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.

Delete OS X Sierra Developer Updates from App Store

I recently updated to the official build of OS X Sierra and for a couple of weeks I had been getting annoying notification updates regarding new developer Sierra updates. I only update to developer builds to test new version of OS X but when the a stable build is out, I stay on it. There are quite a few drawbacks to staying on the developer updates so here is how to remove those updates from the App Store:

Delete updates from Mac App Store OS X Sierra

1: Open ‘Terminal’

2. Copy & Paste the Following: sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL

3. Your Mac App Store will lag for a minute or so and then the update will disappear!

How To: Install iOS 10 Beta on Your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad

iOS 10 will be launching in the fall for consumers, but developers can use iOS 10 starting today with the first beta. If you are not a developer there is still a way to get it on your device but keep in mind that beta software is buggy and could cause issues with apps and battery life. If you want your device to remain fully functional I would suggest staying away from the first couple of beta releases. You can sign up and wait to get into the public beta like Apple did last year. The good thing about the public beta is that Apple doesn’t release a version until it’s more stable to avoid any major problems. The public beta program also doesn’t require you to register your UDID or do anything manually as it gets pushed directly to your device; you can sign up for the public beta here once iOS 10 is announced on the 13th of this month.

Backup Your Device

Before doing all of this make sure to completely back up your device just to be safe. I’ve never had any issues when updating to a beta but it’s best to take as many precautions beforehand to avoid any problems if something goes wrong. You also want to make sure your device’s UDID is registered in Apple Servers as a developer device. There are many places that can register your UDID, we do it for $4. Do not install the beta before registering your device somewhere as it could cause your device to brick and Apple will not help you as that is not covered with warranty.

Finding Your UDID

You Can Find Your UDID by:
-Launching iTunes and connecting your iPhone.
-In the top pane, click on the little icon of your device. Locate where it shows name, phone number, & serial number.
-Reveal the UDID by clicking on the Serial Number. You should now see a long string of characters.

To get the iOS 10 onto your iDevice you’ll need to:

  1. Download the latest version of iTunes, MacOS, Xcode & Make Sure your UDID is Registered
  2. Download/install the iOS 10 Configurator Profile (LINK) Just send it to your phone via email and click on it. If that doesn’t work then send it via Airdrop.
  3. Download iOS 10 firmware for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch from this link –> iOS 10 Download Links
  4. Open iTunes and connect your iDevice via a USB cable
  5. Select your device from the top navigation pane on iTunes
  6. Hold down the Shift (Windows) or Alt/Option (Mac) key and hit the update or restore (depending on what you prefer) button on iTunes
  7. Browse and select the downloaded iOS 10 IPSW file.
  8. The iOS 10 beta installation will begin. Don’t disconnect your device or close iTunes until iOS 10 has been installed on the device!

Here is Our Installation Video from Last Year but It’s the Same Process with iOS 10:

How To: Get The New Apple TV Aerial Screen Savers on Your Mac

Apple’s new Apple TV is now available for purchase, the device sports a slew of new features which set it apart from the rest but one in particular is a set of sweet Screen Savers. Apple filmed some aerial shots of London, Hawaii, China, NYC, and San Francisco that play on the Apple TV whenver it goes idle.

  • Auto Load Latest Aerials: Aerials are loaded directly from Apple, so you’re never out of date.
  • Play Different Aerial On Each Display: If you’ve got multiple monitors, this setting loads a different aerial for each of your displays.
  • Favorites: You can choose to only have certain aerials play.
  • Preview: Clicking on an aerial in the screen saver options previews that aerial for you.

You can now get these screen savers on your mac thanks to John Coates on GitHub. Depending on the version you download the Screen Saver you download it might stream the videos directly from Apple’s servers and consume data when on. If you download version 1.2 beta 4 and up then the Screen Savers will cache offline, here is what to do:

  1.  Download Aerial from GitHub or just click here for 1.2 Beta 4
  2. If zipped then double click to extract it (It should be a file with blue swirl square)
  3. Open Aerial.saver and confirm installation
  4. Now open System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver -> Screen Saver

5. Select ‘Aerial’ as your Screen Saver and click on “Screen Saver Options” and choose the settings you want then click done!

