Car Tech

Best practices for creating a home inventory

With the holidays here and more gadgets, belongings, and random items on the way, it's a good time to think about how to create an inventory of all your belongings. Creating an inventory makes the process of replacing items through your insurance company easier, in case you should you ever fall victim to a natural disaster or a break-in.

After talking to an insurance agent and scouring insurance company Web sites for best practices, here are the best tips for creating an itemized list of the possessions in your home.

Be thorough The most important aspect of creating an … Read more

Automate your Android phone in the car with NFC, Bluetooth

A few weeks ago, Garmin released a car kit that uses NFC to automatically launch the Navigon navigation app when a compatible smartphone is placed within its arms. Being an Android fan and a tinkerer at heart, my first thought was, "I could DIY something better than that," and now I'm going to show you how.

You'll need:

An NFC compatible Android phone. I'm using the LG Nexus 4, but check your specs to make sure that your personal handset is compatible with the technology. An app that can receive instructions from NFC. I'm … Read more

Protect your car tech privacy with these six simple tips

Today's cars are filled with loads of dashboard tech: GPS navigation to guide you, data connections that increase the safety and convenience, Bluetooth hands-free calling systems to keep you in contact with the important people in your life. But no one wants to manually input his or her home address at the end of every day or memorize every number in an address book, so in order to work seamlessly, this tech stores quite a bit of your personal data.

Much in the same way that you think about protecting the personal data in your smartphone, PC, and social … Read more

How to cache offline maps in Google Maps 7.0

Yesterday, Google loosed a new version of its Google Maps navigation app for Android onto the Google Play store with a new, streamlined design and a bunch of new features to aid exploration. However, like the new desktop interface announced at I/O 2013, this new version 7.0 update seems to have lost a few features in translation.

One of the most obvious omissions lamented by early updaters is the apparent loss of the ability to cache map data for browsing offline without a data connection...or so it seems.

True, the menu option that we're used to … Read more

How to get better gas mileage (and save a little time)

The most recent gas prices report (January 22, 2013) from AAA wrote that the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel is $3.31. The same report said annual household spending on gas in the United States in 2011 and 2012 was more than $4,000 each year. That's a lot of money any way you slice it.

Whether you've cut down on your driving, begun relying on public transportation, or even invested in a hybrid vehicle, there's still money to be saved by following just a few easy tips. We've put together a … Read more

5 safe places to put your smartphone while driving

After moving to a new city and buying a new car to get around in, a close friend of mine found herself needing some sort of GPS navigation to guide her around her new hometown. So, she bought a used portable navigation device and hit the road.

"This GPS sucks! The maps are out of date and it didn't come with a cable to connect to my computer for updating!" she declared after just a few trips.

"Wait, didn't you just buy a new iPhone?" I realized aloud. "You have to be the … Read more

CNET TV blooper reels 2012

Sadly, we are not perfect here at CNET TV. We are not all well-oiled machines that can perfectly reel off product names like the Insignia NS-55E480A13A LED TV without tripping up.

Through the magic of editing, the videos you see every day here at CNET paint an illusion of effortless expertise -- but it's a lie. These videos are a constant struggle. The best we can hope for is that one of our flubs, stutters, and hissy fits might be funny enough to make it into our year-end blooper reel.

So here you have it, our annual collection of … Read more

How to track your car's gas mileage on Android

Do you feel like you're not quite getting the gas mileage out of your car that you should be? Tracking your fuel economy can provide you with some hard evidence to determine whether something is wrong. Some cars have built-in computers that can calculate your mileage, but they don't offer much in the way of customization or provide other useful stats.

FuelLog is an Android app that can help you easily track your gas mileage and offers a lot of statistics to help you get a better picture of your car's fuel consumption. You can track things … Read more

How to instantly lower your car windows with the key remote

The temperature inside your car can get insanely hot on sunny days, regardless of the temperature outside. When you get to your car and it's boiling hot, what's the first thing you do? You lower the windows and blast the air conditioner, right?

A convenient feature that's been around for years, but remains unknown to many car owners, is the ability to lower the windows with the key remote. This allows you to begin cooling your car without having to get in first. Unless the car dealership told you about this trick or you happen to read … Read more

Turn your Android phone into a speedometer with SpeedView

Tracking your car's trip data can be fun and interesting, but not all cars come with an advanced trip computer. Using your Android phone's GPS sensor, SpeedView can act as a speedometer with some additional data functions.

The main screen of SpeedView displays a linear compass at the top, an analog speedometer, trip information and a speed graph. You can tap on the analog speedometer to switch to the numeric speedometer, while tapping on the trip data allows you to choose which information you want to display. You can choose between time, average speed, maximum speed, elevation, and … Read more