Dec 27, 2016
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As we move further into the age of wireless audio with the iPhone 7 abandoning the ever-so-present headphone jack, a new category of "truly wireless" earbuds has been popping up. So you may be asking, what does "truly wireless" even mean? Well, as you may have seen, many earbuds that have claimed to be "wireless" actually have a wire in between the buds that generally goes around your neck. So, a few companies, such as Bragi, decided to do away with any and all wires, leaving us with Bragi's first product, the Dash. The Dash started as a Kickstarter project back in February of 2014, with an enormous amount of support, raising just under $3.4 million with the promise of earbuds completely free of wires and with loads of other features. These features included activity tracking, touch controls, on-board storage, water-resistance, and more. The campaign had initially intended to ship out the Dash units in October of 2014, but due to many setbacks, they started shipping out units in early- to mid-2016. With initial reports of problems with the microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, it seemed, at first, like the Dash could be just another Kickstarter flop. Instead, however, the company dedicated a lot of time into creating new updates to the firmware that drastically improved, if not completely solved these issues. The Sound DSC01138An earbud can't be good without sounding good, of course. So, how does the Dash stack up to the competition? After all, the price for these is not cheap, coming in at around $300. Well, they're actually pretty good! I wasn't expecting amazing sound from a device so small, yet packed full of components. What I found was that the Dash produces a good, clear sound, though certainly preferring the mids over the lows and highs. That said, I am quite a bass-lover myself and I'm coming from using a V-Moda Crossfade M-100, so I've been spoiled, and for earbuds, the Dash does a good job producing the bass it does. If I had to compare it to some other earbuds, I'd compare the sound to something like the "wireless" (but not completely wireless) Jaybird Bluebuds, which are quite good themselves. Bluetooth Connectivity Now, a common issue with truly wireless earbuds is their often lacking performance in their ability to hold a strong Bluetooth connection. In the beginning, there were lots of complaints from users experiencing poor connection even if the phone was placed only as far as the user's pockets. Obviously, that's a huge issue, but also one Bragi appears to have fixed through their updates. I can confidently say that I have had virtually no issues whatsoever with the connectivity of these earbuds, other than maybe one or two micro drops in connection. I tested the Dash by walking around a room and was able to go as far as 10 to 15 feet away from the source without experiencing any connectivity issues. Additionally, just the process of using and connecting the earbuds is really simple. All you do is take them out of the case and put them in your ears. The buds sense when they're in and automatically turn on, connect to each other, and connect to your phone or other device. Comfort and Design DSC01125Another historically common problem with this category of audio products is the ridiculous look of the product or their inability to stay in ears due to the sheer weight they carry. Luckily, this is not an issue with the Dash. While you may get some head turns while using this product, people often just don't care, and the Dash really doesn't look bad at all. Additionally, these earbuds were surprisingly comfortable to wear. They come with multiple sleeves to fit your ears (XS, S, M, and L), and once you find the right fit, the earbuds fit snuggly and quite comfortably. I haven't had too many issues with the buds falling out, which has always been a problem for me, whether or not the earbuds I was using were wireless. Yet another check mark for the Dash. Gestures/Controls A neat feature of the Dash is the way you control them. There are multiple ways that you control the Dash, including through the app, touch sensors on the outside of each bud, and head gestures. For instance, if you receive a call while using the earbuds, just nod or shake your head to answer or deny the call. Playing and pausing is easy, with just a tap on the right earbud, or start tracking activities with a tap on the left. One of the issues I noticed is that the touch sensors aren't only sensitive to your fingers, so putting on a winter hat caused the earbuds to do some unwanted actions. After looking around a bit, though, it looks like Bragi addressed this issue by including a touch lock that can be implemented by holding down on both the right and left touch sensors, which worked well and solved my problem. Other Features DSC01143The other features included with the Dash are a microphone, onboard storage, a heart-rate sensor, and a case that charges the buds 5 times on-the-go. To start off, the microphone had quite a few complaints in the early days, with users claiming it was unusable and that the person speaking sounded robotic over the phone. This is yet another area where Bragi has used its firmware updates to address an issue. When I was using the microphone for phone calls, some people said there were no problems at all, while others said it sounded a bit muddled, but they could still hear me and know what I was saying. As for the onboard storage, there's not much to be said about it. Songs can be added through a computer and using it works as described. Next up is the heart-rate sensor, which seemed to be relatively accurate, though I didn't have another device to compare it to at the time. This is a really nice feature for athletes looking to listen to music without an annoying wire and no need for a smartwatch. And lastly, the charging case. The case is built quite well, with an aluminum sleeve and a strong metal or plastic where the earbuds actually rest. The earbuds flash when they've been connected properly, and a magnet holds them in place. My only complaint is that I feel like I will drop the earbuds when trying to get them out of the case because you have to take the sleeve off, hold that, hold the battery part, and then fiddle with getting the buds out. That said, overall, the battery case is a nice feature, as the battery life on the buds isn't spectacular at about 3 hours. Conclusion So, what are my overall thoughts of the Dash? Well, I like them. I don't know if I, personally, would quite want to spend the $300 for them, but I could understand why some would. The features work well and the sound quality is pretty good, considering everything that's built into them. I think Bragi's next product, the Headphone, could also allow a lot more people to purchase their products, with reportedly better sound quality and a much lower price of $149. However, that new product does strip the Dash of many of its capabilities, including the water-resistance, touch controls, onboard storage, and heart rate sensor. So it really comes down to what you want. If you want the smart capabilities, there really is no other product out there that offers all of the Dash's capabilities, but if that does interest you, the Headphone is probably the way to go.

