By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2015
One of my biggest beefs with the iPhone and iPad is the lack of love given to sound output quality. Neither device features speakers that face the user, and the speakers that are there produce sound that’s just passable in my opinion. It’s definitely one of the biggest opportunity areas for improvement when it comes to iOS hardware.
Other devices do a much better job with sound quality. For example, the HTC One M9 features front-facing speakers, as does the just-released Motorola G 3rd-gen. Even tablets like the Nexus 9 feature front-firing speakers that sound relatively good. The iPhone and iPad? Not so much.
But that’s okay, because that’s what external speakers were made for. In fact, I just got my hands on stylish-looking Bluetooth speaker called the MercuryBox (42.99 with Amazon discount code below). It’s from a German company called Inateck, who sent us a sample unit for review.
Is this the perfect device to improve your iPhone’s sound output? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015
Motorola held ‘A Better Mobile Relationship’ press event this morning to announce some new hardware, including the third-generation Moto G handset, a second Moto X called the Moto X Play and its brand new flagship, the Moto X Style.
In addition to the new smartphones, the handset maker has released a pair of new wireless headphones: the $59.99 Moto pulse on-ear headphones and the $69.99 Moto surround in-ear earbuds.
Both are Bluetooth 4.1-compatible and use Motorola’ companion iOS app called Motorola Connect for battery management, easy pairing, Find My iPhone-like functionality and other perks. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 25, 2015
Have you experienced a slow and jumpy cursor while using a Magic Mouse or other Bluetooth input device on your Mac? Admittedly, this may not apply to all of you, but if you’re like me and use a Magic Mouse with a MacBook Pro, you may have encountered this maddening issue.
The problem has to do with choppy, laggy, jumpy, and overall slow mouse performance while using a Bluetooth mouse. There are some things that you can do to troubleshoot, but I took all of the obvious steps, and still could not alleviate the issue. That is, until I realized that an unlikely culprit was causing my problems. Read More
By iDB Deals on Jul 24, 2015
Are you always losing your keys? Don’t worry, you won’t need them with the advanced wireless-enabled QuickLock. Use your phone or the two RF/NFC wireless enabled cards included in the package to unlock it and enjoy solid safety for just $49, saving 18% with iDownloadBlog.
By Lory Gil on Jul 23, 2015
There are some situations in which one may want to listen to Apple Music using more than just the iPhone 6 speakers, but don’t need a big sound and don’t want to take up too much space.
The JAM Classic is the perfect portable Bluetooth speaker for listening to tunes in the office, at the beach, or while studying for finals in the dorm. Think of it as a personal sound system. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2015
HomeKit, Apple’s platform for the connected home, sounds terrific on paper. In reality, HomeKit is like CarPlay, another Apple platform plagued with slower than expected rollout.
There are currently only five HomeKit-compatible accessories on the market: the Ecobee3, Elgato Eve, iHome iSP5 SmartPlug, Insteon Hub and Lutron Caseta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit.
A new report alleges that wider HomeKit adoption is being held back by Apple’s stringent encryption requirements. Apparently, Bluetooth chips currently available on the market and certified for HomeKit just can’t handle Apple’s super strong encryption without degrading the experience.
As Forbes reported Wednesday, Apple imposes a high level of encryption on HomeKit accessory makers in order to prevent eavesdropping and protect the privacy of its users. Apple’s focus on privacy, however, has created unacceptable levels of lag in prototype Bluetooth products whose chips have sub-par processing capability. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2015
Apple yesterday refreshed its aging lineup of iPod-branded music players. By and large, the iPod touch has received its most substantial upgrade yet as Apple really went all out with upgrades on the hardware front.
Not only does the new iPod touch run the latest Apple-designed “A8” processor as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but includes the M8 motion coprocessor, a much-improved eight-megapixel camera on the back, three times faster Wi-Fi and the latest in Bluetooth networking.
Here are some interesting tidbits related to the iPod touch’s hardware surprises. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2015
Apple has become a Promoter Member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a non-profit industry organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of the Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers.
