Trending February 2024 # Three Ingredients For Powerful Product Naming # Suggested March 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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Plus three ingredients that you can combine to create a powerful name and strap line

The name you select for a brand, product or service will clearly have a major impact on how prospects and customers perceive your service, but what are the options for choosing the best name? There are lots of ways to name a business, a service, or a product. The addition of a strap line can take the name a little further. From nonsensical words, like Google, to highly descriptive names, like Compare the Market – there are just so many ways to think about naming! Whilst it’s true that naming is a bit of an art and today we are often constrained by domain name availability, there are certainly a few issues to consider to guide you to choose a name that can work much harder for you.

1. Nonsense names – e.g. Google

The benefit of a name like this is that once you’ve lodged a meaning in someone’s mind attached to this word, you own it. In fact, when you really nail this, it can enter the language as a verb… to do the hoovering, or just google it. It’s arguable that when you get here, you’ve gone too far, as it’s no longer associated with your brand. People simply think it’s a word. Did you know that Lloyds Banking Group own the name CashPoint?

The difficulty is getting people to attach meaning to an unknown word, or to attach a new meaning to a word with an existing and clearly understood definition (Like Apple, or Orange – what is it with fruit?). You can definitely do it. But, it takes time and (lots of) money.

The downside to a nonsense name, is that you will initially have to explain what you do. So, if you’re after to speed to market on a low budget, this may not be the smartest move. Of course, there is an opportunity for conversation in this initial misunderstanding, but it can also risk people simply not understanding (or mis-filing) what you offer.

2. Founder names or initials – e.g. Marks & Spencer

As above these sorts of names are meaningless in themselves. You need to get people to attach a meaning to them. Once you’ve done so – it’s yours. Once you own it, you can play with it. As M&S are in their current Magic & Sparkle Christmas campaign. This naming convention can also express traditionalism, that in industries like law or accounting, can be appropriate.

You need to think to the future to know if this is the right approach for you. In a smaller business, it can create succession and exit issues. If you have growth, or a fat cheque for what you’ve built, in mind then naming the business after yourself is not usually a good move. If however, you are building a business celebrity or speaker status, your own name has to be at the heart of it.

Where clarity matters, descriptive names work best. When you want to make sure people understand what you do – having a name that tells them can be very helpful.

The potential pitfall here is in extending your business or product range – if you’ve been extremely descriptive, adding new products lines, etc. can be tough. But, as PC World have shown, not impossible.

4. Conceptual names – e.g. Smart Insights

Then there’s a name that says something about you, but not exactly what you do. This is usually something that expresses your values or style of working. The great thing about this kind of name is that you can own it, like the nonsense name, and you can use it to tag onto a range. When I originally chose Clear Thought as my company name (changed last year when I decided to stick to marketing), it said something about my approach – but I could have easily extended from marketing, to finance, IT, etc.

Bringing it together with a strap line with three key ingredients

However you choose to name your business, you have the opportunity to make it work even harder for you with the addition of a strap line. This can be integrated into your logo, or work as a line that you use on collateral, document footers, etc.

Here are the three things to have on your list when briefing or working on this for your own business.

In the worked example that runs through my book Watertight Marketing, I’ve used a fictional company – VA-Voom! The strap line is: Virtual Assistants. Real Potential.

1) What you do

Somewhere in either the name or the strap line, I’d recommend that you tell people (in pretty simple terms) what you do. It can be so easy to get yourself filed incorrectly in someone’s mind… making it crystal clear in the logo that appears on practically every document, etc. can definitely help.

2) How you do it, or your values / style

If you can also give a sense it how it will will to work with you, you’re onto a winner. This is about values and personality. For VA-Voom! we wanted to express speed, and the feeling of someone waving a magic wand. This is also picked up in the visual styling of the logo.

3) Why people would want it

And, of course, there’s the why. I’d always recommend include is a sense of the key benefit of working with you – i.e. how will their life be tangibly better. If you’ve read about The Logic Sandwich – this is where you want to get to that ‘towards’ emotion in place, so that people have a sense of what they’re headed towards.

You can mix and match how you put these elements together:

A descriptive name (what), with a conceptual (how) and benefits-driven (why) strap line,

or a benefits-led (why) name with the what and how.

