Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Gadgets

Samsung Mocks Apple Fanboys in Hilarious Galaxy S II Ad

November 23, 2011


Business Insider's Steve Kovach has an interesting interview with Todd Pendleton, Samsung's Chief Marketing Officer, and Brian Wallace, Samsung's VP of Strategic Marketing, on a new ad campaign that mocks Apple fanboys and promotes Samsung's top-of-the-line Galaxy S II Android phone. Steve writes:
I mostly use Apple gear, including an iPhone, and even I thought the ad was clever. It's an interesting take on a smartphone campaign. Instead of touting specs and features, Samsung is going right for Apple's jugular, mocking the fanboy culture while saying "hey, there are other great smartphones out there too." It's a ballsy move.


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.


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:
    <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222>

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.

Update:
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.






























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 http://phet.colorado.edu/ 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. 




Republic Wireless Hybrid WiFi / Cell VoIP Service for $19/month

November 8, 2011

What if you could get a cellular plan for $19/month with unlimited voice? Well, you can (sort of) using republic wireless's hybrid WiFi/cellular network approach. It includes unlimited WiFi VoIP calling, 550 minutes of cellular voice calling, 150 texts, and 300 megabytes of data. republic wireless is a division of Bandwidth.com, whose network and solutions power Google, Pinger, Skype, Groupme, RingCentral, Phonebooth, and others.



The caveats: There is a $199 startup fee, which gives you a LG Optimus phone running Android 2.3.



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.

LOREX Live Connect Wireless Skype Home Surveillance Review

October 25, 2011

The LOREX Technology Live Connect LW2031 Series is a cool Skype-powered home surveillance system sporting night vision (via IR LEDs) and full color H.264 video. It can be used both for home surveillance, but also as a baby monitor due to its night vision and its portable handheld monitor sporting a color 2.4" LCD. It seemed like an interesting Skype product so I had LOREX send me a LW2031 to review.



Installation
Installing this was pretty straightforward. Two of the three devices - camera & handheld monitor use mini-USB power adapters, which are included.




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.

With Steve Jobs' Passing is Flash for the iPhone/iPad Now Possible?

October 11, 2011


Everyone in the technology world - and the world in general - mourns Steve Jobs' passing. My Facebook News Feed is still filled with friends who changed their profile photo to something Apple or Steve Jobs related. But I do have a bone to pick with Steve Jobs' decision to block Flash on Apple's iOS devices.

Steve Jobs gave his thoughts on Flash back in 2010. When Steve Jobs and Apple blocked Adobe Flash from Apple's popular line of mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Steve's main claims against Flash were that it was too processor-heavy, a battery hog, security issues, performance issues, and that HTML5 was a better standard for the future.


Andrea SuperBeam Buds Headset review

October 11, 2011

We all have come to love our stereo headsets featuring separate audio channels for both the left and right ear, but what about dual or stereo microphones? If stereo speakers makes 'sounds' better for you, why can't stereo microphones make 'sounds' better for the remote party on Skype or a 3rd party called via your mobile phone?

Well, Andrea believe their SuperBeam Buds answers that question. Featuring a unique boom-less design, each of the two earbuds has a microphone built-in enabling true binaural surround sound recordings. These two mics (one at each ear) leverage Andrea's patented Adaptive Beam Forming to cancel unwanted background noise without the need for a clunky boom mic stretching across your cheek to your lips.

The SuperBeam buds also somes with a HD USB-based sound card, which bypasses a computer's lower-grade sound card for better fidelity and gain.



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