App Review: Fish Out Of Water iOS [Video]

Check out the video review of Fish Out Of Water for iOS above…

Fish Out Of Water is the story of six feisty fish longing to soar above the ocean and see the world from a whole new perspective. To help them get airborne, players simply throw their fish of choice right out of the water and watch as it flies through the clouds and skips merrily along the waves. But there’s a lot more to this adventure under the surface!

Fish Out of Water: App Store

App Review: Cut The Rope – Time Travel iOS [Video]

Check out the video review of Cut The Rope: Time Travel for iOS above…

Join Om Nom as he travels back in time to feed his ancestors with candy. Cut the Rope: Time Travel is a completely new adventure filled with time-traveling, candy-crunching, physics-based action! With two cute monsters to feed in each level, Cut the Rope: Time Travel is twice the fun but familiar to play. If you like Cut the Rope, you’ll love Cut the Rope: Time Travel!

There’s no time to waste! Visit six exciting locations including the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, a Pirate Ship, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Stone Age. Om Nom’s ancestors are waiting – and they’re getting really hungry for candy!

Cut The Rope: Time Travel (App Store)
iPhone/iPod Touch ($0.99)
iPad ($2.99)

App Review: Major Magnet for iOS [Video]

Check out the video review of Major Magnet for iOS above…

With an insanely funny set of characters, including loyal sidekick Gus the Guinea Pig, Major Magnet’s off to save the world from Colonel Lastin, without even realizing it. Sometimes a hero can come from anyone, especially if they have a magnet to help them out. All he wants is his yellow cape back!

Gone are the days of playing a game where you just run around, stomping on mushrooms — this is magnetic gameplay! Tap a magnet, swing and shoot the Major to race through each level. It’s as innovative as it sounds and incredibly fun to master.

App: Major Magnet (App Store)

Pokemon TV app released for iOS And Android, Lets you watch Pokemon on the go

Today, Nintendo quietly released a new Pokemon TV app for iOS and Android. The app streams episodes at no cost and features episodes from the Kanto Region all the way up to the Unova Region. Wether you’re young or old you might find some episodes that catch your interest. There is one drawback to the app right now, you can only watch select episodes from select seasons but it is better than nothing for now.

Take Pokémon TV on the go with the Pokémon TV app! Watch amazing Pokémon animated adventures starring Ash, Pikachu, and all their friends. Plus, don’t miss exciting special features and trailers for upcoming Pokémon movie events. It’s the perfect app for Pokémon fans to keep up with Pokémon TV episodes.

The Pokemon TV app is free to download and is available for iOS here and Android here.

Source: App Store, Google Play

Why does Vine take up so much space? Here’s why and how to fix it!

I’ve been using Vine for the past couple of days since it was released and noticed that as I view peoples Vines and cancel ones that I decide not to upload, the amount of space the app took up increased significantly. The app size itself is only 8.2 MB but since its release it has gone up to 837 MB. Why? Because I have posted one, canceled 4, and browsed around 400 different Vines all of which are stored on your device in the background.

What to do? 

First Option- You can download a program like iExplorer and go into Vines “tmp” folder and delete or save as you please. What happens when you delete them from iExplorer? Nothing other than freeing up space. My posts and likes are still on my profile but the ones I didn’t post are deleted which was my initial intention.

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 1.24.11 PM

Second Option- You can also go into Settings>General>Usage and delete the app along with its contents, this will free up everything and you can just re-download the app. The only difference is that you can’t save any of your none posted Vines but it gets the job done. I do want to mention again that every Vine that you load is stored whether you “like” it or not.

Vine progress some

Need to download your Vine posts to your computer? Check out our post on how to easily download Vines by clicking here.

Upcoming Mailbox App for iPhone Rethinks Our Inboxes [Video]

Today, Orchestra announced Mailbox for iPhone which is an upcoming email client that has been inspired by Sparrow and Clear. Check out the video below to get an idea of the App before it is released this upcoming year. For more details check out the review of the app from The Verge here.

We redesigned the inbox to make email light, fast, and mobile-friendly. Quickly swipe messages to your archive or trash. Scan an entire conversation at once with chat-like organization. Snooze emails until later with the tap of a button. It’s a whole new inbox.

Source: Mailbox

Google Maps App Finally Released for the iPhone! [Direct Link]

As expected, Google’s Maps application for the iPhone has been released and is now available for download. You can search for it in the App Store or click the source link below to get it.

Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.

Search
* Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
* Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
* Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.

Directions
* Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.
* Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
* Access live traffic information in cities across the world.

Street View and imagery
* View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.
* See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.
* View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.

Simple and easy to use 
* An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.
* Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.
* Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.



Source: App Store (Free)

Xbox SmartGlass Now Available For iOS

Microsoft has finally brought the SmartGlass app to iOS and is currently available for download for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touches running iOS 5.0 or later. The app allows your iOS device to serve as a remote and keypad for your Xbox 360, it is pretty much the same as the Android version which was released a while back. Go download it and try it out here!

 

Source: iTunes

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