Archives For Apple

jbl-soundfly-guide

If the FCC is any indication, JBL’s compact “Soundfly” Bluetooth speaker should be hitting store shelves in short order. Unlike the rechargeable and portable Jawbone Jambox ($200), the Soundfly essentially mounts directly onto an AC outlet. I can’t imagine the Soundfly produces killer audio given its diminutive stature, but could make a nice kitchen or travel accessory for streaming tunes from our smartphones… Assuming it clocks in at a reasonable price point. And, related to cost, I’m hoping for the best as JBL has dropped Apple AirPlay capabilities (with associated licensing fees) since printing up their CES flyer (which had indicated a “spring” launch).

ipad-smart-case3

Amongst Apple’s WWDC announcements and product releases, a smaller ticket tablet accessory was introduced. The iPad Smart Case ($49) builds on Apple’s Smart Cover ($39) by kindly adding protection to the rear of your iPad 2 or New iPad 3. And, at first blush, it looks pretty sharp. Which just goes to show, one shouldn’t judge an iPad case by it’s cover.

ipad-smart-case8The Smart Case is sleeker than Apple’s first attempt at an official iPad case, but it retains that model’s pointy side seams – making it somewhat uncomfortable to hold as a book or magazine. Conversely, when folding the cover into a triangle as a stand, the iPad angle is too steep for comfortable usage and better suited for passive viewing. Further, and more importantly, the iPad is unstable in this upright position. While the iPad certainly is secure within the case, it can slide around a bit and reveal gaps between tablet and the polyurethane which makes it all seem a bit unrefined and cheapy. Continue Reading…

Download iOS 6 Now

Dave Zatz —  June 12, 2012 — 13 Comments

iOS 6, the next iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system, was announced at their Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Early notable new iPhone and iPad features include Passbook, native Facebook integration, turn-by-turn navigation, store enhancements, and the Blackberry-esque Do Not Disturb. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like new forms of glanceable info, via widgets or new badges, have made it in. Further, folders appear to retain the same limitations of iOS 5. But it is early. In fact, only developers have access to iOS 6 until its Fall release. Or do they? Continue Reading…

xbox-airplay

Ahead of the annual E3 gaming convention, Engadget’s gotten their hands on what appears to a legit Microsoft presentation documenting Xbox Smart Glass. And it looks to be both a feature and series of apps that’ll offer remote Xbox control and enable the beaming of content from smartphone or computer to the big screen via the Xbox 360. As we mentioned yesterday, Microsoft has some work to do if they intend to grow their Xbox audience beyond gamers and offering a remote control app is a good start… as the 360 doesn’t ship with anything more than a gaming controller. Additionally, the ability to pipe video and audio from one device to another could be quite compelling. But is it enough to morph the Xbox 360 into an all purpose media streamer for non-gamers given their hardware cost and ongoing service fees compared to say an Apple TV? Further, unlike Apple Airplay, Smart Glass won’t feature deep OS level integration on iPhone or iPads. Whereas Apple is expanding their halo from their highly regarded mobile products and into the living room, Microsoft will be leveraging their console strength to pitch their new mobile Windows Phone OS which will surely feature enhanced Xbox integration.

The Unwired has taken a quick look at the Innergie Magic Cable Trio (~$20) and concludes that it’s “a little bit pricy but definitely a recommended accessory for travelers.” And, from the description, I might have to concur… as these days the bulk my mobile syncing and power cable needs would be covered by Innergie’s USB-to- Apple Dock and microUSB connectors – that third miniUSB is bonus. In addition to offering three connection options, the “tips” don’t actually come off so there’s no possibility of leaving one on a table or losing it in a bag. Instead, they pull forward and flip back for access. Clever. Unfortunately, and probably a deal breaker for me, is the minimal length of the cable which clocks in at under 8″. Perhaps v2 could feature a longer retractable cable and spindle?

The second best 10″ tablet on the planet has just dropped in price… assuming you’re OK with refurbished hardware. The iPad 2 is now available starting at a low of $319, shipped free, direct from Apple. Unlike many remanufactured products, Apple provides a full-on warranty (of 1 year) and even replaces both the battery and rear casing for a mightily pristine experience. In fact, I ordered my mother a refurb iPad 2 back when they were $349 back in March — it both looked and functioned as one would expect of brand new hardware.

The primary difference between the “new” iPad ($500 and up) and the prior generation iPad 2 is, of course, the “Retina” display (with associated slight increase in girth and weight due to the requisite larger battery). The iPad 3 also brings voice dictation, improved camera optics, and optional LTE wireless capabilities. Yet, many won’t appreciate or utilize these additional features (at additional expense), making the iPad 2 a solid value even if purchased new ($400).

logitech-solar-keyboard-ipad-case2

Hot on the heels of Logitech’s Ultrathin iPad Keyboard ($99), the prolific accessory maker is set to release yet another iPad keyboard. The upcoming model ($129) retains Bluetooth capabilities, for wireless iPad interaction, but is integrated directly into a tablet folio case… that incorporate solar cells. Unfortunately, it looks as if the sun will only charge the keyboard — versus also powering the iPad itself. But it’s a potentially effective use of space if it doesn’t add too much weight or bulk. As previously mentioned, I prefer the flexibility of an independent wireless keyboard. But this looks to be a fairly sleek solution, that props up your new iPad 3 in two positions (one of which covers the keyboard), while harnessing a little bit of green tech. Continue Reading…