Something 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.
Hey Apple fans…. The day you have been waiting for has finally arrived! Apple has released iOS 9.1 that has over 150 new emoji characters, including a middle finger and a taco. I mean, what could be more important?!? For those of you with an Apple Watch, there is a software update available there as well to view the new emojis.
To download the new update, go to Settings > General > Software Update on your device. Have fun!
WiFi calling on AT&T is finally available for users to enable. T-Mobile has long has this feature, but other carriers are just now getting around to activating this feature. The main point behind WiFi calling is to assist users when they are in an area with weak cellular coverage. The WiFi will act like a mobile tower and help place and receive calls for them when they would otherwise not have coverage.
Bluetooth 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.
HTC announced their newest edition to the One lineup today. The new smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense on board. HTC has tried to maintain aggressive styling on their new device, but one can’t help but notice the striking similarity to the Apple iPhone design.
HTC One A9 comes in Carbon Gray, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold, and Deep Garnett. The HTC One A9 will be available via mutiple carriers and retailers starting in November 2015. It will have the following specs:
5″, full HD, AMOLED Gorilla Glass screen
13MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization
Support for HTC Rapid Charger 2.0
Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
Available in 16Gb and 32GB variations with support for up to 2GB in SD card storage
We have all been there, out for a evening and our number one social interaction device dies, our cellphone. Your attempts to get that perfect selfie have been placed on hold and you are forced to actually speak with people face to face. We have had a few options like asking the bartender if they have a charger and having them place your device behind the bar. (This does require better tipping). There have been many variations of paid charging devices sitting in a dark corner that look like anyone could just walk away with your device, which is a main reason I have never used one and usually carry a backup battery.
Welcome chargesafe to the mix. They have a great looking, secure charging station, with some great features.
Each charging bay features 4 connectors. (microUSB, Apple 30 Pin, Apple Lightning 8 Pin and miniUSB). The connectors offer up to 2.4 AMPS meaning your device will charge at the fastest possible rate allowed by the manufacturer. To open the bay door to your device you simply swipe the card you used to rent the charging bay.
Amped 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
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.