Category: Accessories

The World’s Smallest, Wireless Headphones to Debut at CES

Earin Headphones
Earin are being touted as the world’s smallest, wireless headphones. They will be shown off at the ShowStoppers event next week during CES.

Earin claims that they have a 2.5-3 hour battery life. That can be extended when you use their storage case which also conveniently doubles as a charger. Quality on Earin is still to be seen, and I plan to try and demo them next week at CES. I’ll post more when I can get my hands on them.

Earin is currently retailing for $299.99, and is available at BestBuy.

 

TAG Heuer Connected Smartwatch

TAG Heuer Connected
Let me start with admitting this… I am a watch snob. I really like expensive watches, and not just for the name brand, but I prefer the styling and quality.

I personally have a TAG, and let me tell you, I was super excited when this announcement was made.

TAG Heuer has entered the SmartWatch arena! But… It’s primarily an Android Wear device, but a slight catch is that there is an iOS Android Wear app that will also make this watch work with Apple devices. Sorry Windows Phone users… seems you are out of luck.

I will be looking for this watch at CES next week to get more information about it, but in the meantime, you can check out the TAG Heuer Connected website to learn more.

TAG Heuer Connected graphic

It’s almost time for CES 2016!

CES 2016
Well hello there friends and neighbors. We are days away from the crazy time of year that is CES. A gathering of tech companies and geeks from around the world in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Your staff from Life On My Mobile will be on hand to check out all the latest and greatest in the tech world, and we will pass that information on to you. We may not be the first to get things posted, but it will get done. For quicker updates, please follow our Twitter account at @LifeOnMyMobile.

New Ford Sync 3 System Ditches Microsoft For BlackBerry’s QNX Platform

Ford Sync 3Something that is becoming more and more standard in most vehicles is an infotainment system of some kind. A few years ago, I was at an event where Ford was demonstrating a few of their vehicles with the Mircosoft Sync system. I was very impressed with what it had to offer and the way the interface appeared to work. So much so, that I purchased two new Ford vehicles within the next year.

After a few years now, I am not as impressed with the system. The are constant lags, and there never seem to be any updates for the system software. I know I have complained on more than one occasion that the system was flawed.

It appears that Ford has listened, or maybe this is something they have been working on for years anyway. Ford has announced that starting with 2016 year models, vehicles will now be running Sync 3 which will be powered by BlackBerry’s QNX software. I can surely say this is a very welcome upgrade to the vehicle’s infotainment systems. It does not appear that older vehicles will be able to upgrade, which really sucks for me.

According to Ford:

Although SYNC 3 is optimized for hands-free use, an all-new touch screen delivers an experience similar to a smartphone or tablet.

Quicker response to touch as well as voice commands and smartphone-like gestures including pinch-to-zoom and swipe are central to SYNC 3, along with crisp, modern graphics.

For more information on the new Sync 3 system, please see the Ford press release below.

Source: Ford

Jabra Eclipse: Their Lightest Headset Ever

Jabra EclipseBluetooth headsets aren’t as popular as they once used to be, but they are regaining popularity and use with the ever increasing number of locations adopting hands-free laws. Today Jabra announced that the Jabra Eclipse is available at Best Buy, T-Mobile, and select online retailers.

The Eclipse is Jabra’s lightest ever headset, with a weigh-in of less than 2 ounces. It was designed as a button-free headset. Users simply tap the headset to have access to calls, texts, emails, music, and Google Now or Siri. It features 10-hours of talk time, and the case is also used for charging.

The Eclipse is available now for $129.99 at Jabra and other retailers.

Quick Review: Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi

verizon-delphi copyHave you ever wanted to get some of the cool new features of today’s connected cars, but just can’t afford the price tag for that vehicle? Well, now you just may be able to get those features added to your existing vehicle for a much smaller price tag. What are these cool features I’m referring to? Well they are: Remote Access, Vehicle Health and Diagnostics, GPS Tracking, Geo-fencing, and Vehicle Alerts to name a few.

Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi, or VDD for short, is currently available to Verizon Wireless subscribers only. It is priced at $249.99 with month-to-month service of $5 per device with a shared data plan. When you think about what features VDD has to offer, the price tag is really pretty reasonable. I’m hopefully that other carriers will get in on this action and begin to offer VDD in the near future.

Delphi sent me a VDD unit to test for a few weeks and I must say that I am impressed. The device itself is very simple to install. Once you remove it from the packaging, you simply plug it in to the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port in your vehicle. Done. Device installed. Follow some simple instructions and have the device activated and you’ll be up and running.

