Last Saturday, the Atlanta-based blogger stumbled upon a hack that makes moving the cursor way easier. Just click and hold the space bar instead of trying to drag it manually.

‘How come you guys never told me this iPhone trick? I feel duped,’ she tweeted with a screenshot of her discovery.

‘I thought I was an idiot for never having discovered this gem myself,’ Brierre-Davis told BuzzFeed News. ‘My mind was blown. Literally.’

The hack isn’t just limited to the space bar. You can press anywhere on the keyboard for it to work, according to one user.

And it doesn’t stop there! Pressing down while holding the cursor makes highlighting easier as well.

Apparently, we’ve been sleeping on this for three years. The 3D Touch feature was introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6s.

It’s safe to say most of us feel pretty shocked by this monumental discovery. ‘This is LIFE CHANGING INFORMATION,’ a user tweeted. Even Mike Issac, a Technology Reporter for the New York Times, is amazed. He tweeted, ‘this just changed my entire life.’

Well, it’s safe to say this new iPhone discovery has changed the way we type forever, but how on earth did we not notice this before?

Be right back – off to look up new hacks!

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Prince Harry’s black ring is actually a super millennial piece of kit

Prince Harry’s black ring is actually a super millennial piece of kit

It’s more than just a fashion statement

prince harry black ring
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Prince Harry’s not averse to flashing some bling. It was revealed a little while ago that he would break with royal tradition and wear a wedding band unlike other members of his family. Well, he’s added a brand new accessory to his wardrobe and Prince Harry’s black ring has been garnering a lot of attention on the internet; mostly because nobody knows what the heck it is. Is it a present from Meghan Markle? A symbol for the Invictus Games? Well, you’re wrong on both counts it turns out. It’s actually a nifty piece of tech.

PEOPLE revealed that Prince Harry’s mystery ring is actually a sleep and fitness tracker by a brand called Oura. The brand describes it as a ‘secret weapon for personal improvement’ and more specifically, it’s a super high tech ring that tracks everything from REM sleep to your daily calorie burn. According to the site, the deceptively simple ring contains sensors attuned to your body temperature, optical pulse and more.

prince harry black ring

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

It’s believed that Prince Harry is wearing Oura’s Heritage ring in black, though the ring is also available in matte black stealth version and silver. There’s even a rose gold version, which speaks strongly to our millennial hearts. If you’re keen on jumping on the Prince Harry bandwagon, it’s available below.

Oura Heritage Shape Ring

prince harry black ring

Oura Heritage Shape Ring in Black or Silver

Priced at £276, available at Oura

Buy now

Oura Heritage Shape Ring in Rose Gold

Priced at £368, available at Oura

Buy now

It’s not a massive surprise that Prince Harry’s chosen a health-conscious bit of kit, as he’s known for his love of sport. In fact, one of his greatest projects as a royal is a sporting event called the Invictus Games; a competitive event for injured servicemen and women.

He’ll actually be returning to Sydney at the end of the month to kick off this year’s iteration of the games along with Meghan Markle, so keep an eye out for that Oura ring as he races round the stadium.

prince harry's black ring

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Besides helping him keep pace with the Invictus athletes, the ring will also have one awesome benefit come spring next year when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bundle of joy arrives. Namely, it could be instrumental in helping him get some much needed shuteye. New babies are adorable, but RIP your regular sleep cycle.

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Are these words missing from your online dating profile?

Are these words missing from your online dating profile?

Well that explains a lot…

thongs bad vagina

Online dating is a minefield, having to not only get a date but then navigate yourself through terrifying modern phenomenons from kittenfishing to roaching.

But let’s back up to the bit about actually getting the date.

He's Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You

We’ve all scoured the internet for the best online dating sites but how can you make your dating profile stand out?

Well, according to dating app Badoo, it’s all about your bio.

After looking in the most popular bios for men and women, the site has compiled the most attractive terms to write on our profiles.

Most popular terms on women’s dating bios:

1. Love
2. Drink
3. Music
4. LOL
5. Gym
6. Coffee
7. Blue eyes
8. 🙂
9. Beer
10. Foodie

Most popular terms on men’s dating bios:

1. 6”
2. Family
3. Dogs
4. Dinner
5. Beard
6. Travel
7. Music
8. Relationship
9. Gym
10. Car

best dating sites

How to be single

What makes a good online dating bio?

Well, according to Badoo, humour is a key part, finding that 87% of its users swiped right if a person’s bio was funny.

‘A good bio needs to be positive and give a flavour of what you are about, so it is no surprise that our most popular users are doing just that,’ explained Badoo’s in house dating-expert, Claire Scott. ‘When creating a profile, it can feel overwhelming at first deciding what content to include. But do not fear – our data tells us that a popular bio is one that is short and snappy, around only 20 words!’

