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.

Turn any Picture into a Live Wallpaper on your iPhone 6s

If you have an iPhone 6s then you probably know about Live Photos which are photos that you can tap and hold on to see moments before and after the picture was captured. The cool thing about live photos is that they can be set as a wallpaper on the lock screen and still have the touch functionality. But what happens when you want to add some motion to your pictures that aren’t live photos? This is where the iOS App LivePapers comes in, it allows you to take a picture or import any picture and add a really cool 3D Touch effect to them. Here is a video review of the app which is available in the App Store for $1.99…

 

 

Source: App Store, AppQuest

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: Install iOS 8 Beta on Your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad

Today Apple announced that iOS 8 will be coming in the fall for consumers, but developers can use iOS 8 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 back up your device just to be safe.

To get iOS 8 onto your iDevice you’ll need to:

  1. Download the latest version of iTunes
  2. Register Your UDID (We can register it for you for $3, contact us)
  3. Download iOS 8 firmware for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch from this link –> iOS 8 Download Links.
  4. Open iTunes and connect your iDevice via USB cable
  5. Select your device from the left 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 8 IPSW file.
  8. The iOS 8 beta installation will begin. Don’t disconnect your device or close iTunes until iOS 8 has been installed on the device!

After completing all the steps your device should be up and running.

Here is a video of the tutorial:

We can register your UDID for $3 through PayPal. Contact us here and we will get that set up in no time so you can get iOS 8. 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.

Direct links will be posted on this post.

Tweetbot 3 Now Available In App Store, Redesigned for iOS 7

Version 3.0 of Tweetbot is now available for download in the iOS App Store. The latest version includes a complete design overhaul to match iOS 7, customizable navigation, and realistic physics. Check out the video below…

Tweetbot is a full-featured Twitter client that’s fast, beautiful, and redesigned from the ground up for iOS7. Tweetbot has slimmed down to look and feel more like iOS7 and has also gained a lot of charm and speed in the process. Prepare to fall in love with your favorite Twitter client all over again.

Brief Highlights:

◆ Completely redesigned from the ground up for iOS7.
◆ Native Push Notifications.
◆ Mute filters lets you block messages from users without unfollowing them. Mute services, hashtags, people, and even keywords (regex included).
◆ Sync timeline position, direct message read statuses and mute filters between iPhone, iPad, and the Mac via iCloud or Tweetmarker.
◆ Customizable Navigation. The last 2 tabs are customizable and unused tabs are easily accessible.
◆ Support for multiple services like Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, CloudApp, Droplr, and more.
◆ Save drafts, add locations and POI’s, attach photos/videos, manage your lists, and much more.

Source: App Store (Tweetbot 3)

Hands on Video of Apple’s Low Cost iPhone?

For a long time we  have heard rumors that Apple has been working on a cheaper iPhone and recently there were leaks of parts of the device. Techdy put out a video of what looks like a cheaper iPhone sporting a plastic shell which matches past rumors and schematics. It is very likely that this device will be announced by Apple or at least something that looks very similar so check out the video above and gallery below!

Source: Techdy

August Smart Lock, a Simple And Secure Way to Manage Your Door Lock Without Keys

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ugust, a new company co-founded by Yves Behar and Jason Johnson, has announced their first product whose aim is to automate your front door lock. Smart Lock connects to your iPhone through Bluetooth and allows you to control who can get in and out from your phone or desktop without having to give out keys.

Smart Lock doesn’t require any wiring and works with basically any deadbolt, it also runs off of four AA batteries meaning that it’s independent from your home’s power source. Smart Lock is set to hit consumers hands later this year for $200 and if you want to make sure you get one as soon as they are available then go to source link below to reserve your spot in line.

August Smart Lock Features

The August Smart Lock is the secure, simple, and social way to manage your home’s lock. Now you can control who can enter and who can’t—without the need for keys or codes. And you can do it all from your smartphone or computer.

  • Keyless
    August’s encrypted locking technology is safer than keys that can get lost and codes that can be copied.
  • Total Control
    You control when people have access to your home. For example you can issue a key that works 24/7 for a family member, or one that works a couple of hours a week only for your cleaning person.
  • Log Records
    You can see a Log of who’s entered and exited—and exactly when they did—remotely from your phone or computer.
  • Always On
    It doesn’t matter if your power, cable or Wi-Fi goes down. August has standard batteries that keep it running in any circumstance. When the batteries get low we’ll even send you reminders.
  • Auto-Unlock
    With Auto-Unlock, August senses your approach and magically unlocks your door for you, without having to reach for your phone.
  • Easy Install
    August installs easily over the interior portion of your existing deadbolt and does not require you to change your door hardware. In about 10 minutes, you’ll be good to go.
  • Lock Status
    It’s easy to check and change the status of your door lock. Intuitively, LED indicators and open/close chimes keep you in the know without having to look at your phone.

Source: August

 

Apple Low-Cost iPhone Concept Features A Translucent Back Cover

For a long time there have been rumors that Apple might make a low-cost iPhone in order to compete with low-cost smartphones. A new concept by Nickolay Lamm and Matteo Gianni shows what Apple’s cheaper iPhone would look like if it had a translucent plastic chassis. The device takes design cues from the iMac G3 and closely resembles Apple’s latest iPod Touch.


“The reason the iMac was made transparent was to make it seem less alien to consumers. Before the iMac, computers were all in a box shape and in gray color. The ability to see inside the computer made the device seem less mysterious and much more personal.”

Check out the images

Source: MVC

iPhone 5S Being Announced On June 20th?

It has been speculated recently that Apple might begin launching iPhones in the summer like the old days. The MacFan magazine, Macotakara, is said to have revealed that the launch date for the iPhone 5S will be held on June 20th.

The date does match up with past iPhone launches and most likely this new iPhone will have a feature that will have everybody talking. iOS 7 will also be announced and is said to have a more flat design style which I am looking forward to. We should find out in the coming months whether or not the event will take place in June.

Source: Macotakara

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