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Monthly Wrap: 5 gadgets no expat should be without

currency-newsMonthly Wrap: 5 gadgets no expat should be without

Digital interpreter

OK, so you can get an app for that! But a digital interpreter is a neat (and more accurate) alternative to Google Translate.

The Franklin Language Translator has a monstrous multilingual dictionary, real-time translator, phrase search and even a currency conversion option. However, the tiny keyboard may be problematic for anyone with normal-sized fingers.

So for something less fiddly, the Travis Touch Plus or Muama Enence are both small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, translating everything you say then speaking back to you in the language of your choice.

For the high-tech option, devices like Google Pixel Buds pour real-time translations directly into your ear - helpful when you don’t want a robotic voice interrupting!

Skype

Skype on your mobile phone or computer is a no-brainer if you don’t want to incur huge overseas call charges. But Skype isn’t the only kid on the block.

WhatsApp recently gained support for group video calls on Android and iOS, while Viber has even more cross-platform versatility, offering free local text, voice and video calls and covering Windows 10, Mac and even Linux.

‘But hang on,” we hear you cry, “Skype is an add-on for gadgets, not a gadget!’ Well, this is true, but Skype can also be a gadget (sort of). If talking into microphones is not your thing, supplement your Skype connection with a Polycom Phone. This snazzy handset is Skype/web compatible, allowing you to make your calls the new old fashioned way.

Skyroam

Skyroam is a great way to get online overseas. This portable Wi-Fi hotspot is small and cute (so orange!) and connects wirelessly in more than 130 countries.

What are the benefits for expats? Because Skyroam knows no borders you can establish your Wi-Fi connection and get the contract payments started before you even touch down in your new destination. The second you set foot through the door, you’re online and ready to go.

While there may still be a million and one things to arrange, figuring out local wireless packages won’t be one of them.

Of course, Skyroam isn’t the only option. Pocket Wi-Fi covers most of the European countries and boasts a high rate of connectivity, while Tern claims to be a much cheaper alternative to both.

Slingbox

As you lounge by the pool, sipping sangria and listening to the lilting twang of a Spanish guitar you may ask yourself, what could possibly be missing? The answer, of course, is the latest episode of Corrie.

Sunsets and ocean views are all well and good, but you shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege by missing your favourite TV shows.

Slingbox is a smart, router-sized box which networks wirelessly with your devices, piping in all your favourite TV. Watch live cable, satellite, video apps, the internet, recorded shows or on-demand at your convenience, and all for a single monthly payment.

As always, Slingbox isn’t the only option, nor perhaps the cheapest. The Netgear S8000 claims to move data four times faster than its competitors, making this futuristic looking device the ideal choice for HD movies. And for the unobtrusive option, Roku 2 is no bigger than a USB and works in much the same way. The accompanying remote also allows you to channel hop in a familiar fashion.

Smart home

Now your home can also be a gadget. Install smart home devices throughout and control functions that once required the push of a localized switch with the merest tap of your smartphone instead. And if the merest tap of your smartphone sounds like too much work, you can even control smart home gadgets with voice commands by networking NLP devices like Alexa or Siri.

If you own a holiday property or second home, you can control heating, lighting and even the opening and closing of shades using smart add-ons, even if you’re not in the same country.

With one command you can dim the lights, play the music, turn up (or down) the heat, lock the doors and arm security systems.
 
These are just a handful of the gadgets designed to make life easier at home and abroad or (in the case of the expat) both at the same time. So whether you want connectivity and convenience or communication and Corrie, technology makes the process of expatriation more convenient.
 
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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