This is Healthbook, Apple’s major first step into health & fitness tracking

Seven years out from the original iPhone’s introduction, and four years past the iPad’s launch, Apple has found its next market ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking industry. Apple’s interest in healthcare and fitness tracking will be displayed in an iOS application codenamed Healthbook. I first wrote about Apple’s plans for Healthbook in January, and multiple sources working directly on the initiative’s development have since provided new details and images of Healthbook that provide a clearer view of Apple’s plans for dramatically transforming the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking space…

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Durable/wearable Bluetooth speakers: The Boombot Rex and the Divoom Bean

We’ve had a lot of experience reviewing the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market but what haven’t yet covered speakers so small, you can actually wear them, put them on your bike, or listen to them in the shower. We have two for you today.

The first of these is the $30 Divoom Bean, a small, durable little Bluetooth speaker that looks a little like a ‘smurf lock’ and is the size of a large egg with a carabiner attached (blue above).  It weighs almost nothing and it charges via a micro-USB port on the bottom. It only has 2 buttons on it, a power button and ‘phone’ button. You’ll need to change volume from your phone or other A2DP Bluetooth device and this device seems to automatically switch off after a few minutes of inactivity. It also functions as a speakerphone.

How did it fare in our tests? Read more

‘August’ iPhone-connected digital door lock system announced for $199, designed by Jawbone’s Yves Behar

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At the D11 Conference, Jason Johnson and Yves Bahar have unveiled a new digital lock system for home doors called “August.” The iPhone app allows users to send virtual keys to doors to other users. The system installs as a deadbolt with two screws into modern doors. The company says that installation is seamless…

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Review: NYNE’s NB-250 rubberized Bluetooth speaker, ultimate portability meets superior sound quality

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California-based audio accessory maker NYNE is getting ready to show off its latest line of bluetooth speakers, docks, and home audio products at CES next week, but for the past month I’ve already had the chance to play with one of its latest creations- the NB-250 water-resistant Bluetooth speaker.

There is a ton of competition among Bluetooth speaker manufacturers, but a couple have been able to make their way to the top of the majority of recommendation lists, including our own. NYNE’s main competition in my eyes is Logitech and Jawbone, two well-known accessory makers with high-quality, sub $150 bluetooth speaker products on the market. After having hands on time with both the $140 Jambox from Jawbone and the $99 UE Boombox from Logitech, NYNE’s NB-250 does have a few things going for it. First is design…
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Jawbone releases $299 Big Jambox, more power and features

The main gripe we had in our original Jambox review was that sound is not as big as other (bigger) portable Bluetooth speakers.

While both of these products sound great at low volumes, the Logitech has much bigger speakers and simply blows past the Jambox at higher volumes. At its loudest, the Jambox hits about four to 10 levels of the Logitech—it is really no comparison.

The Jambox produces the kind of sound that can be the background music at a dinner party, run a conference call or office presentation in a small conference room, or just listen to your music in a hotel room. I would even recommend it for sitting on a porch or terrace and reading a book. However, you will want more on windy day at the beach or when using it in the kitchen while the dishwasher is running. At 30 feet away, the Bluetooth can tether and you will definitely feel lacking.

Jambox, as if it were listening, introduced the new “Big Jambox” today, which has a bigger sound, longer battery life, and more buttons. As you can see below, you can now control the play/pause and moving forward/backward tracks right from the Jambox. On the downside, it appears that charging the Big Jambox requires a dedicated power cable. The previous version charged via micro-USB, which still exists to set up the MyTalk smart apps.

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We are in line to get our hands on one of these when it launches May 15 for $299.  We will hopefully have a review shortly.  The gallery follows: Read more

Jawbone launching return program for Jawbone Up: earn free refund and keep the band

Jawbone’s CEO Hosain Rahman has published a blog post stating his deepest regrets for some of the issues the Jawbone Up has been having. Users have experienced the band not holding a charge or bricking completely. To make up for the problems, Jawbone is launching a return program December 9th that will allow users to get a refund for the product and even keep it — no questions asked. That’s right, you’re getting the Jawbone Up for free if you’ve already purchased it. The refund program will be located here. Jawbone has also decided to halt sales of the band.

Last week, we reviewed the Jawbone Up — the fitness band we leaked the details for in September — and gave it a pretty positive score, since ours hadn’t broken. The band gave us great results when it came to tracking our daily steps and sleep patterns. But for the customers who bought the band and saw that it was breaking, it was far from worth the $99. Luckily, Jawbone was exchanging defective bands.

CEO Rahman cites the issues with the band were specific capacitors in the power system that wouldn’t let the Up hold a charge for long at all. Here’s to version 2.0!

We’ve embedded the post after the break:

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