But, if you can cover these three bases, you have a seriously hard-working name…

© Bryony Thomas – The Watertight Marketer (this article is adapted from Watertight Marketing, and a previous version of it originally appeared here).

Thanks to Bryony Thomas for sharing her thoughts and opinions in this blog post. She is the best-selling Author and Founder of Watertight Marketing, and a no-nonsense marketer and business speaker, specialising in helping ambitious small businesses set things up. Her blog post is adapted from her 5-star book, Watertight Marketing, described as an entrepreneur’s step-by-step guide to putting a marketing operation in place that delivers long-term sales results. You can download a free sample chapter or connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

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Twitter Miscounted Users For Three Years

In what may turn out to be one of its last reports as a public company, Twitter released its earnings for the first quarter of 2023.

The social media platform, which is in the process of finalizing sale to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, reported $1.2 billion in revenue, which was just shy of its $1.23 billion projection.

Despite coming short of its revenue goals, Twitter beat estimates for earnings per share, at 4 cents, adjusted, compared to expected 3 cents.

These findings were expected to be revealed on an 8 am EST earnings call on Thursday, April 28. However, with the Musk transaction pending, Twitter canceled the call, as well as the shareholder letter and financial guidance that usually accompany it via press release.

Twitter Miscounted Active Users for Three Years

The social media company’s press release also reported it has erroneously been counting the number of monetized daily active users (mDAUs) since 2023. The confusion stems from a feature launched in March 2023 that allowed people to link multiple separate accounts together to conveniently switch between them.

This miscalculation incorrectly reported between 1.4 and 1.9 million extra users per quarter during that period.

According to the release, “an error was made at that time, such that actions taken via the primary account resulted in all linked accounts being counted as mDAU. This resulted in an overstatement of mDAU from Q1’19 through Q4’21.”

However, Twitter reported 229 mDAUs in quarter 1 of 2023, which is an increase of 10 million last quarter and a 15.9% increase from the first quarter of 2023.

Pending Sale, Twitter Offers No Outlook on the Future

Because of Musk’s pending acquisition, Twitter said it “will not be providing any forward looking guidance and are withdrawing all previously provided goals and outlook.”

The deal with Musk, which agreed to sell the company for $54.20 per share, has been approved by the board of directors and is expected to close before the end of the year.

Featured Image: fyv6561/Shutterstock

Three R Libraries For Automated Eda

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


With the increasing use of technology, data accumulation is faster than ever due to connected smart devices. These devices continuously collect and transmit data that can be processed, transformed, and stored for later use. This collected data, known as big data, holds valuable insights which can be harnessed across different industries to solve real-world problems. However, this data can be structured or semi-structured but, sometimes, is highly unstructured in its original format. Raw data processing is often challenging, prone to manual errors, time-consuming, and expensive due to high-end resources. Hence, companies look for automated solutions which can process large amounts of data in significantly less time.

Exploratory Data Analysis

The most crucial step in data processing is data exploration using Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA). Different steps are performed to prepare and format the raw data depending on the end goal (regression or classification). This process involves evaluating the available data in all possible directions to identify the correlations between different features and the target. It also involves identifying and handling any inconsistencies in the data, like redundancies, missing values, or outliers. Most organizations employ Python and R programming to process their acquired data. Thus, several open-source packages have been developed to automate the EDA process in these two programming languages. These libraries are helpful for data scientists to perform EDA faster and spend more time on model development tasks. R beginners can also use these libraries as they are easy to use and can help them quickly understand the dataset with a few code lines.

This article will discuss three AutoEDA R libraries with their respective code to perform EDA. These R packages accomplish several EDA tasks for efficiently summarizing data into tables and preparing detailed HTML reports to speed up the process of exploration of a new dataset.

AutoEDA Packages in R

Now, let us explore all three Automated Exploratory Data Analysis packages. We will use the Motor Trend Car Road Tests dataset ‘mtcars’ from the available built-in R datasets. To load and view this dataset, we will use –

#load dataset df = mtcars head(df) 1. dataMaid

The dataMaid package creates a report in different formats, such as PDF, DOCX, or HTML. The generated report checks and neatly simply summarizes the dataset. It is a good tool for checking errors in the dataset.

