Share one Bluetooth keyboard between multiple devices with the Multi-Sync Keyboard

By Jim Gresham on Aug 30, 2014

Have you ever used a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad? Sure, you have! All serious iPad users have, at one time, tried to use a Bluetooth keyboard with their favorite tablet. I tried to use an external keyboard on several occasions with my iPad, not just for reviews either.

The same can be said for iPhone. In fact, at one time I was searching mini Bluetooth keyboards to keep on my desk, just to make iMessaging easier. That was before my OS X days. During the course of any day, I almost always keep my iPhone and iPad in a dock or stand next to my computer. Being a user of multi-devices, there are certain tasks I like to accomplish on each device.

Complicating my movement from device to device in a serious work environment is input. Typing on an iPhone or iPad’s virtual keyboard is not the best experience, and that is coming from a fanboy. What would be perfect, is a wireless keyboard that operates either devices without the hassle of re-pairing each time. What would be perfect is the Kanex Multi-Sync Keyboard. Read More

 

The Big Turtle Shell and its 2.0 sidekick are Bluetooth speakers that can handle the elements

By Jim Gresham on Aug 24, 2014

I’m partial to having a speaker in almost every room of the house. There is no particular reason why and, after thinking about it, I am not really that into music. However it is nice to always have some jams going in the background. Thanks to Outdoor Tech, I can have music going in one room, but still hear it in the next. Or, if I am rocking out in the neighborhood pool, I am loud enough to get in trouble.

After meeting with Outdoor Tech at CES, I was really excited about both the Big Turtle Shell and the Turtle Shell 2.0. If you can recall, I reviewed the Turtle Shell gen. 1, and was pretty impressed. In fact, the Turtle Shell has not left my kitchen, except for a couple of roadie tours, for a complete year. I have access to a lot of gear, so it is definitely a credit to the product for any one to make it a full year.

I must admit, the Turtle Shell has been de-throned, in favor of the 2.0 version and the big brother, Big Turtle Shell. Read More

 

Apple iBeacon hardware revealed in FCC filings

By Cody Lee on Jul 13, 2014

Apple’s iBeacon technology has seen a lot of success in its first year. The tech, which allows administrators to push data to smartphones based on their location, has already been adopted by a number of retailers and organizations.

But thus far, Apple’s success with iBeacons has been limited to software, as it’s left the hardware up to third-party firms. It looks like that’s about to change, though, as FCC filings reveal that the company has built its own iBeacon… Read More

 

Divoom Voombox-Travel is an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker for the outdoorsman

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 20, 2014

When I went to the Consumer Electronics Show last year, I was surprised at just how many companies in the iLounge Pavilion were showcasing wireless Bluetooth speakers. I’ve always questioned the purpose of these speakers, since I have a surround sound setup in my office or simply consider my MacBook Pro speakers to be good enough when I’m out and about.

A recent outdoor event in which I only had my iPhone on me quickly changed my perspective. If you’ve ever tried listening to music through the iPhone speakers, you probably agree that the smartphone sounds pretty awful. Thankfully, I had packed an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker in my backpack. It’s called the Divoom Voombox-Travel, and I offer a full review ahead…  Read More

 

Yosemite’s Handoff feature may not be compatible with all Macs

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2014

Handoff, arguably the coolest feature of the upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite, may not be available to all Mac users. In case you’re not familiar with Handoff, it’s part of Continuity, a new feature designed for seamless transitioning between iOS devices and Macs.

“Now your Mac knows the last thing you were doing on your iOS device and vice versa,” Apple’s Yosemite webpage explains. “So you can start something on one device and instantly pick it up on another.”

As noted by a German blog, Handoff relying on short-range Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity is a strong indication that you’ll need a relatively new Mac model in order to take advantage of the feature… Read More

 

How to force remove a paired Bluetooth device from your iPhone

By Sébastien Page on Jun 11, 2014

I had this strange problem happening for a while on my iPhone 5s where I was unable to forget a Bluetooth device that had been paired before. I did have the option, but it just wouldn’t work, which I must say led to frustrating moments of cursing and yelling at my iPhone.

But as it turned out, the problem came from the fact that my iPhone 5s was jailbroken, and some tweak I had installed was causing the issue. When I realized that, it didn’t take long until I was able to fix the issue.

While I don’t doubt you already know how to do just that, I will show you how to delete Bluetooth devices that are connected to your iPhone, but I will also share with you how I fixed my issue at the same time, so that if the problem ever happens to you, you’ll know what to do right away… Read More

 

Firmware update brings Multi Play and other new features to Mini Jambox

By Cody Lee on May 14, 2014

Jawbone yesterday released a significant firmware update for some of its Bluetooth speakers. The free update, which is specifically for the Mini Jambox, brings about several new features including Multi Play, LiveAudio, and more.

Jambox owners will probably be most interested in Multi Play, which enables you to wirelessly connect two of the bluetooth speakers for either double the volume, or to separate left and right channel audio for stereo-like playback… Read More

 

AutoBlue: enable or disable Bluetooth connectivity based on Wi-Fi connection

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 30, 2014

AutoBlue is a smart idea wrapped into a somewhat unassuming package. It disables Bluetooth when connected to your home Wi-Fi network, and reenables Bluetooth when disconnected from the Wi-Fi network.

