Review: Jawbone UP 24, a smart fitness band that gets you up 24/7

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The Jawbone UP bracelet has been on the market for three years receiving improvements every year. The Jawbone UP 24 received a major update: Bluetooth LE. Initially to sync the data onto the phone, the user had to plug the band into the phone’s headphone jack and wait, typically about fifteen seconds, for the data to sync into the app.

Now, since the UP 24 has Bluetooth LE capabilities, it is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the third generation iPad and newer as well as the iPad Minis. Jawbone has made the UP 24 to be compatible with Android phones. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Jawbone UP app.

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Review: Nike+ FuelBand SE, a smart fitness band that encourages you to get active

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Nike’s fitness band, the FuelBand came out in February of 2012. The Nike+ FuelBand SE, the newest model of the fitness device, was released last month. Since it relies on Bluetooth LE, the Nike+ FuelBand SE is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, as well as the fifth generation iPod Touch. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Nike+ FuelBand App. The new FuelBand has been designed to be more accurate and more water-resistant.

I have been using the Nike+ FuelBand SE for a little over a month, going through two defective units (one with a broken clasp, and one with a faulty battery and accelerometer) and finally stuck with the third band (which had a sticky button) for the purpose of this review.

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New for accessory makers in iOS 7: Open AirPlay audio, Apple-designed hearing aid tech, device management, much more

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We already told you about a few big new features in terms of improvements to Bluetooth coming in iOS 7: Developers will now have a standardized controller framework for hardware game controllers and new features for BLE devices that will bring Notification Center support and always-connected apps. That’s not all Apple has planned for accessory makers in the near future, below developers have reached out to explain some of the other big new features that will be available to accessory manufacturers with iOS 7 and Mavericks… Read more

Broadcom announces BCM4335 chip that will likely power 2013’s iPad and iPhone to Gigabit ‘5G’ Wi-Fi

Broadcom just announced its next round of portable device wireless chip, the BCM4335, which includes the ability to connect to the superfast 802.11ac networks. Apple exclusively uses Broadcom chips in this family for its iOS devices (and a different family for its Macs). The current iPad and iPhone use the Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n baseband/radio with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and an FM transceiver—and the xxx5 is just a minor step up.

We found some code that indicates the next iPhone will use the Broadcom BCM4334, which adds the 40nm process and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities (perhaps opening some Airdrop capabilities too).

The 40nm chip will continue to deliver Bluetooth 4.0 and FM, but its 802.11ac networking could save some power using the new standard. It also features the “industry’s most advanced idle power consumption performance, which significantly extends a mobile device’s battery life.”

Sample chips are already available with a full production expected to be delivered in Q1 2013, just in time for next year’s iPads.

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Meta Watch announces first Bluetooth 4.0 smartwatch for iOS, ships to devs this month

Run by former Nokia and Fossil execs, and previously available in beta for Android devices only, Meta Watch officially launched its smartwatch platform today that interfaces with iOS—the first of its kind to utilize the low energy Bluetooth 4.0 technology. The watch works with an iOS app for customizing which notifications will pop up on its display. Notifications consist of the usual phone calls and messaging, but developers have access to an API that will allow them to send almost anything to the device.

The company previously had issues getting the platform to run smoothly due to limitations of iOS. However, thanks to Bluetooth 4.0, the device featuring a 96-by-96-pixel LCD display is now slated to ship sometime this month for $199. The Meta Watch is clearly still more of a development kit than an end-user product at this point, but with six fully programmable buttons, a 3-axis accelerometer, vibrating motor, ambient light sensor, and of course Bluetooth 4.0, there is a ton that devs will be able to do with the device.

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CES 2012: Zomm outs Lifestyle Connect, tiny Bluetooth 4.0 medical dongle for your iPhone 4S

We previously told you about the benefits of Bluetooth 4.0 technology found on the iPhone 4S, also TV and —conceivably— rolling out to all Apple products soon. While Zomm’s Lifestyle Connect is not exactly the first Bluetooth 4.0 accessory (bragging rights belong to Find My Car Smart, a Kickstarter project), this device is a dream come true to people seeking a reliable medical solution to relay health information from compatible monitoring solutions “to a trusted network of people and professionals.”

