Bluetooth December 21, 2015

AAPL: 107.33

1.30
Stock Chart

Thanks to Nest and other “smart home” accessory developers, wirelessly controlled appliances and security accessories are rapidly becoming mainstream. Garage and home doors have gone wireless, adding Bluetooth locks and remote controls, so it’s no surprise that the same features are beginning to appear in portable locks, as well. Since the ability to unlock doors without carrying old-fashioned keys is undeniably convenient, the only question is whether wireless locks are worthy of the premium prices they carry.

Best known for Apple device cases, Australian developer Dog & Bone has released Locksmart ($90), billed as a “keyless Bluetooth padlock.” Made from a zinc alloy with a 1.5″ stainless steel shackle, Locksmart is imposingly substantial, holding a Bluetooth 4 LE chip and two-year rechargeable battery inside a weatherproof frame. While it sells for a higher price than a basic weatherproof padlock with a key, or the sort of basic Bluetooth padlock one might use on a school locker, Locksmart is bolstered by a legitimately worthwhile app that enables it to work like $110 fingerprint-scanning padlocks — and arguably much better, since Dog & Bone’s app has several cool features that aren’t found in other padlocks…

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Bluetooth December 8, 2015

AAPL: 118.23

-0.05
Stock Chart

Apple today released tvOS 9.1 for the new Apple TV. Betas have included Siri support for controlling Apple Music, which Apple first said would be available for customers by early next year. Update: tvOS 9.1 does indeed add Siri support for Apple Music to all users. Apple’s Remote app also works with the new Apple TV for the first time. That means text input from iPhones and iPads will make setup much easier (and on par with older Apple TVs). watchOS 2.1 lets Apple Watch’s built-in Remote app work with new Apple TVs as a D-pad too.

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Bluetooth December 4, 2015

AAPL: 119.03

3.83
Stock Chart

At the start of the week we saw Apple officially pull the plug on Beats Music after using it as the foundation for Apple Music which includes a streaming radio station dubbed Beats 1 as a salute. On the hardware front, Apple is totally marching forward with the headphone and speaker business it acquired after buying Beats for $3 billion a year and a half ago. The first totally new product to come from Apple under the Beats brand is the recently announced Beats Pill+ ($195, reg. $229), a portable Bluetooth speaker that recharges over Lightning like iPhones and iPads.

The Pill+ marks Apple’s first real step back into the speaker business since briefly entering it in with the iPod Hi-Fi from 2006 to 2007; aside from color variations and wireless models, all other Beats hardware has been designed before the Apple move. Still, Apple’s new portable speaker resembles previous versions of Beats hardware more than you might expect from the iPhone maker in 2015. There’s even a companion Pill+ app for both iOS and Android. And even though this is clearly a Beats-branded product and not purely Apple, there’s something for fans of both to like, but is it the best speaker in its class?

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9to5toys 

Bluetooth November 27, 2015

AAPL: 117.81

-0.22
Stock Chart

Citing a reliable source, a report from Japanese blog Macotakara claims that Apple plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone port from the upcoming iPhone 7, helping to achieve a “more than 1mm” reduction in thickness compared to the iPhone 6s. While the screen shape and radius will remain similar, the device will once again become Apple’s thinnest iPhone ever, albeit with a new restriction: headphones will only be able to connect over Lightning or Bluetooth… expand full story

Bluetooth November 20, 2015

AAPL: 119.30

0.52
Stock Chart

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, 2015

AAPL: 117.29

3.60
Stock Chart

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

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