We will install, import, and run the dataMaid package using the following command –

# Install package install.packages("dataMaid") # Import library library(dataMaid) # Create report makeDataReport(df, output = "html", replace = TRUE)

From the above .gif for the .html report generated by the dataMaid package, we can see that all the discrepancies in the dataset are summarized variable by variable in the generated report. Thus, it is easier to understand the data quality and decide on the next steps required for data cleaning.

The dataMaid package documentation can be explored for additional details.

2. DataExplorer

This is one of the most commonly used AutoEDA packages in R. With DataExplorer, we can simplify the EDA process and report generation. This library automatically scans the dataset for variables, performs data profiling, and provides many useful functions to create various charts on both discrete and continuous features in the dataset.

Let us look at the code we need to install and use the DataExplorer library-

# Installing the package install.packages("DataExplorer") # Importing the library library(DataExplorer) create_report(mtcars) data()

The DataExplorer library generates a complete HTML report in the working directory for the EDA on the dataset using the create_report function. This function also accepts additional arguments to customize the EDA report. The report HTML file, when opened with a browser, looks like the following –

From the above .gif image of the report, we can see that the table of contents indicates a comprehensive report covering most of the tasks performed during EDA generated with just one line of code. Here are some sample plots from the report at a glance-

You can also refer to the package documentation on the CRAN-R website for additional details

3. SmartEDA

The next AutoEDA library is SmartEDA which is a powerful package for automating most EDA tasks through functions for Descriptive statistics, Data visualization, Custom tables, and HTML reports.

Similar to the previous DataExplorer package, the SmartEDA library also allows us to generate a complete HTML report using the ExpReport function. Let us install and import the package as well as run the ExpReport function to perform the EDA, as shown below.

# Install package install.packages("SmartEDA") # Import library library(SmartEDA) ExpReport(df,op_file='smartEDA.html')

This ExpReport function accepts several arguments to customize the report for Template, op_file,op_dir, label, theme, etc.

Here, we will use the ‘op_file’ function to name the chúng tôi file. This report file is available with the specified name in the working directory and can be opened with a browser. The snippet of the .html report shown below provides information on how well the SmartEDA package has summarized the ‘mtcars’ dataset.

Here are a few sample plots from the report –

From the .html report, we can see that it contains several plots generated with just one line of code and these plots are useful in understanding the dataset better. The documentation for SmartEDA can be found here.


In this article, we explored three different AutoEDA R packages. Overall, these R packages are similar in that they provide a big picture and help to improve the general understanding of the dataset. Note that the summary in these reports may also be done manually. Depending on different purposes, you can choose the appropriate package to apply. E.g., the DataMaid package is good at identifying errors in the data. In contrast, the DataExplorer library gives detailed information on the dataset through plots on feature importance, correlation matrix, missing data plots, etc. On the other hand, the SmartEDA package is an excellent tool for understanding the dataset’s multivariate relationships.

Here are some key takeaways from the article –

Manual data processing of big data requires a lot of time, money, and effort.

Companies prefer automating data processing tasks for faster model building and deployment.

Automated EDA helps expedite the data analysis; hence, several open-source packages in Python and R are available to automate EDA.

All three R packages- DataMaid, DataExplorer, and SmartEDA, are highly effective in performing EDA on a given dataset and can be considered for implementation by data scientists in an organization.

As these libraries require a few lines of code for performing EDA, even R beginners can try out the libraries mentioned in this article to improve their skills.

I hope you liked the article. Try any of these AutoEDA packages to quickly uncover interesting insights with a few code lines for your next R project.

The media shown in this article is not owned by Analytics Vidhya and is used at the Author’s discretion. 


Poweradd Power Banks For Iphone – Simple But Powerful!

Things to know: 

What will be your first move when your iPhone battery is draining, and you are outside?  In this situation, you realize how important a power bank can be. The brand Poweradd understands these crucial requirements and offers a decent range of power banks and chargers.  

Here, I have picked up their three best-selling products, used them extensively, and provided you with a detailed review to help you make the right purchase decision. 

Poweradd – The power-house of your iPhone

Poweradd manufactures several kinds of high-tech, fast-charging power banks, and travel-friendly multiport USB wall chargers. Besides, you can explore a range of heavy-duty power stations and eco-friendly solar panels on their website.  