Smaller than a credit card, it connects wirelessly with a Bluetooth 4.0 smartphone such, as the iPhone 4S, allowing you to speak with a live operator dubbed Personal Safety Concierge directly from the integrated speakerphone on the device. The Personal Safety Concierge can then contact your doctor, send status updates via a phone call, SMS or email or even dispatch police, fire or medical rescue to you exact location…

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First Bluetooth 4.0 accessory helps you find your car, as Microsoft launches Bluetooth keyboard for iPad

The iPhone 4S is one of the first devices to support Bluetooth 4.0. Today, the first accessory to take advantage of the new technology is a new Kickstarter project called Find My Car Smart.

Find My Car Smart uses a Bluetooth 4.0 powered dongle to transmit the location of a car that can then be picked up by an iOS app, letting a user find a car in a busy parking lot on a map. Due to it being a Kickstarter project, it will need to get enough backers to see the light of day. It’s pretty cool, nonetheless. So, if you’re interested make sure you pledge.

Microsoft is also getting in the Bluetooth accessory game with the release of a new tablet keyboard. The Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is portable and it will hook up with an iPad, Android tablet or any other device that supports Bluetooth.

Microsoft makes the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, available for $49 on their hardware store. If you can’t look past that Windows logo, you could always just buy an Apple wireless keyboard for $68,or even try Apple’s iPad Keyboard dock.

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Apple tells MFI’s to get busy building next-gen iOS accessories with Airplay over Bluetooth 4.0

AirPlay, a proprietary protocol by Apple allowing for worry-free wireless streaming of audio, video, photos and related metadata between certified devices, is about to gain an enhanced support for the wireless Bluetooth standard via a new chip, Japanese blog Macotakara has learned. Apple apparently announced the new certification chip at a Shenzen, China conference organized for two thousand members of their MFI (Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod) program. The company is aiming to expand the market for wireless iOS accessories by a factor of seven by taking the IAP via Bluetooth (iPod Accessory Protocol) – first implemented in iOS 5 – to the Bluetooth 4.0 heights.

The new piece of silicon will enable future wireless accessories certified for use with the iPod, iPhone or iPad to stream content to and from a host iOS device using Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, in addition to WiFi AirPlay support. AirPlay over Bluetooth mitigates the need to connect to a WiFi network when AirPlaying your music, photos and movies. This feature comes into play when traveling, for example, or using your device in areas with no WiFi connectivity.

AirPlay already features a limited support for Bluetooth in that it can stream audio using the AD2P protocol. Apple has become a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group board of directors back in June so they’re in a position to influence the development of the Bluetooth wireless standard.

Taking into account that Macotakara has had its share of misses in the past, this development really makes sense. iPhone 4S is the first handheld device from Apple to feature support for the new Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standard. It lets the handset connect to the mid-2011 MacBook Airs and Mac minis and future Bluetooth Smart Ready devices at an extremely low-power and low latency mode up to 50 meters away.

Instead of taking up to six seconds to pair like current Bluetooth implementations, Bluetooth 4.0 takes just six milliseconds – virtually instantly. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Think beyond Bluetooth headphones acting as an iPhone camera trigger.

One awesome possibility is the addition of Bluetooth 4.0 to the iPod nano. Low latency is especially important for gaming and healthcare accessories, so expect some big strides in those markets. Bluetooth 4.0 should also help reduce the lag when using the AirPlay mirroring feature in iOS 5 which lets you stream whatever is shown on your iOS device to your television set through the Apple TV set-top box. That’s only scratching the surface, though…

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Upcoming Apple TV to feature low-power Bluetooth 4.0 technology, opens door to new, more advanced input devices

When Apple ships new hardware elements in a product, they typically have good reason. With the future of wireless input devices flashing forward, Apple has realized that the next-generation of Bluetooth – Bluetooth Smart (4.0) – will be the ticket to Apple being a part of this integrated wireless future. Apple demonstrated this with the release of this Bluetooth 4.0-powered phone – the new iPhone 4S – and also with the addition of bluetooth 4.0 in the latest versions of the popular MacBook Air and Mac mini computers.

More evidence for a next-generation Apple TV:

The next-generation Apple TV, the one we first revealed as Apple TV 3,1 with the J33 codename, will include Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Before even getting into the advantages of Bluetooth 4.0, it is worth noting that our code-based finding in iOS 5.1 beta 1 of a next-generation Apple TV with Bluetooth 4.0 is further evidence that an Apple TV refresh will soon be upon us.

The advantages of Bluetooth 4.0: 

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