Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a pen that’s tough on spelling errors, IFTTT for iPhone, and Google re-instating voice calling. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.
Spell-Checking Pen Vibrates When You Make an Error
Although some people ignore it, spell check is one of the most useful tools on our computers. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a spell check for all the handwritten work handed in to teachers and professors? Or a heads up that cereal is spelled wrong on the shopping list? Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOM reports that there is now a pen with a spell-check feature to help ensure there are no errors in your handwritten notes. The Lernstift pen was created by two fathers hoping to help their children detect spelling and handwriting mistakes. The pen combines electronics and connectivity to gently vibrate when a person using it spells a word incorrectly. The pen is currently on Kickstarter and can be had for a pledge of about $162.
Popular Website IFTTT Comes to iPhone
IFTTT, a universal automator that allows users to build “recipes” or groups of apps merged together, is now available on iPhone. IFTTT (“If This Than That”) makes apps more useful by merging features with other apps. For example, a recipe of YouTube and Facebook would allow users to easily post their favorite videos directly from YouTube to Facebook. According to Time Magazine, “the new IFTTT iOS app does exactly the same thing as the existing web-based version, but with an interface that’s been nicely rethought for the small screen.” The app is free and currently available in the iTunes app store.
After Users Complain, Google Brings Back Voice Calling to Hangouts
When Google updated its Hangouts feature in May it took away outbound calling services and left many users feeling slighted. Now, according to Todd R. Weiss of eWeek, the company has responded and restored voice calling to Hangouts in Gmail, Google +, and Chrome browsers. The move shows a pretty quick response from Google, which saw voice fans take to Google blogs and Google+ pages to complain when it was taken away. And not only is outbound voice calling back, but it’s also better than ever. Google has added new features to the service, like the ability to add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call, and an integration of the Google Effects app, which allows callers to play sound effects (like applause or laughter) while they are on the line.