The power banks I have chosen are labeled as Poweradd Pro as they are top-notch variations. Besides, another one is the EnergyQC power bank. It is another range of Poweradd that is well-known for its fast charging and portability. Excited to get the nitty-gritty? Let’s jump in! 

1. Poweradd Pro portable charger + USB-C wall charger review

How about getting a universal power resource for all your Apple devices? The Poweradd Pro Portable Charging power bank bundle comes with a 10000mAH power bank, a 20W wall charger, and a USB-C cable. So, you don’t have to search and buy them individually, saving time and money (smart move). Using this power bank, you can juice your iPhone 14, any iPad, AirPods, and Apple Watch. 

Capacity10000mAhPower bank Type-C input5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5APower bank Micro input5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5APower bank Type-C output5V/3A, 9V/2.2A, 12V/1.5APower bank USB output4.5V/5A (22.5W), 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5AUSB C wall charger inputAC 110V-240VUSB C wall charger output5V/3A, 9V/2.22A, 12V/1.67A 20W MaxDimensions7.68 x 2.87 x 1.02 inchesWeight309g

Build and design

Poweradd has opted for a traditional design for its power bank. The wide black LED digital display is a cherry on top of the classy look. It enhances the user experience by showing the remaining battery percentage. By pressing the side button, you can turn on the display, and it will turn off after 35 seconds. 

So, you know exactly when you should recharge it before going out. While charging, the LED display always stays on. Besides both the power bank and wall charger are in white color, which I would not prefer for long-term usage. On the top side, you will get four charging ports, including a Type-C port for both input and output, a micro-USB port for input only, and two USB-A ports for output. 

Therefore, you can juice your three devices simultaneously. The USB-C power bank can slide into your bag or pocket easily as it’s quite slim. But I feel the weight is pretty hefty to carry around. Moreover, the plastic outer shell may get scratched and feels a bit cheaper. 


The Poweradd Pro portable charger Li-Polymer battery pack has a capacity of 10000mAh, so it’s pretty capable of recharging your iPhone two times fully. Both the power bank and wall charger have a built-in smart chip. Moreover, the smart fast-charging technology helps to detect your device and set the quickest charging output. 

With 20W fast charging, it will take 1 hour to charge from 40% to 100%. Also, if you have connected an iPhone and an iPad, both will charge quickly together and take almost 2 hours. Besides, juicing the power bank using the included power adapters will take almost 1 hour and 50 minutes. The charging ports are bi-directional. 

Additionally, the battery pack can hold the charge accurately for a longer period. Most power banks have overheating issues that harm your iPhone’s battery health. But I was impressed with its protection feature that prevents short circuits, over-voltage, overcharging, and overheating issues. 

So, whenever your devices have completed charging, it will cut off charging automatically. Also, it will waive off power fluctuations so your iPhone will not face an explosion. Therefore, your Apple devices and you are in safe hands. The best part is I also use this battery pack with a USB heating scarf and hot water bag. 

Should you buy it?


Classy looks

Massive battery capacity

Smart fast charging technology

Overheating and overcharging protection

Compatible with USB heating products


White color gets dirty over time

Little overweight

The Poweradd Pro portable charging power bank and USB-C wall charger bundle are priced at $25.99. So, according to its usability, the price tag is justified. Because if you buy three of them individually, it will cost more. Also, you don’t have to worry about damaging your iPhone’s battery life. But I had expected a bit more premium build material. 








Value for money


2. Poweradd Pro portable charger review

Poweradd Pro portable charging power bank acts as an external battery pack for your iPhone. Pretty straightforward, right? You can juice your iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple Watch, AirPods, Nintendo Switch, GoPro, and much more. And the 10000mAh is more than enough for a whole day. 

Capacity10000mAhMicro input5V/2A, 9V/2AType-C input5V/3A, 9V/2AType-C output5V/3A, 9V/2.2A, 12V/1.5A (PD 20w)USB output5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A (QC 18w)Dimension5.47 X 2.64 X 0.67 inchesWeight240.12g

Build and design

Poweradd Pro power bank is a cult classic with an elegant black finish. It has a textured body that offers a good grip and a pleasant hand feel. So, it’s useful and handy for both indoor and outdoor activities. Besides, the design is quite portable, compact, and sleek so that it easily slides into your pocket. 

