Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Scientists boost battery strength by Drilling Holes in Battery. Say what?

November 16, 2011

Now you would think it would be counter-intuitive that poking millions of minuscule holes in a lithium-ion battery would result in more power. Boy, if I knew that were the case I'd take a shotgun to my iPhone 4S battery right now. Poor iPhone 4S battery life solved!

Scientists at Northwestern University figured out a way to stuff more of the ions in and to speed up their movement by altering the materials used to manufacture a battery.

Netflix Brings Revamped Interface to Android Before iPad

November 15, 2011

Apple's iPad may be the tablet market leader right now, but certainly not for long. Today, a report was released by Gartner saying that 50% of all mobile phones sales are Android. That may explain why Netflix gave some love to the Android platform via a slick new user interface before Apple iOS. I can't remember any major app or new version of a major app coming to the Android platform before iOS.

Control Siri with Your Brainwaves!

November 11, 2011

If you think controlling the iPhone's Siri with your voice is cool, imagine controlling it with your brainwaves. Project Black Mirror has an actual working prototype that controls the iPhone's Siri voice recognition app! Here's how they say it works:

1. ECG pads provide raw skin conductivity / electrical activity as analogue data (0-5v).

Yelp Mocks Rick Perry in App Store

November 11, 2011

Yelp fixed three bugs in its iPhone app yesterday, but the interesting part  was how they got a 'dig in' on Republican candidate for President, Texas Governor Rick Perry. Yelp lists the three bug fixes as:

- Bookmarks-related bugs
- iOS5 styling and layout bugs that are now gone
- And the um… uh, what’s the third one? Let’s see… Bookmarks iOS, layout and the um.. the third one we can’t recall.

Bria VoIP Softphone now available on iTunes

November 11, 2011

CounterPath's Bria 3, a VoIP softphone app is now available for purchase on iTunes. Bria 3 is a softphone that enables you make voice and video calls from your Mac or PC. The ability to make this software purchase directly from iTunes is for Macs only, even though CounterPath offers a PC-version of Bria. PC users will have to purchase directly from CounterPath.

Obviously, CounterPath would prefer to sell direct to users so Apple (via iTunes) doesn't take a 'cut' of the revenue, but they must figure it's worth the extra exposure to be on iTunes and allow for instant purchase. The price for Bria 3 is $49.99.

iOS 5.0.1 for iPhones & iPads Released! Battery life Fixed?

November 10, 2011

Apple appears to be rolling out 5.01, which includes some bug fixes and purportedly a fix for the battery problems.

Here's what you'll see in iTunes if you check for updates:

iOS 5.0.1 Software Update

This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:

    •    Fixes bugs affecting battery life
    •    Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
    •    Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
    •    Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation

Products compatible with this software update:

    •    iPhone 4S
    •    iPhone 4
    •    iPhone 3GS
    •    iPad 2
    •    iPad
    •    iPod touch (4th generation)
    •    iPod touch (3rd generation)

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

Interestingly, my iPhone didn't seem to do an over-the-air update to this latest firmware, which is one of the cool new features of iOS 5. Maybe the next version will support it? For now, just connect your iPhone or iPad, launch iTunes, check for updates and it'll find it.

Actually, I had a co-worker go into Software Update on the iPhone 4S and he was able to manually update the firmware directly from the iPhone. It was only a 55MB download.

iOS 5 hides an Android-like autocorrect keyboard bar - Here is why it sucks

November 10, 2011

There's a cool hidden feature in iOS 5, which hides an Android-like autocorrect keyboard bar. Android fans everywhere are crying foul! You can enable it even without jailbreaking.

Here's the tutorial (via Sony Dickson)


Adobe Surrenders Mobile Flash - Steve Jobs FTW, Users FTL!

November 9, 2011

I had hoped that with Steve Jobs' passing that Flash for the iPhone/iPad might now be possible, but alas with today's news from Adobe that they're killing off mobile Flash, my hopes were bitterly crushed. It's not that I'm a huge fan of Adobe Flash on mobile devices, but it's the best technology that just plain damn works! I can't tell you how many times I've surfed the web on my iPhone 4S and iPad and I can't play an embedded YouTube clip. If you're on an Android device, you have no problems playing any YouTube content.

A commenter to my blog article has a good point when he writes:
There are a number of educational applets that I would like to use in the classrooom but I can't in the iPad because they are in Flash and Java.  See to see things that real educators have spent a lot time on that have real value in the classroom that are blocked by this stupid obsession. 

iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad

November 7, 2011

Portable Sound Labs has a new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. It works on both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. It sports a rechargeable lithium ion battery, so it doesn't suck the power from the iPad and delivers at least six hours of playtime between charges. What's nice is that you can play audio and view your iPad without removing it form your protective iMainGo case.

Rebtel Mobile VoIP app hops between 3G and WiFi/data Networks

October 14, 2011

Rebtel just launched version 2.0 of its free iPhone app, which allows users to make and receive free international calls using WiFi, 3G, or local minutes. TechCrunch discusses Rebtels's "new proprietary technology called “KeepTalking”, which allows users to transition (mid-call, mind you) from WiFi/3G to local minutes." VentureBeat also writes about them with this headline: "Rebtel’s Voice-over-IP app hops between data/voice networks, a first". Actually, they're not the first. Back in 2010 at ITEXPO Counterpath's Todd Carothers demo'ed switching a 3G voice call automatically to WiFi and a VoIP call to the cellular network.
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