Review: JBL’s portable speaker line (OnBeat Micro, Flip, Charge) begs the question: Lightning dock or Bluetooth speaker?

IMG_6164

JBL’s $99 Flip, $99 OnBeat Lightning Dock and $149 Charge

When we did our Best Bluetooth speaker mega-review (TL;DR: Overall WinnerBest ValueBest SoundBest Portable/SoundApps/Updatesmore) a few weeks ago, we neglected to test JBL’s very capable ($99 Flip) and $149 Charge; something our commenters immediately questioned. Not even a day after the review went up, JBL sent us a box full of their new speakers to test against our recommendations (sometimes this is a great job!). JBL also sent us the $100 OnBeat Micro Lightning Dock to compare against so it might also be worth asking the question: Should you get a Bluetooth speaker or a Lightning dock speaker? Read more

Use Mountain Lion’s new Wi-Fi Scan utility to optimize your home wireless network

A new Wi-Fi scanner tool is in Mountain Lion’s refreshed Wi-Fi Diagnostics Utility, allowing users to easily discover Wi-Fi networks within range and view related data not available from Apple’s Wi-Fi menu bar item. Comparable to third-party Wi-Fi stumbler tool iStumbler, the scan tool provides data for BSSID, band, protocol, channel, signal strength, security, and more. It also has Active and Passive scan modes.

From the window, you can see what networks are in your area and their strength. Some maneuvering of base stations can increase coverage to the outermost areas of your house, and it is much, much easier to see slight differences in numerical signal vs. noise strength over those four waves Apple uses in its Wi-Fi menu.

Additionally, by looking at what Channel (1-13) your base station is on, compared to your neighbors (or other base stations in your house), you can often find the least used channel in your area to improve reception.

If you are interested in using the new Wi-Fi scanner tool, OSX Daily provided the necessary steps for quick access:
Read more

Deal: Kensington KeyFolio Pro with Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad: $40

From 9to5Toys.com:

Today only, Amazon offers the Kensington KeyFolio Pro  Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for $39.99 with free shipping.  That’s 60% off of list and the lowest price we could find for this 4-star rated keyboard for iPad 2. It offers both landscape and portrait use.

This will likely also work with Apple’s new 3rd Generation iPad as well (though Bluetooth 4.0 Keyboards could start showing up soon)

We haven’t tested this model but we’re fans of the similar Zagg Keyfolio keyboard case, although it is over double the price.  Read more

Fring adds native iPad 2 to its 4-way video conferencing device list

We’re expecting Skype’s iPad client at any moment now, but old Skype collaborator and new foe Fring already has lept ahead with the ability to video conference between four people, right in the iPad 2 window, at the same time.

The 5.1.1.2 update also includes bugfixes, drag and drop navigation, Bluetooth support and connectivity improvements.

More shots below: Read more