Additionally, you will get a LED digital display and a tactile side button. Pressing it will turn on the power bank so you can check the accurate battery power remaining. Also, long-pressing the side button will turn off the power bank. Therefore, whenever you are going out, check it and refill it before the battery pack is dead. 

If your device supports fast charging, the display will show FAST beside the battery percentage. Besides, the power bank has three ports: a USB-C, a USB-Micro-B, and a USB-A. The USB Type-C port supports dual input and output, including 18W input and 20W output. 

So, unlike other power banks with only a USB-C input, it is ideal for your iPhone, iPad, and other USB-C devices. Moreover, you have options with the USB-A 18W output and micro-USB 18W input. Additionally, you will get a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box. 


Poweradd Pro portable charger is a fast-charging power bank that offers PD 3.0 20W Type-C output. So, you can charge your iPhone up to 50% in 35 minutes. If you have connected an iPhone and iPad together, it will charge the iPhone to 100% and the iPad to 60% on average. 

According to the brand, you can juice your iPhone twice a day after fully charging the power bank. But after fully charging an iPhone 14 Pro Max, only 35% battery was left. Besides, the 10000mAh battery is capable of charging two devices simultaneously. Also, it can fast charge your iPhone while refilling from a power outlet. 

But note that it will enable fast charging only for USB-C port-connected devices, and the other one at the USB-A port will get standard 18W power delivery. If you have connected only one iPhone, it will get fast charging. Besides, when your iPhone reaches 80%, it will stop quick charging. 

So, from 80% to 100%, your iPhone will charge at 18W. This 20% charging is done in around one and a half hours (too much time!). And overall, it takes almost 2 hours to fully charge your iPhone 14 Pro Max. So, I don’t recommend plugging it in after hitting 80%. 

With this capacity, you can’t use it with a MacBook. While refilling the power bank, you must use the 20W wall adapter so that it will get quick charging. To juice 0 to 100%, the time taken is about two hours. If you are using micro-USB wall adapters, the power bank may take 3-4 hours. 

Should you buy it?


Elegant black looks


Textured body patterns

Dual Type-C input and output

20W fast charging


Fast charging is disabled after 80% 

Only one color option is available

With a price tag of $19.99, Poweradd Pro portable charging power bank is a good deal. If you are a minimalist and black lover like me, definitely give it a try. It can be your tiny buddy on outdoor trips or an office desk. Just get a USB-C to USB-C cable and USB-C to Lightning cable so that you can enjoy fast charging for all your devices. 








Value for money


3. EnergyQC Pilot 5GS portable charger review

EnergyQC Pilot 5GS is the upgraded version of Pilot 4GS. Now it incorporates fast charging capabilities and a USB Type-C port for both input and output. You will get a massive 12000mAh battery capacity and multiple layers of protection for your iPhone. Curious to know? Let’s jump into the specifications first! 

Capacity12000mAhLightning input5V/2A, 9V/2AType-C input5V/3A, 9V/2AType-C output5V/3A, 9V/2.2A, 12V/1.5A (20W) USB-A output5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A (18W)Dimension5.63 x 2.9 x 0.59 inchesWeight289.2g

Build and design

EnergyQC Pilot 5GS undoubtedly looks elegant. It comes with a rose gold color metal build and a 15mm thin sleek design. So, you will get a luxurious hand feeling same as using an iPhone. The aluminum alloy material ensures the battery pack is safe if you drop it accidentally. Also, it will shine like new for a long time.  

Besides, on the top side, you will see a power button, LED indicators, and three ports: a Lightning input port, a USB output port, and a USB Type-C port for both input and output. The four LED indicators show the battery remaining. Suppose only three LEDs are on; then roughly 50-75% of power is left. 


The EnergyQC Pilot 5GS USB-C Power Bank employs the newest PD3.0 and QC3.0 fast charging technologies. So, you will get an input power of up to 18W and an output power of 20W. Therefore, an iPhone 12 from 0% to 60% in only 35 minutes, saving 1.5 hours of charging time. You can juice your iPhone 13 2.5 times with a full charge of it. 

Also, your AirPods Pro can have 46 charges. Awesome, right? The best part is the power bank incorporates multiple security measures like overvoltage, overcurrent, short circuits, and overheating protection. Therefore, your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods’ battery health is safe and secure. 

Should you buy it?