As one of the biggest proponents of Bluetooth, the iPhone maker now holds a continual seat on the SIG Board of Directors and can influence future development of the standard even more than before. Read More
By iDB Deals on Jun 2, 2015
The Blumoo universal remote allows you to control your entire home theater right from your iPhone or iPad instead of the remote hiding out under the couch cushions. Order the Blumoo for over 30% off at iDownloadBlog Deals. Read More
By iDB Deals on May 14, 2015
Crystal clear audio and seamless Bluetooth syncing are just two of the reasons the Soundfreaq Sound Kick Bluetooth Speaker is winning awards. It’s been voted Overall Best of Show CES winner by iLounge, and can be yours for just $49.99 – 50% off the retail price. Read More
By Lory Gil on May 7, 2015
Some speakers are great for on-the-go listening. Others are meant for rugged used in the outdoors. There are plenty of quality mobile Bluetooth speakers out there. But what about stationary speakers? Harman Kardon, one of the best-known quality sound system companies, offers the SoundSticks Wireless Bluetooth Speaker System so you can stream media from your iPhone in style. Read More
By Lory Gil on May 6, 2015
As the weather gets warmer and summer looms around the corner, I find myself daydreaming about spending hours at the river, swimming in the cool pockets of still waters. Wouldn’t it be great to bring a speaker? But, I don’t want to ruin it by accidentally dropping it in the water.
NYNE Multimedia has solved that problem with a fully waterproof Bluetooth speaker called Aqua. Not only can you drop the external audio source right into a body of water, but it will also float, so you don’t have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the pool. Read More
By Jim Gresham on May 3, 2015
While wearing my Apple Watch on week one, I kept feeling like something was missing. After listening to this week’s Let’s Talk iOS, Jeff clued me in. I was missing the music capability. It is somewhat surprising that Apple precluded Apple Watch from playing music through the speaker. Most likely, it is a move to conserve battery power and prevent a poor listening experience on such a small speaker.
Enter a renewed need or desire to have a good set of Bluetooth headphones. Coincidentally, I was contacted by Phiaton to review their Chord MS 530 headphones and happily accepted. The M-series headphones are known for bold styling with a modern appeal and high build quality. Having previously reviewed the Bridge MS 500 wired headphones, I was happy to take a look at the more robust, wireless and noise canceling older brother. Read More
By Lory Gil on May 2, 2015
There is no reason to even bring up the fact that the iPhone’s internal speaker system sucks, but I just did. So the best solution to a terrible sound is boosting it with something else.
The Anker A7908 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a box speaker that fits in the palm of your hand, but packs a punch when it comes to increasing the volume of your iPhone 6. The nearly 20-hour battery life makes it possible for you to keep the party going, all night long. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 27, 2015
Designed as a versatile companion to the iPhone, the Apple Watch uses the GPS and Wi-Fi in your iPhone to give you the full experience. That’s why the very first step before you can start using the Watch is pairing it to an iPhone in iOS’s Apple Watch application.
But even though the wearable device wasn’t conceived as a standalone product, it can still do a few tricks on its own, without having a paired iPhone in range. Here are seven different things the Apple Watch can do without being tethered to an iPhone. Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 25, 2015
If you’re wanting to listen to music privately, directly from your Apple Watch, you’re going to need a pair of Bluetooth headphones. So for those of you who picked up a Watch this weekend, and don’t already own Bluetooth headphones, we’ve put together a list of some we think are worth checking out.
The list contains 10 options, ordered from cheapest to most expensive, and it features various styles and price points for all tastes and budgets. It’s also been curated to only include headphones that have received positive reviews from well-respected publications, or customers on websites like Amazon. Read More
By iDB Deals on Apr 16, 2015
Enjoy portable sound with these ultra-lightweight earbuds. Listen to music, take calls and more with the Wireless Feather Bluetooth Earbuds. With our sale at iDownloadBlog Deals, you can get them for just $25 including free US shipping, or $29 with free international shipping. But the deal ends Friday, so you need to act now. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 26, 2015
Over the past few days, I’ve been working with developer MohammadAG to test his in-progress iOS-to-Android Wear application on the LG G Watch. This application, which has a ton of potential for both jailbreakers and non-jailbreakers, allows iOS to forward notifications to Android Wear devices. In the video that follows, I showcase some of the features that are in the current version of Mohammad’s new Android Wear APK. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2015
Images of Apple’s Wireless Keyboard with backlit keys and a power button were removed today from the Online Apple Store, suggesting the product has prematurely leaked or isn’t ready for prime time yet.
Yesterday, the Online Apple Store in Czech Republic and Hungary got refreshed with new images showing a power button on the $69 keyboard and controls for adjusting the brightness of the backlight. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2015
The Apple Watch will provide users with the full experience even if an iPhone it’s paired with is outside Bluetooth range, as long as both the wearable device and the smartphone are connected through Wi-Fi. Tim Cook made a passing note of it during yesterday’s “Spring Forward” media event.
Nonetheless, it’s a pretty big deal and here’s why. Read More