Once properly installed and activated, you will now have access to several features of today’s connected cars. Not every car will be able to take advantage of every feature. I discovered that I was not able to use the KeyFob feature of VDD because both of my vehicle have Push-to-Start, and VDD is not compatible with that yet. They say updates are coming, and I’m hopeful that will be one of them. My only other issue with VDD is location. Each vehicles OBD port will probably be located in a different area. For my 2013 Ford Escape, I had to remove a panel from the lower part of the dash to get to the OBD. Once I plugged in the VDD the panel would not go back on, and it just looked odd. It would be nice if Delphi included some kind of extension cable for the OBD port that would allow you to connect with minimal obstruction and move the VDD out of the way.

Now on to the testing… A few of the options you can do with VDD are set up alerts, such as speed alerts and geo-fence alerts. I started with speed alerts and had it set at 80mph. I quickly discovered a problem here, and it had nothing to do with VDD, and everything to do with my daily commute. I routinely drive a toll road that has a speed limit of 80mph. I was setting off speed alerts left and right. It does work as advertised, but I had to change that alert to save my email box from being flooded with messages.

The geo-fence settings allow you to pick a starting location, and then set a radius from that point as the “fence” area. I created my geo-fence to be 15 miles from my house, and just like the speed alerts, every time I crossed that boundary I would get an alert sent to my inbox.

VDD also allows you to monitor your vehicle health and get a history of your recent driving trips. If you happen to have any warning lights come up on the dash, you can refer to VDD for a reading of that code before you go to see your mechanic.

There are so many other things I found useful while using VDD, but I just don’t have time to keep rambling on about them. If you are a Verizon subscriber, I’d suggest going by your local Verizon store and checking this out in person. If you want to see a quick demo of the web control, click on this link.

Overall, I was very impressed. I think VDD is a great device for any parent with teenage drivers, or maybe even business owners needing to keep an eye on their fleet of vehicles. The price point is low, and the number of good uses is high. Sounds like a win-win to me. Go check it out!

UPDATE: Delphi contacted me and pointed out that there is an extension cable available for VDD, and that it just was not included in my demo unit. This is good news and makes me like the product even more! Now if it was just on AT&T…

OBD Extension Cable

Quick Review: Amped Wireless REC10 Range Extender

Amped Wireless REC10Amped Wireless specializes in providing long range wireless products for your home and office. Whatever your specific needs are, Amped Wireless most likely has a product that is going to suit your situation.

In my home my router is located in the front corner of my house, making the signal poor in the opposite side. I also wanted to see if a range extender could boost my wifi signal so that I could use my tablet on my back patio. Amped Wireless sent me a REC10 High Power Compact Wi-Fi Range Extender. The REC10 plugs directly into your wall socket and is easy to set up. The directions provided are clear and make set up a breeze.  I had my wife, who is generally afraid of doing anything tech related, set up the REC10. She got it set up on her first try without any issues.

Amped Wireless says that their range extenders will work with all brands of standard routers and service providers’ equipment (2.4 Ghz 802.11b/g or n wireless). I had no problems with my AT&T Uverse equipment. The REC10 works exactly as described; it took the signal from my internet providers’ wireless router, amplified it, and rebroadcast it. The REC10 is equipped with dual 2.4 Ghz amplifiers and a high gain antenna that can extend wifi coverage up to 6500 Sq ft, eliminating dead spots and penetrating walls.

The REC10 is compact and attractive looking; the Amped Wireless logo on the front emits a warm soft glow. The REC10 has an impressive range of features that are not found on other Range Extenders. There is a wired port on the device if you need to plug up with a traditional Ethernet cable.  The REC10 is compatible with Apple networking features, such as Airplay and AirPrint. Smart security features put you in control of restricting users, setting up time schedules when your network is available, and how far to extend the range. WPS, WPA, WPA2, and Guest networking are all available as well.

The REC10 performed for me as expected. My devices had been dropping signal in my bedroom, the opposite corner of the house from the router. With the REC10 there is no longer any problem getting signal there.  I also had no problem with the signal sitting on my patio. The REC10 retails for about $69.99. While that is a bit pricier than like devices out there, the suite of added features makes the REC10 an excellent choice for anyone looking for more than just extended range. Think you need more range? Amped Wireless has 8 options for you.  www.ampedwireless.com

Apple Watch availability announced for April 24, 2015

Apple Watch
The Apple Watch event has come and gone, and we now know that what is probably considered the most anticipated smart watch will be available on April 24, 2015. Pre-orders and in store viewing will begin on April 10, 2015.

We learned that there will be several different models available, so there should be something to everyone’s liking available. If you want to get a head start on what watch tickles your fancy, you can head over to the Apple website and view through all the options.

Pricing starts at $349 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport Edition, and goes  all the way up to $17,000 for the Apple Watch 18k gold version. I personally like the 42mm size, so that will take me up to a minimum of $399 for an Apple Watch Sport. That may seem pricey to some, but any high quality watch comes with a higher price tag. Only time will tell if it is truly worth what Apple is asking.

Apple Watch Sport

Photo credit: Apple.com