Metal finish

Massive 12000mAh battery

Fast charge PD and QC-supported devices

Multiple battery protection built-in

PD3.0 Fast Charging technology


No digital display for showing the battery percentage

Now the final question arrives – is EnergyQC Pilot 5GS power bank worth spending $23.99? Definitely, yes! It offers a beautiful metal finish and a massive battery capacity with PD 3.0 20W fast charging ability. If the brand had included a digital display, it would have become an allrounder. 








Value for money



Poweradd power bank and chargers review summary

Poweradd power bank and chargers review summary





Poweradd definitely provides the best portable charger and fast-charging power bank in the market. Poweradd Pro USB-C power banks are easy to use and implement smart technologies. So, your iPhone’s battery health is not damaged. Besides, the EnergyQC power bank is one of a kind. Therefore, give it a try for sure!

Poweradd definitely provides the best portable charger and fast-charging power bank in the market. Poweradd Pro USB-C power banks are easy to use and implement smart technologies. So, your iPhone’s battery health is not damaged. Besides, the EnergyQC power bank is one of a kind. Therefore, give it a try for sure!




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Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

Review: The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell Ticks Three Boxes For Me

There’s been one rather glaring omission in our smart home setup: a doorbell cam. That’s because I was waiting for three boxes to be ticked, and the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell ticks all of them.

First, HomeKit compatibility. For me, that’s pretty much non-negotiable when it comes to any smart home kit. The benefits of having everything controlled through one app, or by Siri, is compelling enough that I’d rather wait than have something which requires me to use a separate app …

If it’s a device I really want, and I’m not willing to wait, then I’ll accept something compatible with Siri Shortcuts as an alternative – but in general, if it doesn’t support HomeKit, I’m not interested.

Second, subscription-free. A lot of smart cameras are tied to a cloud service provided by the camera company, forcing you to pay a monthly fee to access recordings. I already pay for two cloud services – iCloud and Dropbox – and am not willing to pay for a third, single-application one. Netatmo achieves this through local storage and support for Dropbox and FTP servers, discussed in the In use – accessing recordings section below.

HomeKit Secure Video isn’t supported yet, but Netatmo promises it will be in a future update to existing doorbells.


The unit measures around 5 inches tall by 2 inches wide by 1 inch deep. If your bell is mounted on your door, it works as-is. Many wired bells are, however, off to one side – including ours. That means the camera needs to be angled in toward the door, and the kit includes an angled mounting plate which adds some depth.

It’s a reasonably stylish-looking unit, divided into thirds. The upper section has an obvious camera, a blue status light and a small infra-red emitter aperture for night use. There’s a relatively small Netatmo logo beneath the camera.

The middle section is the speaker: the unit supports two-way audio. Finally, the bottom section is the push-button bell, which is silver with a small bell icon.

Overall, it looks modern and a bit techy, but is still pretty pleasing to the eye.


The field of view is 140 degrees diagonal, and the camera is sensibly in portrait orientation. You get a 3/4-length view of someone as they actually press the doorbell, and a full-length view as they take even half a step back.

Wi-fi is only 2.4GHz (802.11b/g/n), but that’s true of quite a lot of our smart home kit, so we have a second SSID for 2.4GHz, and our router is set to merge the two, so that’s no issue for us.

You get two-way audio, motion detection, people detection (but not recognition as yet) and custom alert zones.

Storage is on an embedded (included) SD card, and you can currently also record to a Dropbox account or any FTP server. iCloud support will follow.

Installation and setup

The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is compatible with most wired doorbell setups, accepting both mains power and any low-voltage bells in the 8V to 24V range. From what I can tell, this is the vast majority of hardwired doorbells.

Netatmo claims that the device is suitable for DIY installation, but the reality of that may depend on your existing doorbell setup. In our case, the wiring runs through the inside of a wall, and liberating enough wiring to make the connection was non-trivial, so the company sent one of their pro-installers.

This was not a notable success, in part because the installer struggled with a couple of the wiring aspects, and in part because it turned out the setup was incompatible with iOS 14.3. Resolving that required another installer and using an old iPad running an older version of iOS. A further problem required the Netatmo Security app to be removed and reinstalled.

