Bluetooth November 20

AAPL: 119.30

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Yesterday I mentioned a useful tip for using physical keyboards with iPads in my guide to unlocking the full potential of the iPad Pro. The tip actually works with all iOS 9 iPads connected to external keyboards over Bluetooth, Lightning, or the Smart Connector: hold Command (⌘) to see a list of supported keyboard shortcuts for the Home screen or app you’re in.

This works in most of Apple’s built-in apps and plenty of popular third-party apps as well, but it can be monotonous prompting that sheet in each app to get a sense of what keyboard shortcuts work. Instead, I’ve compiled a cheat sheet of which keyboard shortcuts work in all the system apps and several popular third-party apps. Whether you’re using Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, Logitech’s excellent K811, or any other physical keyboard, these will make you more efficient when working on your iPad.

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Bluetooth November 18

AAPL: 117.29

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There’s a new software update awaiting Apple TV developers today. tvOS 9.1 beta 3 is now available for registered developers testing apps against the upcoming software update to Apple TV. The initial iOS 9.1 beta for developers was released a couple weeks ago, but no visual changes have surfaced yet aside from Siri support for Apple Music, which Apple promises will be available early next year for all Apple TV 4th-gen owners. expand full story

Bluetooth November 17

AAPL: 113.69

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There aren’t many iPad Pro-specific keyboards out there — Apple’s $170 Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s $150 Create (reviewed here) are the first two, if you can find them, with at least a few others announced and on their way to stores. But there’s really no need to wait on iPad Pro-specific keyboards, or spend a king’s ransom for one. Tons of iPad-compatible Bluetooth keyboards are already available, and thankfully at much lower prices.

Depicted with an iPad Pro on its box, Zagg’s Messenger Universal ($70) is clearly an alternative to Apple’s Smart Keyboard. Just like Apple’s accessory, Messenger Universal combines a full-sized keyboard with a magnetic iPad Pro-ready stand that folds down to a small size. But it skips the iPad Pro-only Smart Connector in favor of Bluetooth, and rather than serving as an oddly thick screen cover, takes the shape of a standalone folio that you can carry around as needed. Although it fits the iPad Pro perfectly, Messenger Universal works with all iPads — and other devices — so you needn’t feel constrained to using the keyboard with only a single tablet…

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Bluetooth November 11

AAPL: 116.11

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So many of Apple’s products either rely on or benefit from wireless Bluetooth connectivity these days that viewing Bluetooth’s roadmap is almost like viewing features for future Apple devices and accessories. Today the Bluetooth Special Interest Group has shared details on updates planned for the wireless connectivity technology in 2016 including improvements to range, transfer speed, and smart applications. Future and potentially even current Apple devices will certainly benefit as a result. expand full story

Bluetooth November 7

AAPL: 121.06

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If you are looking for some differentiation in your Bluetooth speakers, the JBL Pulse 2 ($199) and the Marsboy Orb ($30 after SPDJVX3R code) offer varying degrees of light show to accompany your music. While the JBL Pulse 2 is essentially a very good Charge 2+ with a light show wrapped around the outside, the Marsboy brings a base model Chinese brand speaker with a LED array strapped on. Is there any middle ground here?

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Bluetooth November 3

AAPL: 122.57

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I don’t envy any vendor of legitimately premium audio accessories made for Apple’s devices. After established audio companies including Bose, Klipsch, and Bowers & Wilkins demonstrated that Apple device owners were willing to pay $300, then $400, then $600 for all-in-one speaker systems with increasingly better sound quality, Beats by Dre materialized, hooking people on expensive, stylish, and sonically underwhelming alternatives. Between Beats and the Bluetooth revolution, it seems clear that the speaker market is all about flash and convenience rather than audio quality… right?

Of course not. There have always been low-end, mid-range, high-end, and ultra-premium audio options; Beats has succeeded at capturing (a lot of) low- to mid-priced customers. By comparison, the respected British speaker maker Bowers & Wilkins focuses on the upper end of the scale. It literally established the high-end Apple speaker category with its original Zeppelin back in 2007, then refreshed it with AirPlay support as Zeppelin Air in 2011.

Now that another four years have passed, B&W has returned with another “even better” sequel: Zeppelin Wireless ($700). Having spent years touting its atypically upscale design and components as alternatives to low-fidelity speakers, the company is offering a compromise to broaden the new Zeppelin’s appeal. Despite packing speaker and amplifier hardware that’s in the same league as B&W’s $800 A7, Zeppelin Wireless includes a key feature — Bluetooth — only found in its entry-level $350 model T7. But the new Zeppelin still has AirPlay, for those who care, as well as Spotify Connect. So while the price tag may limit the number of people who can afford this new all-in-one speaker, its feature set has broad appeal…

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