Posts tagged with: bluetooth
  • by | April 23, 2014 9:01 AM

    Smartphone audio quality is better now that it's ever been before. We've got handsets capable of 24-bit, 192kHz output like the LG G2, and models with beefy front-facing speakers like HTC and all its BoomSound models. Sometimes, though, you really need a proper external speaker to really appreciate the sound your phone pumps out, and for a lot of us that means a wireless Bluetooth speaker. For those of us in the US, one new option is about to arrive, with Bayan Audio announcing plans to bring its gear to the US. While Bayan's got a number of docks, we're most interested in its Soundbook ...

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  • by | April 8, 2014 2:03 PM

    So you’re looking for a set of speakers a little beefier than what your smartphone’s packing out of the box. We've been down this road before, most notably with our unboxing of the monstrous JBL PowerUp dock that we bought to match our Nokia Lumia 920 back in 2012. But such big sound often requires big equipment: the PowerUp is a monster. And if you go for a smaller solution, you're often left dealing either with tangled-up cables or a speaker with a battery so small that it dies within a few hours. Truly, these are trying times for mobile audio (unless you own a phone with BoomSound, ...

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  • by | April 2, 2014 3:09 PM

    Yesterday, I explored the concept of working entirely from a tablet – an iPad mini with Retina display, to be exact. On Thursday last week, I attempted to go tablet-only for the entire day, only to confirm what most already knew. While I could easily do 90 percent of the writing, editing, and publishing I do – including photo editing, spreadsheets, and fact checking – it wasn't ideal to try to do everything from an iPad. No surprise there. I've known this for some time. I've tried countless times in the past to move over to a tablet to handle the brunt of my work and it's never ...

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  • by | March 21, 2014 7:28 AM

    Tethering is one of those things that many of us got really excited about way back in the early days of cell phones. Here we had a little phone that we could connect to our laptop which would let us access the Internet or closed network (the office, university, etc.) without having to plug into a land-line to do so. Speeds weren't all that great, but being able to work from anywhere often trumped that. Today we have our choice of various high-speed technologies offered by any one of a handful of cellular carriers. We also have numerous ways to connect our laptops to our phones -- and we ...

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  • by | December 16, 2013 7:29 AM

    Bluetooth may be one of the most used but least understood technologies packed inside our smartphones and tablets today. In its early days we were promised a wireless future with a Personal Area Network of interconnected devices. Wireless headsets were pretty much all we got from the initial iterations of the Bluetooth standard, but that's all changing. The Bluetooth SIG completed the Bluetooth Core Specification version 4.0 (called Bluetooth Smart) in  June 2010, and has announced a couple updates since then. However, technology marches ever onward, and earlier this month Bluetooth 4.1 ...

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  • by | December 4, 2013 3:46 PM

    Bluetooth has been such an integral part of our phones for so long, that we often end up taking it for granted. Like WiFi support, it's one of those protocols that we just assume every smartphone's going to have. As a consequence, it's only something we really start thinking about when a new version with support for new features gets some attention – like we're seeing now with growing availability of devices capable of Bluetooth Low Energy operation. Today we learn just where Bluetooth is headed next, as the Bluetooth SIG reveals details concerning the new 4.1 spec. So, just what's new ...

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  • by | September 6, 2013 11:16 AM

    We seem to get caught up debating which OS is better, or which manufacturer makes the best hardware. Doing so hides the fact that today's personal electronic devices are wondrous things. We can literally reach out across the globe to communicate with friends, family, and even complete strangers in real-time. We can surf the web. We can watch TV and movies. We can read books. We can listen to music. On the surface it looks like we have it all. We don't. Our smartphones and tablets do a lot, but they're quickly shedding (or not adopting) features and functionality in lieu of other devices ...

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  • by | August 2, 2013 3:38 PM

    Android 4.3 may not have arrived with much in the way of big-name new features, but it did introduce the eagerly awaited support for low-power Bluetooth Smart accessories. By all accounts, this should have made Android Bluetooth support better than ever before, but as more and more users start upgrading to the new build, we're hearing about a number of them who have discovered that their Bluetooth keyboards no longer function properly in Android 4.3. The issue seems to manifest as users being able to successfully connect to and pair their keyboard with the Android device, but then keyboard ...

