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8 Life-Changing Tech Products You Need To Try ASAP

Amazing gizmos, gadgets, and apps tried and tested by BuzzFeed editors.

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1. Sliding webcam covers that protect your privacy and give you peace of mind while you use your laptop, tablet, or other devices.

Treye Green / BuzzFeed

Camera covers have always been a must-have accessory for journalists in the public eye and conspiracy theorists. But this year, I really think everyone needs this little black blessing. This sliding webcam cover protects my computer from Trump’s administration and my diminishing digital freedom — and it's super easy to install. You just have to use the double-sided adhesive on the back of the cover to stick it over your webcam, and its raised edges make it easy to grab when you want to open and close it. Thanks to this cover, I can now surf the web without wondering if the circus peanut and his goon squad are going to hack my FaceTime with Nana. —Brendan Smith

Get a three-pack of covers similar to the Jietron ones above from Amazon for $14.95.

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2. AYL’s Bluetooth speaker to transform your shower into the concert stage of your dreams — with no worries about water ruining your backing track.

Francine Hendrickson / BuzzFeed

As I was going about my life recently, I thought about how supreme it would be to snuggle up in my ENO DoubleNest hammock while listening to some tunes. So I bought a portable Bluetooth speaker from Amazon. However, I no longer live in the wild forest of North Carolina, so I’ve mostly used the speaker for more ~urban things~.

The speaker is water-resistant, which means I’ve been using it to listen to music in the shower. The strap is stretchy, so you can hang it around pretty much anything. And the buttons on the side of the speaker are big enough to increase the volume or pause songs with no problem, even when your hands are soapy!

My greatest experience with this speaker thus far, though, has been using it to play music in my room. For a small speaker at a $24 price tag, it is pretty powerful. It was loud enough to still hear music in the hallway and living room of my apartment as I viciously lugged stuff around while moving. The speaker also makes a little booting-up noise, so you know when it's connected by Bluetooth. And it makes a sound when your phone is too far away for the tunes to play; as soon as you're back in range, it resumes playing automatically. The speaker comes with a mesh bag, USB charger, and a jack for pairing with non-Bluetooth devices. I haven’t had to charge it back up yet. This thing is so great that I am now occasionally ~that person~ who walks down the street with their friends, forcing everyone around us to listen to some great tunes! —Francine Hendrickson

Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in three colors).

3. The Handsfree.ly app to record and store phone calls right on your phone, making for hassle-free interviews or anything else you need to record on your device.

handsfree.ly / Apple Store / Via itunes.apple.com

As most writers know, recording and transcribing phone interviews for stories can often be quite the headache. But when I came across the Handsfree.ly app years ago, I was ecstatic to find a tool that significantly reduced the drama associated with the process.

The app uses three-way calling to record both incoming and outgoing calls through your phone. To record your call, you open the Handsfree.ly app and press the mic button on it, which will place an outgoing call. During that outgoing call, the app will give you a confirmation that it's ready to record. You then use your contacts or keypad to dial the number of the person you'll be interviewing. Once that second call connects, all you have to do is merge the two calls together and your call will be recorded until you press the end button. When your call is finished, your recording is automatically emailed to you, so you can begin transcribing. (It even offers a rough — and I mean extremely rough transcript — of the call.) There's also a test feature, so you can practice using the app before you have to record a call. Because there's nothing worse than finishing up an interview only to discover you recorded none of it!

After initial purchase of the app, you have unlimited use of its call-recording greatness. You can even access your recordings on your phone, in case you want to listen back to certain parts or transcribe on another device while listening to it on your phone. This app is a must for anyone who conducts phone interviews. It provides better quality and less hassle than recording a call on a laptop or recording device while your phone is on speakerphone. And once you learn the system, it’s a pretty seamless way to make your phone interviews so much easier. —Treye Green

Get it from the iTunes App Store for $9.99 and Google Play for $2.99.

4. Skullcandy Ink’d wireless earbuds for saving you from wasting precious jam-session time untangling annoying headphone cords.

Ciera Velarde / BuzzFeed

I don't think I can ever go back to regular headphones after using my Bluetooth headphones from Skullcandy. I bought them after getting frustrated with being tangled up in headphone cords on the subway and while exercising. These wireless headphones are super lightweight and fold up into a third of their size — so you can carry them around in your pocket when you aren't using them.

The earbuds fit very comfortably into my ear, and I can wear them for hours without feeling any discomfort. And the sound quality is even better than other more expensive headphones I've tried in the past. On average, I only have to charge them about once a week. These are without a doubt the most high-quality, versatile headphones I've ever worn. And they cost a fraction of the price that similar models go for. —Ciera Velarde

Get them from Amazon for $38.87+ (available in five colors) or Jet for $49.99.

5. LuMee’s light-up phone case to give your photos a warm glow — making for selfies even Kim Kardashian would be jealous of.

AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

Have you ever wanted to take a picture but then realized it was way too dark and no amount of iPhone brightening would fix it? Or (even worse!) have you been out with friends and attempted to take a picture with flash, only to blind several people and draw unnecessary and embarrassing attention to yourself? I’ve been in both of these situations, which is why I was so excited to try out this LuMee iPhone case.