The goal of AutoBlue is to save battery life by keeping Bluetooth disabled when it’s not needed. Of course, this is only useful if you don’t use Bluetooth at home, and there’s really no telling how much battery life you actually save by disabling a Bluetooth connection when it’s not in use in the first place.

But it’s still a good idea if you happen to meet the criteria necessary to not make this tweak a hinderance. Check out our video walkthrough of AutoBlue in action after the fold. Read More

 

Apple posts iOS 7.1.1 with additional Touch ID fixes

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 22, 2014

Apple has just released iOS 7.1.1 for public consumption. A maintenance update, iOS 7.1.1 contains “improvements, bug fixes and security updates.” Specifically, it makes Touch ID even more reliable than the previous iOS 7.1 update, while fixing a pair of bugs related to keyboard responsiveness and Bluetooth keyboards with VoiceOver enabled.

It’s arrived just five days after iOS 7.1.1 devices located in and around Apple’s Cupertino campus started exposing themselves in web logs.

Needless to say, those of you who rock a jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch or iPad are advised to hold off on upgrading to the new software until we’re able to confirm it won’t break your jailbreakRead More

 

Texas Instruments pledges support for iBeacon tech in several Bluetooth products

By Cody Lee on Apr 16, 2014

It’s been almost a year now since Apple unveiled its iBeacon geolocation technology, and I really don’t think it could have hoped for better results. The tech has been implemented in a number of settings including retail and grocery stores, MLB ballparks, and more, and it seems to get more popular every day.

As evidence of that, Texas Instruments pledged its faith in iBeacon today, announcing support for the tech across its Bluetooth low energy portfolio including chips for embedded and automotive applications. The company also launched a new iBeacon-location app that works with its SensorTag development kit… Read More

 

BeHere app uses iBeacons to identify which students are attending classroom sessions

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 28, 2014

iBeacons, Apple’s cool indoor positioning technology in iOS 7 based on power-sipping Bluetooth 4.0 networking, is seeing some strong adoption across a variety of industries.

Grocery stores are embracing the technology and retailers like Macy’s and Apple’s own retail stores have deployed tiny iBeacon transmitters to put useful information on users’ Lock screens as they move around the store.

Theme parks, music festivals and sports venues are increasingly using iBeacons and one use case even involves giving bar patrons free access to Newsstand magazines.

The latest iBeacon implementation has to do with the classroom: a new BeHere app by a Brazilian company called Beelieve (free download) automatically takes attendance as students enter the classroom, using iBeacon transmitters… Read More

 

Hidden AirPlay feature discovered in Apple TV 6.1

By Cody Lee on Mar 12, 2014

Apple released version 6.1 of its Apple TV software alongside iOS 7.1 on Monday. The update seemingly included little in the way of changes, outside of a new option that allows you to hide channel icons from the main menu.

But apparently there’s a hidden feature in the new firmware that hasn’t been talked about much, and it’s actually a fairly big deal. According to a new report, ATV 6.1 enables you to discover AirPlay connections via Bluetooth…

Read More

 

New in iOS 7.1: Maps navigation prompts through your car’s stereo over Bluetooth

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

Apple has delivered iOS 7.1 yesterday, its first major iOS update since the software’s launch nearly six months ago. We’ve already detailed some of the noteworthy enhancements like Touch ID reliability improvements, new Siri features, CarPlay support, a bunch of bug fixes – some of which have been credited to prominent iOS hackers like the evad3rs team - and more.

According to developer Mike Piontek, Maps in iOS 7.1 includes a poorly labeled new feature called HFP Prompts which allows the app to play navigation prompts over your car’s speakers, via Bluetooth, even when the iPhone is not selected as the audio source. It’s a great addition to Apple’s in-car initiative because no longer do you have to fiddle with audio settings as HFP Prompts automatically does the right thing for you.

Jump past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More

 

Moga teases new MFi Bluetooth controller for iOS 7 devices

By Cody Lee on Feb 28, 2014

Moga didn’t make a very good first impression in the iOS 7 controller space. Plagued by the typical new-category teething issues, the Ace Power launched to mostly negative reviews last fall despite its large built-in battery and dual analog joysticks.

But the mobile accessory-maker isn’t going to let a little bad press get it down. This week, Moga began sending out a teaser image (seen above) for a new MFi controller. It looks a lot like the Ace Power, but with one big difference: a Bluetooth button… Read More

 

Apple releases iBeacon specification

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014

Apple’s iBeacons, an indoor positioning system that can detect nearby devices to optionally push promotional marketing messages, has been picking up considerable steam lately. For instance, such brands as Major League Baseball and Apple itself have implemented the system, as did various retailers, theme parksgrocery stores and even car accessory makers.

According to BEEKn.net, Apple has now released detailed specification for the iBeacon platform. Released through Apple’s ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) initiative, the documents are apparently separate from Apple’s main Bluetooth MFi specification.. Read More

 
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