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  • by | July 29, 2013 11:35 AM

    The Low Energy extensions in Bluetooth 4.0 are some of the more interesting things to happen to the protocol in a long time, allowing wireless devices to have battery lives that extend into months. Rumors have suggested that Nokia will add Bluetooth 4.0 and LE support to its Lumia family by means of the upcoming Amber software release, and now that's joined by talk of an accessory designed to take advantage of this new connectivity: the Treasure Tag. According to the sources behind this rumor, the Treasure Tag is a small battery powered fob that is paired with a Lumia via NFC and attached ...

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  • by | June 10, 2013 5:29 PM

    Back in late May, we caught wind of curious goings-on happening over at the Bluetooth SIG. While it's no oddity to see devices get their Bluetooth certification published as they prepare for launch, last month we looked at a brand new certification just filed for the Nexus 7. While there's no good reason for the SIG to be doing that, as far as what info was publicly available, it all might make sense if this was somehow tied to the upcoming release of Android 4.3, which could bring the platform new Bluetooth functionality (4.0 LE mode, to be specific). We've yet to see that happen (despite ...

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  • by | May 28, 2013 5:11 PM

    For weeks now, Android 4.3's been hanging over us like a low lying cloud. All the signs of it are out there, but it continues to be just out of our reach. Some theories have been looking to the idea of a June launch, and as we try and suss-out just when that could take place, some evidence has arrived that, while largely circumstantial, sure has the feel of a new Android release to it. This afternoon's find is all about the Nexus 7. It turns out that the tablet just saw the publication of its Bluetooth SIG listing... again? After all, this is what the Nexus 7 went through back when it ...

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  • by | May 22, 2013 9:45 AM

    Over the years, Bluetooth has become one of those terms you simply expect to see when reading through the specifications of a phone – any phone. It's a given that most smart devices have it. Laptops, smartphones, tablets, and most wireless peripherals or connected accessories utilize Bluetooth in some way or another. And the use cases for Bluetooth stretch far and wide. For many mobile users, although we like to take it for granted, it's a necessity – an undervalued connection we give little to no thought to anymore. That's likely due to the stigmas surrounding the technology. It's ...

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  • by | May 8, 2013 10:36 AM

    Technology has been improving by leaps and bounds in recent years. Processors have gotten faster, RAM has become more plentiful, graphics processors and screens today are outstanding. We even have megabit data connections in our pockets -- which is amazing if you stop and think about it. What hasn't changed much? Batteries. I've seen the future of technology... and battery life still sucks! Honestly, it should come as no surprise, we've been complaining about battery life for as long as we've had consumer electronics. While improvements have been made, let's face it, none of us are ...

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  • by | April 1, 2013 3:59 PM

    The standard-issue Starfleet communicator of the 2260s is a marvel of Federation technology. The flip-top device is ruggedized for adverse interplanetary environments, outfitted with a transponder for transporter lock-on, and it's capable of transmitting voice and data over thousands of kilometers -even through solid rock- without the aid of a cellular network. Sadly, it is also completely fictitious. The communicator, a product of the keen imagination and amazing design talents of Desilu model-maker Wah Chang, burst into the public consciousness as a prop on the original Star Trek ...

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  • by | March 6, 2013 5:28 PM

    Around here, we're no strangers to wrist-worn smart devices. From bare-bones Bluetooth sport watches to full-on smartphones condensed to wearable size, we've seen them all. Problem is, we haven't been all that impressed by what we've seen. Whether by halfhearted design or a misguided quest for all-encompassing functionality, most of the intelligent watches we've strapped on have very quickly found themselves retired to the novelty drawer. Last year, a company named Pebble -formerly Allerta- burst onto the scene with aspirations to change all that. Pebble's halo product: an e-paper-based ...

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