LuMee was created by a photographer to provide the best selfie lighting possible. It basically looks like your run-of-the-mill protective phone case — but on the back, there’s this discreet little button you press that allows a warm light to turn on. And if you keep your finger pressed on it, you can dim or brighten the light to adjust to your surroundings.

This is definitely one of those products that I thought was super unnecessary when I first heard about it. But honestly, it is so awesome to have this while you’re traveling. Or if you, like my best friend, enjoy taking a kick-ass selfie. While on vacation this past summer, I was able to snap some great shots while out at bars and late-night dinners that I definitely wouldn't have been able to capture on my phone otherwise. The case is also super protective, and it comes with a little USB charger, so you can charge the case. I’ve used mine a bunch of times and still haven’t had to plug it in. I’m convinced that the battery life is like 1,794+ hours. And the case is cute to boot! —AnaMaria Glavan

Get it from Amazon for $47.99+ (available in four colors).

LuMee sent us the phone case to try free of charge, but we weren't obligated to positively review it.

6. The KiraKira+ app that'll bring glittery greatness to every damn photo you take, allowing you to give cosmic realness whenever you want.

@ellaes / Instagram / Via Instagram: @ellaes

A very wise woman once said, “Shine bright like a diamond.” Easier said than done, I say, especially if you don’t own a ton of sequins. Nevertheless, I hold those words to be self-evident, because all sparkle is created equally mesmerizing. I mean, glitter is my favorite color. So when I started seeing people sparkling all over my Instagram feed, I had to know how! I too needed to be able to sparkle in ways that aren’t natural. I wanted to fool people into thinking my pores somehow radiated rainbow drops of light. But what was this magic all these bloggers were using?

After a few Google searches and some threats of bodily harm to strangers on the internet, I discovered KiraKira+, a video app that lets you turn even the drabbest of items into fields of glittering happiness. Just open the app, choose from one of its seven glittering filters, and watch any of the light-emitting objects in the frame shine like you’d just dunked them in a pool of Swarovski crystals. You’ll end up with the most radiant videos your followers have ever seen. It’s f#@%ing magical and the best damn 99 cents I’ve ever spent.  —Elena Garcia

Get it from the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

7. TaoTronics earbuds with a noise-canceling design to relieve you — and your precious eardrums — from music blasted at the loudest volume level.

Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

After my cheap-o Panasonic earbuds — which have gotten me through many years and are great for a mere $8! — lost yet another ear pad (and I always lose the extra ear pads too), I caved and decided to look into spending a little more $$. I also wanted noise-canceling earbuds, which obviously come at a higher price point. So I combed through Amazon and reviews on tech sites I never frequent otherwise, and finally landed on these TaoTronics noise-canceling bad boys.

They have a snug but not too-tight fit — and not that I'm ever traveling at a pace faster than a brisk walk, but it's nice not having to constantly adjust my buds. Also, the ear pads seem like they're super secure and won't fall out when tossed around with other objects (again, lookin' at you, Panasonic). As a whole, they're obviously a tad bulkier and longer than my usual earbuds, but I can easily overlook that for the added value they bring.

The most life-changing part about these headphones is that I can listen to the same songs at least two volume notches lower than I did before! It may not sound like much, but my eardrums are thankful. The noise-canceling feature works via a little, flat, rectangular box with an on/off switch. When I'm in a quieter environment, like home or work, I can usually just go without it. But I also went on vacation recently and took a total of four flights (the ultimate test), and I don't know how I ever took flights with normal earbuds! The noise cancellation isn't perfect (these aren't $200 or $300 buds, people), but these are a very smart choice for overall comfort and, you know, not having to subject my innocent ears to dangerously high volumes! Now, back to listening to the new BTS album on repeat. —Sarah Han.

Get them from Amazon for $37.99.

8. The Real Housewives Stickermojis for making your texts shadier than they have EVER been. Warn your friends now.

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

There are few Real Housewives franchises I don’t love (and let’s just throw Ladies of London in there because we all know it counts and is amazing). So, years ago when I learned from Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that there’s an app with Real Housewives stickermojis, I had to get it. And it’s been the best 99 cents I’ve spent in the past three years. (Except for, like, buying a taco at Taco Bell so I could in good conscience use their bathroom.)

Lots of my friends watch Real Housewives. But even the ones who don’t are victim to my barrage of Housewives quotes like “Trash box!” and “Get me pizza, you old troll!” This app lets me troll my friends in group chats with the stickermojis representing these important moments in pop culture. They’re simple to send and always elicit a horrified response from my loved ones, which really is all I want in life. The app has been around for three years, and it still has stickermojis repping some Housewives that are no longer on the shows. But holy shit, I love it so much. Sadly, that means there’s also no representation of Gina from Melbourne. But I guess I’ll live. Yo, Andy, can we get an update or a 2.0 version? —Elizabeth Lilly

Get them from the iTunes App Store for free.

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