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3 ways to make a smartphone do more work

When I saw an email inviting me to test the Vaavud wind meter, I thought it was just another one of those gimmick smartphone accessories.

But I decided to give this one a try since I’m a smartphone junkie and my wife thinks I’m a weather junkie. This could bring all my worlds together.

Much to my delight, the Vaavud works as advertised to “turn your smartphone into a high-tech meteorological tool.”

The cup-anemometer tool attaches to your headphone port (Android and iOS). Launch the Vaavud app, and you instantly know the wind speed.

Of course the day I tested it there was no wind so I took it along for a ride in my neighborhood holding my iPhone 5s out the car window with the Vaavud attached.

It worked like a charm, reading the speed as I went faster or slower. The wind speed can be displayed in choices of m/s, knots, mph, km/h, bft.

The gadget is described as being designed like a wind measuring tool, the cup-anemometer. It has two-cup functionality instead of the standard three, enabling it to be pocket sized.

The app has user interactions with other Vaavud wind meter users globally to share your wind speed and find out what it is in other locations – the fun is endless.

http://vaavud.com $49.95 in choices of green, red or white.

If turning your smartphone into a wind meter wasn’t enough, the Audiovox Mobile TV device (from Dyle Mobile TV) lets you watch live local TV on the go in select U.S. markets. This can include local weather and news, sporting events or sitcoms.

It has no effect on your cellular data plan and you don’t need Wi-Fi to receive the broadcast.

In a nutshell, you setup the device at home creating a network from the Audiovox Mobile TV to send your TV signal to the Dyle app on your smartphone or tablet.

It works with smartphones and tablets running the latest Android, Kindle or iOS operating systems.

The device is about the size of a deck of playing cards and has an extendable antenna.

You do need to check the availability of networks in your area on the Dyle website. Just enter your zip code and you’ll get a list of channels available for broadcast in your area. Blackouts do apply for some sporting events.

There is pause and rewind but it’s not a DVR for recording. An internal battery will last for up to 4 hours before a USB charge is needed.

www.dyle.tv/ $99.21 at Amazon

The slim styled Rapoo wireless keyboards are just 5.6mm thick but are big-time on performance. They work with a tiny Nano receiver, which plugs into your computers USB port for a wireless connection up to about 30 feet.

There are two versions; model E9080 has a touchpad and number pad on the right side, while the E9180 has a wireless touchpad on the same side. Both have a great-looking aluminum design.

Other features include multimedia keys for shortcuts such as audio playback or quick Internet access.

The Rapoo wireless laser mouse (model 3920P) runs smooth on most surfaces with its Surfree laser technology. It’s built with aluminum alloy and an ergonomic design. There’s an on/off switch that allows it to last for up to 18 months.

www.rapoo.com $59.99 for the keyboards, $39.99 for the mouse