Bluetooth ▪ August 17

AAPL: 117.16

1.20
Stock Chart

tim-cook-apple-tv

Apple plans to hold one of its annual fall media events on Wednesday, September 9th to introduce the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus with Force Touch, and after many fits and starts, it appears that the long-awaited next-generation Apple TV will also be unveiled. We’ve been reporting on this upcoming model since 2014, as Apple has been planning to update its set-top-box with support for an App Store for quite some time.

Earlier this year, Apple had locked in a June WWDC debut for both the new Apple TV hardware and software upgrades, but the company ultimately decided to delay the introduction until the fall. While some had speculated that the announcement was pushed back due to a lack of content deals, we are told that the delay was internally attributed to a concern over compromising iOS 9 engineering resources, as the latest OS release is focused at least as much on polish as on new features.

Why would the new Apple TV potentially take away resources from iOS 9? According to sources, this new Apple TV model, codenamed J34, will be the first model to run a full-blown iOS core. Specifically, the new Apple TV operating system will be a TV-optimized version of iOS 9. In addition to the new hardware inside, running iOS 9 will give the new Apple TV a series of benefits over the current model. Below, we explore what users can expect from Apple’s next-generation living room product.

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Bluetooth ▪ August 12

AAPL: 115.24

1.75
Stock Chart

Screenshot 2015-08-12 09.33.17

Nearly one year after launching its first devices with NFC chips, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, to enable the Apple Pay mobile payments system, Apple has joined the official NFC Forum as a top-tier sponsor. Along with the sponsorship role, Apple has joined the forum’s Board of Directors, according to the forum’s official website. The site lists representation from Aon Mujtaba, a Director on Apple’s Wireless Systems Engineering team for the iPhone. Paula Hunter, the NFC Forum’s Director, made the announcement by saying that the organization is “delighted to welcome Apple to [its] board of directors as an NFC Forum sponsor member.”

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Bluetooth ▪ August 9

AAPL: 115.52

0.39
Stock Chart

Bluetooth ▪ July 24

Best-Bluetooth-speakers-2015L to R: UE Mini (review), Roll (review), Boom (review) and Megaboom (review), JBL Charge 2+(review) and Charge 2 (review), Bose Soundlink III (review) and Soundlink Mini 2 (prev review)
Best Bluetooth speakers

There’s nothing like having a summer moment free to listen to your favorite music with your friends. The combination of portable Bluetooth speakers and great music apps like Apple Music with Beats 1 radio can make this an instant spontaneous event as long as you’ve got the right gear. There are tons of Bluetooth speakers around but we’re cutting through the noise and signaling the best from three top brands today: Bose, UE and JBL.

In last year’s exhaustive holiday season Best Bluetooth Speaker Review, I gave the title of best speaker to the JBL Charge 2 for having nearly the best sound, cylindrical portability, great looks, long battery life and the ability to charge your phone for around $120. JBL has updated their game with the Charge 2+ but both Bose and UE have really doubled down on their product functionality this year. It is going to be a tough call… expand full story

Bluetooth ▪ July 22

homekit-security

If you were wondering why manufacturers seemed to be rather slow in launching HomeKit-compatible devices, it may all be down to Apple’s stringent security requirements. Forbes reports that manufacturers are finding it hard to incorporate the extremely secure encryption standards demanded by Apple in order to achieve MFi certification for their products.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

While mains-powered WiFi kit is coping, the processing workload in battery-powered Bluetooth LE devices is leading to extremely slow response times, say manufacturers …  expand full story

Bluetooth ▪ July 8

mercurybox-2

We’ve reviewed a great many Bluetooth speakers over the years – I half-suspect Seth has built an extension to his home out of them. I’ve generally not been tempted myself. If I’m at home, I’m either streaming to the hifi in the living-room, or playing through the (wired) B&W MM-1s in my office. If I’m out & about, I’m listening through my B&W P5 headphones.

But there are times when you get chatting with friends about music and you all try to listen to an example on the iPhone speaker, and that doesn’t really cut it. A very portable speaker with a decent enough volume level for a few people to hear would be handy.

While I’m generally pretty fussy about sound quality, this scenario isn’t enough to justify investing in anything expensive, but this one looked the part and for $55 (down from $99) it seemed worth a listen …  expand full story

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