Pardon us in advance because things are about to sound a bit hyperbolic. We have reviewed hundreds of products over the years, from shaving creams and couches to egg cookers and hair dryers, but very rarely do we come across something so unique, so impressive that causes us to go out of our way to buy it for friends and family. Enter the Tidbyt: A retro-style pixel device that cycles through personalized apps so you can spend less time on your phone.
Needless to say, we tried the Tidbyt ourselves to bring you our honest review and exactly why this must be on your radar as the best gift for anybody at any time.
- Completely customizable and live apps, from weather to subway times
- Extremely easy to set up and use
- An awesome conversation starter
- Can be placed anywhere in the home where there’s an outlet
- Unlike any piece of technology on the market
- Quality of walnut wood — scratches easily
- Device is brand new, so the compatible apps are limited at the moment
- Could benefit from an alarm clock
What Is a Tidbyt?
Owners Mats, Rohan, and Mark developed Tidbyt with one thing in mind — “to make a device that simplified [their] morning routines.”
After waking up, questions like “what time is it, what’s the weather like,” and “when does the next subway depart” crossed their mind, but they wanted these answers without having to rely on a phone.
Their solution was simple: a straightforward LED display device that cycles only through the apps that matter to you. This is so you can spend less time in front of a screen and more time doing important things like working, cleaning, exercising, cooking, and underwater basket-weaving.
How to Use a Tidbyt
All you need is a good WiFi connection.
Once the Tidbyt app is installed and the device is plugged in, you can pick from dozens of apps in categories like Home, Live, Work, and Entertain to appear on the LED pixel screen. There is even a Create tab that allows you to upload photos, type custom messages, and sync either Google or Outlook calendars for meeting reminders. You can also create countdowns to important events like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
Everything is updated in real-time, thanks to the WiFi connection, which means you get live sports scores, weather updates, stock values, subway times, and current gas prices.
There is even a Just for Fun section with graphics from Pacman, Nyan Cat, Super Mario Kart, Pokemon, and Random Cats so that your Tidbyt assumes the role of living art.
Once you’ve picked your favorite apps, how and when they appear is also completely dictated by you. You can turn on a Night Mode, dim at sunset, and control the overall brightness. You can also adjust the transition speed and when certain apps are integrated into the rotation. Some apps also let you customize background colors and information to make it hyper-tailored to you or your location.
The possibilities (not to sound cliché) are truly endless. In fact, the founders have intentionally made Tidbyt completely hackable so that you can write your own apps and learn how to code in the process.
The Verdict: Should You Buy a Tidbyt?
We’ve seen smart clocks before, but this is something special. Not only should you buy the device, but you should also gift it to anyone whose home is in need of a little personality. In a world where companies like Apple and Google are looking to offer the latest and greatest in cutting-edge technology, sometimes it’s the simpler things in life (aided by a pinch of nostalgia) that have just as much, if not more, value. It’s a product that makes us smile every morning and not one that we’re completely dependent upon from the second we wake up. And that’s something you can’t really put a price on.