Hopefully those are just teething troubles! To be fair to Netatmo, this mostly seemed down to one installer: if the second one had done the job, and we’d known that an older version of iOS was needed, it would have been a lot more straightforward.

In use – doorbell and motion sensor

Once the setup was finally complete, however, all was well: the doorbell camera immediately appeared in the Home app, and all our HomePods started acting as chime repeaters. That’s overkill in a home the size of a central London apartment, but could be useful in a large house.

When the doorbell rings, the main chime and HomePods ring, and all iOS devices get a popup alert. You can tap the alert to see a live view of who is at the door and, if desired, talk to them via an intercom function.

You still get full functionality when away from home, which is when the intercom is most useful: you can speak to the person at the door and make whatever arrangements are needed. Since our smart lock also works remotely, that includes the ability to let a friend into the apartment while we’re out. The combination is pretty powerful.

In addition to doorbell alerts, you also have the option to get motion and people alerts. At present, the system is intelligent enough to recognize people, but not to identify them. That will come when HomeKit Secure Video support is enabled.

In our apartment, the people alerts aren’t very useful. There are five apartments on our floor, and the people alerts are triggered anytime anyone emerges from either of the two elevators, or any of our neighbours leaves home. I’ve therefore opted to switch this off, but it would be useful for anyone whose front door only or mostly looks out onto their own grounds. The app does support custom zones, so you can screen out any view you have of the street, neighboring properties and so on.

In use – accessing recordings

The Netatmo Smart Video doorbell stores video recordings onto an included 8GB SD card embedded into the device itself. You can then access these recordings over wi-fi from within the app, either just to view or to download.

Local recording does, of course, have one potential drawback: an intruder could steal the doorbell itself, and thus take away the recording. That’s probably not too great a risk in reality. First because if a bad guy can spot a doorbell camera in the first place, they are likely to stay clear. If they know anything about them, they will know that most upload recordings to the cloud, so stealing the doorbell is pointless.

Second, Netatmo uses a security screw which requires a supplied tool to open the unit in order to remove it from the wall. Sure, a bad guy could physically rip it from the wall, but that wouldn’t be easy, so we’re into ‘easier to go rob the guy next door’ territory here. Most security works on this basis: not making something impossible, just making yourself a more challenging target than the next guy.

However, if you want to have cloud storage too, you can configure the app to use one of your existing accounts, so I have mine set to copy the recordings to Dropbox. Although I don’t have people alerts on in the app, any person seen does trigger a recording. Filenames are date, time, reason for recording, and an ID.

The doorbell itself automatically overwrites the oldest recording once the card is full, but if you’re automatically downloading to your own cloud account, you’ll need a way to manage this to avoid using lots of storage on video of your post being delivered.

As I mentioned in the introduction, Netatmo also promises HomeKit Secure Video support. I’ll update as and when that happens.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell: Pricing and conclusions

In the US, the system costs $300. That prices it significantly above the Logitech Circle, at $200.

If you have more than one camera, don’t have a 200GB iCloud subscription or prefer to use Dropbox, then the Netatmo comes into its own. You don’t have to use any cloud service if you don’t want to. You can still access recordings via wi-fi using the iPhone app. But you can choose to connect it to Dropbox, or even to your own FTP server if you like.

The setup and installation issues aside, it works well. I tend to get a lot of deliveries at the best of times, but even more so during pandemic lockdown, so being able to see who’s at the door is handy. But it will be most useful when we can once again resume our normal lives, when the ability to speak to callers remotely – to tell them where to leave a package, for example – will be very handy indeed. It’s especially powerful in combination with a smart lock, where you’d be able to talk to someone and then let them in, all from your iPhone.

A secondary benefit, of course, is security – providing recordings of anyone who came near your home without ringing the bell. All in all, I’d say a doorbell cam is a handy piece of smart home tech, and the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell will justify the premium over the Logitech for some subset of users.

The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is available direct from the company’s website, priced $299.99.

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Kia’s Powerful Ev6 Gt Has Supercar

Boasting 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque, the new Kia EV6 GT is thrilling. Press your finger on the GT button on the steering wheel and, like electrified magic, the crossover seems to catapult into hyperspace. The company boldly proclaims that the EV6 GT can go toe to toe with the Ferrari Roma or the Lamborghini Huracán Evo Spyder RWD, accelerating from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds. Take a moment and let that comparison sink in.