She continued: ‘I would encourage you not to be afraid to write about something that is specific to you, such as your favourite film director or least favourite pasta dish. These sorts of things will help you to stand out and can often add a touch of humour. Even if your preferences turn off a few people, those that do appreciate them will probably be better matches in the long run. Plus, you’re making it easier for them to initiate the conversation with something meaningful.’

Any other tips? ‘It is also a good idea to include what you are looking for and any potential deal breakers – such as height – to prevent awkwardness later on. Though unsurprisingly we find that mentioning height is more common in men, who are at least 6ft!”’

If you’ll excuse us, we’re off to update our profiles!

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This is what it’s like changing the future of the car industry for women

This is what it’s like changing the future of the car industry for women

We speak to award-winning autonomous vehicle research lead, Amy Rimmer, about her work in the engineering industry and the future of driving hands-free


Jaguar Land Rover Research lead engineer Amy Rimmer is changing the face of what is a traditionally-male industry. Leading research projects into autonomous vehicle control, Amy is shaping the future of how we drive, and her innovation was recognised by Autocar last year, who presented her with their Rising Star Award. We spoke to Amy to get the lowdown on the engineering industry, and how vital her role is in an industry where only 11% of engineers are women.

How did you get into engineering?

‘To be honest, I fell into it, but I get inspired when I think of how autonomous vehicles will help in the future. I used to work in the aerospace industry, but then I was offered my PhD in autonomous vehicle research (specifically focusing on reversing lorries), and my job at Jaguar Land Rover was a natural fit.’

What does a typical day look like for you?

‘My days can be quite varied, but they usually consist of programming and vehicle testing, with the underlying goal of recommending how Jaguar Land Rover will make a production autonomous vehicle in the future.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve won a Technical Excellence award for my work on an automated highway demonstrator vehicle, which can be driven hands-free and even change lanes while doing this.’

Why are autonomous vehicles so important?

‘For me, the big one is congestion. The UK government are very keen for this country to become a hot bed for autonomous vehicle testing, because they are genuinely concerned that the country will grind to a halt in the future.

Autonomous vehicles will help with this in two different ways: either through car-to-car communication (in theory, the cars could drive closer together) or through car-to-infrastructure communication (cars might never have to stop for traffic lights because they know when it’s going to be green).’

amy rimmer engineering

Which other women in motor engineering making waves?

‘Gemma Wharton and Niharika Bhargava are doing really great work in a similar area to me. I worked with them both when they were on our graduate scheme, and they’re now permanent engineers in the team. Jaguar Land Rover go into schools and offer apprenticeship and undergraduate schemes, which are all encouraging more women to study STEM subjects.’

Why is it so important to have women in engineering?

‘We’re designing cars for women and men, so we’re probably going to do a better job if we actually have women designing them, rather than just men. For me, it’s also really important that there aren’t any barriers to women entering the industry. Personally, I never felt like there were any – for example,  I’ve yet to meet another mum that has anywhere near as amazing a maternity package as me – and I want every woman who’s interested in the industry to feel the same. The goal for me is that there is no one thinking, “I can’t do do that.”‘

What are your tips for happiness at work?

‘I think the key is a combination of loving your work and being part of a nice, close-knit team – I’m lucky enough to have found both. Make sure you hone your craft, as there is nothing more rewarding than doing well and being regarded as good at what you do. At the same time, you are all on the same side and there’s very little you can achieve by yourself, so you have to be a team player! My final tip would be to not sweat the small stuff! It’s easier said than done, but most of the things I worry about aren’t really worth my time if I consider the bigger picture.’

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Everything you need to know about the iPhone XS

Everything you need to know about the iPhone XS

Last night, Apple unveiled its latest handset, the iPhone XS, alongside a smartwatch which has a fall-detention function built in. It’s the most high tech and expensive Apple phone yet, so what can you expect? Here’s everything you need to know.

iPhone XS release date

The iPhone XS is available to pre-order from 8.01am on the 14th September from Apple, and it will be released on the 21st September 2018.

iPhone XS price

The iPhone XS is the most expensive handset yet, starting in at £999 (for the 64GB version), whilst the bigger version, the XS Max, will cost £1,099.

iPhone XS size and design

The iPhone XS is a similar size to the 8 handset, with a 5.8″ screen, whilst the XS Max is bigger at 6.5″. It will come in silver, space grey and gold.

iPhone XS specs

How is the iPhone XS better than the last handset? Thanks to a lot of new features, but the main difference is that the new iPhone is waterproof – up to a maximum of 2 metres deep and 30 minutes underwater. Both models feature technology that makes them more energy efficient, and include super retina display and OLED screen meaning you’ll have a super high quality display.

