Bluetooth September 15

AAPL: 116.28

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One of my absolute favorite Bluetooth speakers got a huge update today. The UE Boom 2 is an upgraded version of the iconic portable Bluetooth speaker from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears division. Originally released in 2013, the Boom set a new standard for Portable Bluetooth speakers with its “cupholder friendly” and colorful design, great acoustics, and iOS/Android apps.

In recent months UE has released a much bigger, more expensive MegaBoom and a much smaller, cheaper UE Roll. Both are waterproof and extremely rugged and if you’d had to have guessed, you’d be right in assuming the Boom would get these same features.

And it has. IPX 7 waterproofing means you can not only take it with you into the shower but you can drop the Boom 2 in the pool or bathtub without damage. It is also more powerful with a 100-foot wireless range, 15 hour battery life, and 25% louder and better sound than its predecessor. The UE Boom 2 also now includes a new tap control that allows you to start, pause and skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand.

I’ve been using the UE Boom 2 for the past week and I think this speaker is a big deal… expand full story

Bluetooth August 31

AAPL: 112.76

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New Apple TV will look similar, but thicker (image via Michael Steeber)

Although iOS devices and the App Store have transformed the handheld gaming market, the first three Apple TV generations did not attempt to challenge Microsoft’s XboxNintendo’s Wii, or Sony’s PlayStation game consoles for complete control of living room TVs. According to sources with knowledge of the product, the fourth-generation Apple TV will actively compete for TV gamers with updated hardware, software, and peripherals that will debut at Apple’s September 9 event in San Francisco.

One of the next Apple TV’s tentpole features will be near-universal Siri control, a feature hinted at in Apple’s invitation to the event. But the other will be deep support for gaming, representing Apple’s largest-ever effort to lure players from traditional consoles. In addition to the convenience of downloading games directly from the Apple TV’s built-in App Store, and controlling many of them via a new bundled remote control, Apple will also support more complex, console-style Bluetooth game controllers with the pressure-sensitive buttons and joysticks previously introduced for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches…

expand full story

Bluetooth August 26

AAPL: 109.69

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I love AirPlay. It’s simple and elegant. It also means that my elderly but much-loved B&O Ouverture hifi system (with BeoLab 6000 speakers) – which is actually so old that it has a cassette deck – needed only a low-cost WiFi audio receiver to allow it to wirelessly stream music from my MacBook Pro. One $40 add-on and a 20-year-old hifi became bang up to date in its capabilities.

With my particular setup, AirPlay does exactly what we expect of Apple products: It Just Works. I open iTunes, select ‘B&O’ from the speaker output menu, and anything I play in iTunes – whether from my own music library or streamed from Apple Music – plays through the hifi, while system sounds continue to play through the Mac speakers. My partner can stream her own music from her iPad or iPhone just as readily.

I’d previously tried a Bluetooth audio receiver, and the difference between that and AirPlay is night and day. No pairing. No worries about distance. No interference when someone walks between the Mac and hifi. No system sounds emerging at deafening volumes though my hifi speakers.

But despite my own happy experience of it, AirPlay is not without its problems …  expand full story


Bluetooth August 23

AAPL: 105.76

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The new school year is rapidly approaching, and that means stocking up on supplies and the latest tech to be ready for class by early next month. Since we’re tracking the latest deals from around the web incessantly over at 9to5Toys, and reviewing the best in tech for your Mac, iOS, and Android devices on 9to5Mac and 9to5Google, we’ve rounded up the team to put together a gift guide with our top picks for gear, supplies, apps and more to get you through the year. expand full story

Bluetooth August 19

AAPL: 115.01

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