You should now have the Screen Saver working without any issues. I highly recommend setting up a Hot Corner to activate the Screen Saver that way you can manually turn it on from time to time. If you are thinking of getting an Apple TV then check out our review here (YouTube).

Source: GitHub

How To: Install iOS 9 Beta on Your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad

Today Apple announced that iOS 9 will be coming in the fall for consumers, but developers can use iOS 9 starting today with the first beta. If you are not a developer there is still a way to get it but keep in mind that beta software always has bugs and issues. Before doing all of this make sure to completely back up your device just to be safe!

Developer Portal

 

To get iOS 9 onto your iDevice you’ll need to:

  • Download the latest version of iTunes
  • Register Your UDID (We can register it for you for $4, contact us)
  • Download iOS 9 firmware for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch from this link –> iOS 9 Download Links.
  • Open iTunes and connect your iDevice via USB cable
  • Select your device from the left navigation pane on iTunes
  • Hold down the Shift (Windows) or Alt/Option (Mac) key and hit the update or restore (depending on what you prefer) button on iTunes
  • Browse and select the downloaded iOS 9 IPSW file.
  • The iOS 9 beta installation will begin. Don’t disconnect your device or close iTunes until iOS 9 has been installed on the device!

After completing all the steps your device should be up and running. Here is a video just in case you prefer that format:

 

We can register your UDID for $4 through PayPal. Contact us here and we will get that set up in no time so you can get iOS 9. You can also get your UDID registered at countless other websites and from independent developers. If you have any questions you can ask us in the comments below or contact us here.

How To: Fix No Apple Pay Option in Passbook After iOS 8.1

Apple Pay is now fully operational after the iOS 8.1 update that was pushed to users earlier today. One problem some users are experiencing is that the add a “Credit and Debit Cards” option is not appearing in Passbook. If this is happening to you, the solution is very easy…

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Now tap on “General”
  3. Scroll down to “Language & Region”
  4. Make sure the region is set to “United States”

iOS 8.1 Apple Pay Passbook Fix Appearing

That’s it, you can now setup Apple Pay in Passbook!

 

 

How To: Change Your Profile / Username in OS X Yosemite

Apple’s release of OS X Yosemite means that they have changed quite a few things and for some it’ll be some time before they get used to the new look and feel. One of the settings they moved was being able to change the account name (the name that appears when you login and on the top right hand corner of the screen), they didn’t move it too much but it’s kind of hidden. Here is how to change your profile name in OS X Yosemite:

1. Launch “System Preferences” and click on “Users & Groups”.

Changing Account Name in OS X Yosemite

2. Make sure the lock has been unlocked so you can make changes.

Changing Profile Name in OS X Yosemite

3. Control Click on the profile name that you want to change and click on “Advanced Options”.

Changing Account Name in OS X Yosemite

4. That’s it! You can now change the Account name and Full name. After you change the name, click ok and make sure to click the lock so no one changes anything!

Changing Profile Name in OS X Yosemite

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To: Get The OS X Yosemite Dock On Your Mac

After the Yosemite app and system icons post, many of you asked if it was possible to get a dock that looks like the one that comes installed on OS X Yosemite. It turns out that installing a dock that looks like the one on OS X Yosemite is extremely simple to do, just follow the steps below!

Getting the OS X Yosemite dock on your Mac

  1. Download and install cDock for OS X
  2. Launch cDockos x yosemite dock for mac
  3. Select “Install Pre-Made dock” and click enter
  4. You can experiment with whatever docks you want but these look the most like the Yosemite dock:
    • “base”
    • “grey”
  5. Once you select your dock, your dock will reset with the new look. You can always go back into the program to restore the dock to factory settings.

If you haven’t gotten the Yosemite app and system icons for your Mac, click here to get them. You can also go here to get the OS X Yosemite wallpaper.

 

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