The camera has also had an upgrade, permitting users to adapt the depth of field of photos thanks to a dual camera system. The XS should also last about 30 minutes longer than the previous model on a battery charge.


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Tanya Burr: ‘Without my phone, I can just breathe’

Tanya Burr: ‘Without my phone, I can just breathe’

As part of Marie Claire’s new #screenbreak campaign, influencer and actress Tanya Burr tells us how she keeps a digital balance

Tanya Burr
Photo by Rachell Smith

If you’re with your phone, you’re not actually alone: in the same way I sometimes need space from my friends or my dog, I also need it from my phone. Without it, you can just breathe. Being on your phone all the time can cause physical conditions like repetitive strain injury, and, mentally, I think it’s really good to be by yourself sometimes and not constantly hooked into technology.

Bizarrely, since I started acting more three years ago the amount of time I spend on my phone has actually increased – I used to not work on weekends at all! Any audition you get offered, you feel really lucky, and sometimes you get less than 24 hours notice, so you spend all day on an app learning lines. When I was just doing digital work, the only thing I really had to switch off from was emails – my social media postings were just little snippets of my life.

Tanya Burr

One of the best ways I find to switch-off from my phone is through exercise. I like to do Barry’s Bootcamp classes, which are great because you can put your phone away in a locker. In general, though, I just try to be mindful in each individual situation. I don’t really have hard and fast rules, but I don’t like being on my phone when I’m with people, and my husband [Jim Chapman] and I try not have our laptops out in the evening.

If I find I’m on my phone too much, I usually go and put it on charge in my bedroom, then hang out downstairs. I find that technique useful because there’s three flights of stairs between me and my phone so it’s a lot of effort to go and get it! Though if I’m waiting for news or an important message I tend to carry my phone around with me to all sorts of weird places.

A post shared by Tanya Burr (@tanyaburr) on Aug 25, 2018 at 2:17pm PDT

Although acting isn’t great for the amount of time you spend on your phone, when I was acting on stage recently [as Ella in Confidence], I hardly spoke to anyone for two months! It was the most time I’ve ever spent off phone and people began to notice – my management even asked when they were allowed to speak to me.

This morning, I was on my phone, texting my sister-in-law, exchanging really lovely text messages about her pregnancy. It was 6am. I definitely could have stayed in bed texting back and forth with her, but I forced myself to go and make myself a cup of tea: I just suddenly thought, ‘Do I really want to be engaged with my phone right now?’

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Stop scrolling! 5 apps to help you cut down on screen time

Stop scrolling! 5 apps to help you cut down on screen time

Checking into Instagram again?

tech detox
Photo by REX/Shutterstock

Here’s a terrifying fact: UK adults spend an average of 8 hours and 41 minutes on screens per day, which is more time than we spend asleep. According to OFCOM, more than half of UK adults admit that connected devices interrupt face-to-face communications with friends and family.

Want to reduce the time you spend mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or your chosen digital poison? While it might seem counter-productive to suggest yet another piece of tech to solve the tech addiction problem, these apps should help reduce your dependency on the black mirror – so you can be present and focused, not plugged in.


Best for: keeping focused

Proven to help you stay focused and increase productivity, Flipd is the app you need if you struggle to concentrate. From scheduling reminders, to blocking apps on your phone that you find particularly distracting, Flipd will make sure you stay on task.


Best for: a sense of achievement 

If improved efficiency at work, or better sleeping patterns are still not enough to encourage you to put down your phone and start, hold is a good app to try. hold lets you earn points for the amount of time you’re not using your phone, which you can then trade for rewards in real life.


Best for: giving back

If hold is the carrot, forest is the stick. As you use hold you help grow a virtual ‘tree’, but the moment you leave the app, that tree dies. The more trees you grow, the more coins you earn, which enables you to plant real trees on actual planet Earth – so far forest has planted more than 300,000.


Best for: a reality check 

Just how much time ARE you spending on your phone? Moment helps you track your patterns of phone use with a round-up of daily, weekly and monthly stats. Once you’ve found out just how much time you’re spending on the device (and probably screamed in horror) the app will help control your screen time with a series of notifications, interruptions and alarms.


Best for: kicking your tapping habits 

Endorsed by the Center for Humane Technology in the US, Siempo tries to make using your smartphone an altogether healthier experience. The app can ‘batch’ your notifications (meaning you can choose to receive them every half hour or perhaps even once a day), change your phone background to something more soothing or randomize the order of apps on your phone to prevent opening them unconsciously.

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