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Consumer Electronics

Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad Review

November 13, 2017

When we received our iPhone X, we knew we had to try out the wireless charging feature of the new device. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models are the first iOS devices to support wireless charging using the Qi standard we told you about some years back.



To that end we were sent a Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad for review. This charger is slim and light. You have to use your own power block/USB port as one is not included.



The first thing we tested was if we could use the charger with the magnetic plate on the back of our phone used to mount the phone on our desk and car vent.

Sadly, the metal plate blocks charging.









This iPhone X Feature Makes it Worth $1,000

November 4, 2017

You're driving in the car, come to a red light and decide to check e-mail. You double click the home button to open the mail app, delete a few emails and then look up after you hear the horn of the car behind you to see a green light. As you place the phone back in its holder, you begin to accelerate through the intersection.

Suddenly, you remember, you want to open the GPS app as you pass the intersection and proceed to the entrance ramp of the highway or freeway. You think about hard pressing the left of the screen and swiping to another app but you realize the phone holder is not so secure.

We Were Right: Missing iPhone 8 Customers are Buying an iPhone X

October 27, 2017

We explained quite clearly that the difference in pricing between an iPhone 8 and iPhone X - especially when looked at from a monthly perspective would be around $4.

When other outlets claimed the sky was falling on Apple as there were few iPhone 8 lines and and the $1,000 price point for the iPhone X would be a deal-killer, we once again explained that people are not buying an 8, they are buying a X.

We were right.

Customers already have to wait 4-5 weeks to get an iPhone X.

We do want to point out that the iPhone X suppliers are reported to have problems with the FaceID yield and Apple was said to allow less accurate sensors in order to meet demand.

We also know it is been difficult for the press and analysts to accurately predict the size of Apple's phone inventory at launch.

The bottom line as we see it is the iPhone X will be an upgrade super-cycle device and once in the wild, the demand will only grow.

This will likely be the most sought-after iPhone ever.

Now, if the rumored iPhone X Plus - a 6.5 inch device ever becomes reality, we know we would be ecstatic. It might not become a mainstream smartphone/phablet but it would allow Apple to compete effectively for its customers who have Android screen-envy.



















Invoxia NVX 200 Phone Connects to Apple Watch 3

October 17, 2017

Forget Dick Tracey, Invoxia takes your watch phone one-step further by allowing you to use a desk phone as the interface to your Apple Watch 3. 

Technically, it is impressive to think you no longer need a phone - your watch connects you directly to the cellular network and bluetooth connects the watch to the Invoxia NVX 200 phone.



Serge Renouard, CEO and cofounder of invoxia said, “The Apple Watch 3 is part of this new step in the history of technologies that frees us from succumbing to the object." He continued, "The conjunction between cloud and specialized, contextual equipment like the NVX 200, allows any professional wearing only an Apple Watch to benefit from the perfect equipment at the office – the kind that spontaneously connects to the watch and turns it into the best of desk phones”. 

The dock comes with an adapter system that allows it to also plug into smartphones regardless of connector such as USB-C, Micro-USB or Lightning.







Spikko Brings Multiple Numbers and Recording to Mobile Phones

October 9, 2017


While there are a number of companies who can add phone numbers to mobile phones via VoIP, Spikko takes a different approach. The company allows a mobile device to have a single SIM and multiple local numbers with global call-recording added as one of its optional services. The company supports most countries but there are around 50 primary ones.

I spoke with company representative Ron Barak about the company's differentiators and he mentioned that they have their data center in the Amazon cloud in Ireland and from there they allow phones to work as local devices on multiple networks. They have negotiated great rates for customers - 2-3 cents per minute per call, $10/month for call recording and $5-$6 per number.


Why iPhone X Sales Will be Epic

September 22, 2017

The iPhone X is priced at $1,000 which is the first time a mainstream phone has an entry-level price with four-digits in it.

This led to weeks of media pundits explaining to us that $1,000 is a major milestone in pricing and that phone users will be divided into haves and have nots. Other articles explained what a big deal this extra digit is and how it changes everything and other alarmist headlines and story angles which seemed to try to tie into a theme of income inequality.

It's not surprising actually as every story now seems to be divided along political lines.

Here is what no other outlet besides us explained to you.

People who can afford an $800 phone can generally afford a $1,000 phone. This is especially true as via financing, the price difference will be about $3-$4 per month to upgrade from an iPhone 8 Plus to an iPhone X.

We explained this quite clearly a few days ago and now, as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have been released, the lines outside Apple stores aren't what people were expecting. Reporters who for some reason did not read our post and were subsequently uninformed, said customers were "missing."




Of course our readers were better informed than most.

People are gravitating toward the iPhone X not only because it is the best phone Apple makes but because it has a screen larger than the iPhone 8 Plus in the form factor of the iPhone 8.
















Why Google will Buy Bose

September 21, 2017

To compete effectively with Apple, Google needs to evolve how it does business. The most important area Google needs to worry about is the Android experience versus the one Apple provides. Apple does its very best to update the operating systems on even its most obsolete phones - ones going back years like the iPhone 5s. Android devices on the other hand seem to be designed to last a year or two - after that, depending on your phone, you're out of luck.

Basically, Apple worries about the experience, Google Android is more about a device.

Apple starts with the store and goes down to the processor level - they own it all.

Conversely, Android phones have numerous similar applications from the Android hardware maker and Google.





Here are the Two Wearable Tech Killer Apps

September 20, 2017

We were very happy to be chosen as a top ten wearable tech expert by Nex Band who asked us for the killer apps in this exciting field. If you want know my predictions and some of the others, feel free to read the whole post.



OK, if you read this far - maybe below the fold (the part of the screen you have to scroll to read - term comes from the days of the newspaper), depending on the resolution of your screen, you deserve to see my predictions without clicking. Still, please check out the original post for all the predictions.

There will be two killer apps for mobile in the foreseeable future. One is glasses-based and will be augmented-reality related.







Apple iPhone X Face ID May not be Secure Enough for Many Users

September 16, 2017



While Face ID is theoretically 20 times more secure than Touch ID at 1:1,000,000 chance of a false match as opposed to 1:50,000, there are some legal and societal reasons why we still believe it is less secure in certain situations.

Touch ID requires the owner to physically place their finger on a device. Face ID does not.

This may not seem like a huge deal but it has tremendous implications both legal and societal.

We pointed these issues out recently where we said the phone could be used without the permission of the owner in certain situations:
  1. Law enforcement holds phone up to person’s face to unlock it.
  2. Person sleeping or partially passed out – another person holds phone up to their face.
If a person is arrested or crossing a border or otherwise comes into contact with law enforcement, the authorities have the ability to take the phone from the owner. With Touch ID, assuming force is not used, the owner of the device would have to physically decide to place their finger on the phone to unlock it.

Face ID however makes this potentially easier for law enforcement. Now, all they have to do is place the phone up to the user's face.

We reached out to Apple about this matter and they replied with the following statement:

Our teams have been developing the technologies behind Face ID for several years, and our users’ privacy has been a priority since the very beginning.

Face ID provides intuitive and secure authentication enabled by the TrueDepth camera system and the A11 Bionic chip, which uses advanced technologies to accurately map and match the geometry of a user's face.















Apple's Face ID may not be Secure

September 14, 2017

After answering critics for years that the size of the iPhone was large enough in comparison to the ever-larger Android devices, the company finally capitulated and now makes phones it once implied we would never see. In 2013 they actually said larger devices don't fit in the hand. After the taller iPhone 5 was launched, that all changed. The iPhone 6 Plus became even taller and wider.

Apple made an important design decision with its iPhone X line.

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