By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2014
Following an extensive pilot program of a new SPG Keyless service at select Manhattan and Silicon Valley locations since January 2014, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has now begun rolling out virtual room keys that do away with key cards altogether to let guests enter their rooms using smartphones.
Beginning this Wednesday, ten Starwood properties around the world under the Starwood’s Aloft, Element and W brands will allow guests to walk past the check-in desk and enter their rooms by using an iPhone as a room key.
This includes hotels in Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha, the company said in a media release Monday. The service is set to become available on 30,000 doors in 150 hotels around the globe by early 2015. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2014
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments startup, Square, on Tuesday issued a nice update to its free Cash for iPhone software which now allows you to transfer money via short-range Bluetooth networking using a new “Nearby Payments” feature.
This is in addition to the ability to send money via text message, email or mobile phone numbers (for free), a feature the startup added to the Cash app in late-August 2014. This release of Cash also features the ability to quickly approve or decline money requests with actionable push notifications and contains other improvements and bug fixes.
Square Cash is a free download from the App Store. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Oct 6, 2014
If you are ready to hit the pavement, I suggest grabbing the Griffin MOTO TC Rally iPhone controlled toy car. That’s right, no additional hardware is required, just your iPhone and the Bluetooth 4.0 controlled race car. As a child, teenager, and even as an adult, one of the biggest rushes in the toy world is remote controlling a toy car. Growing up, I used to make race tracks in the pine needles behind my parent’s house. Not much has changed.
Bringing my childhood excitement in line with the 21st century, the MOTO TC is not only iPhone controlled, but also utilizes virtual damage control, weapon systems, and can monitor lap times. It is essentially like playing a console racing game, but with actual hardware. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Oct 3, 2014
There is an assortment of Bluetooth speakers on the market and almost any accessory maker thinks they should enter the flooded marketplace. With that attitude, your product should bring something a little different to the crowd. Truffol’s DuraSound exists somewhere between business professional and outdoor appropriate.
DuraSound has a very conservative, simple, rectangular design, with a flat matte finished front and back grill. This simple design with clean edges and finishes makes it suitable for the office. In contrast, the color-matched silicon bumper allows the device to be toted around for after hour drinks. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 1, 2014
If you’re having problems with Bluetooth in iOS 8, you’re not alone. A number of users are reporting Bluetooth connection bugs after updating to the firmware, or purchasing a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus—particularly when trying to pair their handsets to their vehicles.
Looking at this lengthy thread on Apple.com, and this one in the MacRumors forums, the issues appear to be fairly widespread. Within the last two weeks, users have complained of hitches including not being able to pair their devices at all, and random disconnects. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Sep 21, 2014
You are pumping iron at the gym. You are training for the half marathon. You are cooking in the kitchen. You are commuting on the train. You are listening to Let’s Talk iOS on the couch. All of these scenarios, have you tethered to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with a corded headset. Nothing is more annoying than ripping your iPhone off the treadmill at the gym because you accidentally caught your headphone cable while reaching for a bottle of water.
I am the guy that wraps his iPhone in a sturdy case at the gym because I just cannot seem to stop dropping it. If I had a pair of wireless headphones, all of my problems would be solved. While Bluetooth headphones have been a thing for some time, I have only stumbled across over the ear cans or giant muffs. No one wants to use a giant pair of headphones while doing a physical activity except people who love their Beats. Take a step inside to read about the Orcas Bluetooth earbuds, my new favorite pair of activity minded buds that were sent over by Outdoor Tech. Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 jailbreak… Read More
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
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
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…