In fact, this vehicle was recently recognized with the 2023 World Performance Car title at this year’s World Car Awards. After having the EV6 GT in my possession for a test drive, I can report that it has certainly earned its accolades. 

Planning to build a crossover with supercar-like chops is no accident or stroke of luck—this is how Kia’s EV strategy has developed behind the scenes. 

Planning for a winner

Stunners like the EV6 GT have been on the books for years now, a glimmer in Kia’s eye long before it was a reality. 

The EV-dedicated chassis on which the EV6 was engineered was announced back in 2023, which means the design was in the works well before that. The Korean company’s long-term strategy is paying off: Late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that Kia achieved the largest reduction in CO2 emissions in the U.S. market for its 2024 to 2023 vehicles. After the Biden Administration’s newest edict to drastically reduce emissions from vehicles was revealed last week, Kia and its parent company Hyundai Motor Group appear to be way ahead of the curve.

Twenty-five years ago, Kia was better known for making inexpensive cars that were more like uninteresting appliances than the attractive vehicles earning accolades now. Its rise to popularity is no accident, as the company has steadily poured money into research and development in its domestic market in Korea, which spills over into the rest of the world. For example, Hyundai Motor, Kia, and Hyundai MOBIS (Hyundai’s global parts company) are banding together to invest $18 billion into EVs. The goal: to catapult Hyundai Motor Group into the global top three global automakers by 2030 with a planned total lineup of 31 EV models. 

Every year, the EPA issues a trend report on the industry’s fuel economy and emissions, and in its most recent report it called out Kia’s performance as exceptional. The automaker recognized that its fuel economy and emissions had been improving year over year, but it wasn’t anticipating doing as well as it did in the report.

“To be frank, it was a little bit of a surprise,” says Steve Kosowski, the company’s manager of long-range strategy and planning. “We knew we were doing well, but seeing it in the EPA report was a nice pat on the back for the company.”

At the intersection of EV product and portfolio planning, regulatory compliance, and charging infrastructure, Kosowski has a job that involves peering ten years into Kia’s future. Soothsayers like Kosowski tackle the tricky prospect of figuring out where the company should spend its time and money, straddling the line between practical planning (production vehicles) and wishful thinking (concept cars and futuristic prognostication). 

With future-predicting analysts like Kosowski on board, the automaker doesn’t have just an inkling about which cars are going to be a success; they have enough data to support their predictions. 

None of this means that Kia is happy to sit back and bask in its achievements. At its 2023 CEO Investor Day on April 5, 2023, Kia ramped up its electrification target even more, announcing it was aiming for 1.6 million EV sales by 2030.

Getting (way) beyond boring crossovers

Any and all success the company is seeing now is due to its meticulous planning and analysis at a micro and macro level, and the product planners read the tea leaves to see what trends are unfurling. Generally, Kosowski says, product planners start at a high level, looking at industry volumes and analyzing trends to get a forecast that is as targeted as possible.

“The first big step is to understand the regulatory requirements,” Kosowski says. “That gives you a really good calculus on how many EVs you need to sell, how many trucks you can sell, and so on. I like to look at it like a wheel: you have the consumer research spoke, the supplier spoke, the dealer spoke, and you start to get a flavor for what people like and want and what they’re willing to pay for.”

Kia seems to be cranking out hit after hit, riding on the wave of success from its Telluride SUV, which also raked in awards across the industry for its affordable, well-designed package. With SUVs taking the lion’s share of attention in the market—two in three Kia vehicles sold in 2023 were SUVs, and the company’s SUV lineup continues to expand with hybrid and plug-in hybrid options—the company is well positioned for the EV surge.

“Electrified utility was an important signal 10 years ago,” Kosowski says. “Buyers love the torque and efficiency, and they feel like they’re part of the solution [to the challenges of climate change].”

On top of that, Kia and Hyundai vehicles on the global EV platform are capable of charging up in less than 20 minutes. That’s faster than many EVs on the market and goes a long way toward adoption. Soon, Kia’s three-row EV9 SUV will become available, opening up competition in the highly desirable family segment. 

Now, if Kosowski and his prognosticating colleagues can map out a way to shore up the infrastructure so that range isn’t a concern, the EV future will roll out as smoothly as Kia hopes it will. 

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