May I grab some of your attention?

May is all but done, and I’ve been a busy freelancer. Here’s what I got up to in May 2021.

Let’s roll the wheel-of-content and see where it lands first…

YouTube shenanigans

Video is part of my ongoing work, and in May my Youtube channel got a little busier.

First off, a quick look at Apple’s AirTags:

I put the Motorola Moto G10 through its paces:

Experimentally played a little live Alien 3 for the Megadrive — I’m a long, long way from becoming a game streamer:

Reviewed the iMac M1 24 Inch:

and took an iPad Pro 12.9 inch out of a box, which people still seem to enjoy:

Let’s Verb some Nouns!

The month kicked off for me at Finder, where I was very impressed with Microsoft’s excellent Surface Laptop 4 13.5 and the Amazon Eero Mesh 6.

Apple’s AirTags showed up on my review desk, so I did my best to lose them, and along the way, my car, my better half AND my home. No, really — you can read all about that here.

There’s some real gold in the budget phone space right now, and that includes the Motorola Moto G10, which I reviewed here.

The creeping eye of Amazon notwithstanding, I’ve rather liked its Ring video doorbells over they years. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 takes the route of being fixed in place with a cable — or preferably installed by an electrician — which means it’s not for everybody.

I’m entirely old enough to remember the 8-bit era of home computing, where an entire system lived within a keyboard. The Raspberry Pi 400 made me feel all nostalgic — this thing would make a great Amiga, for a start — but it’s also got a stronger educational purpose. Read my full review here.

Printers are… look, I’m sorry, printer makers, but they’re not really sexy bits of tech. They are still heavily used, and the heavy duty Epson ET-4750 put in the hard yards printing many pages for my review this month.

I take on a heavy workload — a reality for any freelancer these days — but how heavy am I? The Withings Body Cardio can tell me that — as well as my vascular age, body fat percentage and even the weather if I want it to.

Having tested out the Moto G10, I stepped up to the Moto G30 — a fine budget handset, but arguably not quite as compelling as its cheaper sibling.

Are robots the future? If so, the Ecovacs Deebot T9+ will rule us with an iron fist, scented nicely to make our homes feel even more clean. Here’s my full review.

TCL is better known for TVs than phones, so it’s perhaps no surprise that its current flagship phone has a really nice screen. It’s an interesting prospect, and you can read my TCL 20 5G review here.

Apple, it seems will put its M1 “Apple Silicon” processor into everything it can — at least until the M2 appears — and the latest Mac to undergo the M1 transformation is the iMac 24 Inch. Here’s my take on where M1 makes the iMac fly… and where it doesn’t.

Then it was Google developer conference time, so I was up extra early to grab all the details around Android 12, Project Starline and more.

HMD Global’s making some changes to the way it names its Nokia-branded phones, which puts the Nokia 1.4 in an interesting position. It’s inexpensive, as the Nokia 1 phones have always been — but is it any good?

That’s because you could always consider the Nokia G10 instead, a budget phone with a surprising multi-year warranty. Here’s my full Nokia G10 review.

realme is another brand that plays heavily in the budget space, and I really loved the realme C3. Its followup, the realme C21? Not so much.

All this writing needs a heavy duty keyboard, and that means I do prefer mechanical keyboards. Razer’s latest, the BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed stands out because it’s really, really small. Here’s my full, not small-sized review.

A very cool story that revolves around Australian developers, AI and health at Byteside, where I delved into the development of an AI… with a dementia diagnosis. Talk with Ted is an astonishing bit of tech, and I was one of the only Australian journos to chase this story down. Maybe I should have put a big flashing “EXCLUSIVE” prefix on it?

Nah. Not my style.

I’m slowly regaining my games journalist style, however. Over at Digitally Downloaded, I went back to the sheer hell that is space war, reviewing R-Type Final 2 for the Nintendo Switch.

Keeping with that war theme, I then got stuck in a castle and slowly starved to death in Siege Survival Gloria Victis for the PC. I also mentioned wearing a sack to a party one time. One time only. You had to be there.

For Geeks2U at its Geekspeak blog, I wrote up the details around Apple Watch ECG features, gave tips on making the most of your streaming subscriptions, wrote about how “free” Wi-Fi could cost you a lot if you’re not careful and reviewed both the Apple M1 iMac 24 Inch and the Yubikey 5c NFC.

Done writing, Alex? Not quite. I also blogged right here on this very site you’re reading right now, where I can choose the content precisely.

Apple had a big ol’ security issue at the start of the month, and I used that to discuss just how important the iPhone was and is to Apple’s overall business. That updated for the iPhone didn’t go smoothly, so I also wrote up a guide to getting iOS 14.5.1 to install if it gets stuck in an install loop.

I then shifted onto a topic I feel I’ll write more on in June, as I started my journey towards electric vehicle ownership in Australia. The feedback to the two pieces so far has been really interesting — a mix of curiosity and some folks who just seem to think that the world has an endless supply of oil and that pollution and global warming just doesn’t exist.

You can read my ongoing tale of EV buying down under starting here:

My Australian EV journey: Why is it so hard to own an EV down under?

My Australian EV Journey Part 2: Let’s Talk About Range, Baby

Turn Up The Radio

I also pop up on radio from time to time. There’s my regular Tuesday morning tech chat with Jo Printz on ABC Radio Victoria, and this month conversations included the Talk With Ted AI, online privacy, the death of 3G, AirTag limitations and why you shouldn’t feed them to your children, turning GTA visuals into real life ones (without getting arrested), project starline, building your own EV while getting young women into STEM and a whole lot more. You can listen in live in the broadcast area, or online at ABC Radio Victoria!

I also popped up on ABC Radio Adelaide, giving practical photography tips for smartphone novices. It’s genuinely great to be able to impart knowledge to people, because everyone has to start somewhere.

Staying a little closer to home, I also made an appearance on ABC Radio Sydney evenings, talking the realities and risks of cryptocurrencies for a non-tech audience.

Vertical Hold just keeps on holding on

If you want to hear me every single week, I co-host the Vertical Hold Podcast with Adam Turner and the finest of Australia’s tech journalists, diving deep into the news of the week.

First up for May, we chatted to Peter Marks about Ethereum and Cryptocurrency, and Dementia Australia about Talk With Ted:

We then got our VR on, with special guest Chris Stead from Finder talking the latest in consumer and business VR, as well as chatting to show sponsor, Aussie Broadband CEO Phil Britt about the problems with the NBN’s “soft” pricing model:

A very fun — and longer than usual episode — covered off all the news from Google I/O, with special guests Jason Murray from Ausdroid and Dan Tyson from EFTM:

Leigh Stark from Pickr joined us to talk all things TV, from mini LED to $130,000 rollable TVs to Apple TV 4K and more:

And with that, I’m done for May 2021 content. On to June!

Want to hire Alex for writing, commentary or presentation work? Drop me a line!

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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