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The new 9to5

apple-campus-2

You might notice that 9to5Mac has changed. Indeed so has the whole network. Long before the page size/speed and advertising controversies, we knew that we needed to rethink how we presented ourselves.

While we were one of the lightest and fastest sites in our field, our feature creep and advertisers were adding complexity and page load times, which is especially crucial on mobile – an ever expanding percentage of our growing audience.

We decided to start over.

You are VIPs (so we are VIP)

One thing we’ve loved for years is our hosting provider: We’re hosted on WordPress’s own top-tier VIP. That means we have tons of global redundancy and speed, the latest WordPress code free from hacks and exploits, and the smartest backend help around. VIP is the same platform and servers that Bloomberg, NFL, NBC, Time, NYPost, CNN, Quartz, Fortune and many of the world’s top websites use.

VIP obviously costs a lot of money, which is why we’re the only Apple site that puts this much of our resources into our hosting. What this buys us (and you) is:

  • The fastest page loads around the world
  • Outages/slowdowns almost unheard of even during huge events
  • Unparalleled safety and security

VIP is worth it. You are worth it.

We’re also proud to work with 10up, who executed strategy, design, development, and ad integration for our latest iteration. We’ve been one of 10up’s earliest clients, since Jake Goldman started the agency on his own in 2011. 10up has grown to over a hundred employees, and it services the same top-tier class of clients. The fact that we’ve grown alongside 10up says a lot about both of our organizations.

What’s new? Everything (else).

We started with a clean slate and questioned everything on the site. If it wasn’t integral to the experience, it’s gone. If it’s important, we cleaned it up and made it better.

We’ve killed the tag lines on our logos. We’ve killed the right sidebar because it prevented us from doing full width imagery, media, and writing, and it wasn’t great for mobile. We’ve cleaned up search, social, tags, and category placement. Our new fonts are fresh and more readable across a wide variety of devices. The front page scrolls ‘infinitely’ with date and stock price line dividers while article pages load up relevant stories to continue to read.  “Asides”, our coverage of niche stories with a one line title, now have images and will open up in-line.

The focus is on beauty and usability across all platforms. From iPhone to iMac and everything in between. We love it and hope you do too.

Ads (ugh)

Ads are a particularly painful part of my life, and I could and probably will write a book on the what/whys/hows etc. The bottom line is that banner ads currently are a very necessary evil, but we use DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchange, which are industry standards for speed, reliability, and quality.

The good news is that with the sidebar gone, there are fewer ads, and ads only appear between every two posts on the front page. Ads will only load up as you scroll. That makes the page itself quicker and uses much less data than loading up the front page full of ads right away.

More importantly, we are also experimenting with sponsored posts/native ads that clear the house ads for the day (Get in Touch!). In a perfect world, we’d do one of these a day, every day, all year.

New Site! (Electrek.co)

The news that Apple and Google are working on electric cars and building huge solar farms is recent, but we’ve been covering the “post fossil fuel” transportation industry for two years on Electrek.co (a hobby!). With new writers Fred Lambert and Jon Jivan, we’re now going full time.

I believe we’re in the early stages of a huge transition away from fossil fuel. Coal and natural gas are being replaced by wind and solar power. We’re at a tipping point with electric cars where they are starting to cost less to use than gas (even at reduced prices). That’s before climate change action by people and governments kick in.

We’ll be documenting it all.

Expect full coverage every day of:

  • Electric cars from Tesla and other automakers
  • Autonomous driving
  • Electric boats, planes, trains, bikes, skateboards, and any other means of transportation out there
  • Wind and hydro power
  • Hobby to large scale solar and sustainable living

Enjoy! (and what’s next)

As always, we very much appreciate your comments and feedback. We know there will be some “cheese moved” and missing, damaged, or broken stuff. We’re currently hard at work making everything perfect.  Please, play around and help us find issues.

While this is a huge step for us, we’re already working on some new video and podcast ideas, building out the community sites for general use, and even finishing a few apps by our own Benjamin Mayo. We’re now over 20 international writers network-wide as well as a whole back office full of folks dedicated to bringing you the latest news, information, and entertainment about the technology you love.

Thanks so much.


Filed under: General

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Seth Weintraub

July 30th

Apple

Mac

New Pad & Quill Apple Watch bands turn Sport into classy for $86

Apple-watch-pad-quill-bandsPad and Quill, one of our favorite Apple accessory makers, today introduced a set of Apple Watch bands with their trademark quality leather and stitching combined with two options of metal: Stainless Steel and Polished Black. At $86 (save 5% w/code 5forSUMMER), this turns an Apple Watch Sport into something you can wear with business casual to formal attire. Paired with a standard Apple Watch, it adds more color options to your Stainless Steel arsenal.

Not just any leather, but the luxury full grain leather used to craft all of Pad & Quill’s handmade goods. So we turned to Victorio, a 4th generation italian leather tannery artisan. His tannery uses  legendary soft-tumbled method to transform full grain American steer hides into a luxury leather watch band that will hug your wrist with pliable comfort, while being as rugged and durable as your active life demands.

We’ll have a review in the next week or so but if you can’t wait, you can order yours in 38mm or 42mm today for delivery starting in mid August. Check out our hands-on impressions with each of Pad and Quill’s full lineup of Apple Watch accessories in the meantime.

Pad and Quill Apple Watch Accessories:

 

apple-watch-pad-and-quill-


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple Inc, Stainless steel

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Seth Weintraub

July 27th

Apple

Mac

The Best Bluetooth Speakers 2015: JBL Charge 2+, Bose Soundlink Mini II and UE Roll/Megaboom

Best-Bluetooth-speakers-2015L to R: UE Mini (review), Roll (review), Boom (review) and Megaboom (review), JBL Charge 2+(review) and Charge 2 (review), Bose Soundlink III (review) and Soundlink Mini 2 (prev review)
Best Bluetooth speakers

There’s nothing like having a summer moment free to listen to your favorite music with your friends. The combination of portable Bluetooth speakers and great music apps like Apple Music with Beats 1 radio can make this an instant spontaneous event as long as you’ve got the right gear. There are tons of Bluetooth speakers around but we’re cutting through the noise and signaling the best from three top brands today: Bose, UE and JBL.

In last year’s exhaustive holiday season Best Bluetooth Speaker Review, I gave the title of best speaker to the JBL Charge 2 for having nearly the best sound, cylindrical portability, great looks, long battery life and the ability to charge your phone for around $120. JBL has updated their game with the Charge 2+ but both Bose and UE have really doubled down on their product functionality this year. It is going to be a tough call…

JBL Charge 2+

JBL’s Charge 2+ looks almost identical to the Charge 2 (a good thing!) as the only outwardly facing improvements are the new color options and darker drivers. Internally it has been “splashproofed” but the grill and ports are exactly the same so I’m not sure what this entails. The biggest problem with the original Charge 2 was distortion on the low end with low volume. Even though I never experienced this issue – and I had the 138 firmware that was responsible for this – JBL has fixed that in the Charge 2+. A push on the Bluetooth and power buttons after startup notes that I have firmware 148 which is distortion free.

JBL-charge-2

Charge 2+ and Charge 2 (note driver difference)

All of the good stuff that made JBL’s Charge 2 my choice for the holidays is still there in the Plus. It looks great and yet fits in a cupholder. It is a speakerphone and can charge your phone or any other USB device. It has the biggest battery in this group at 6000mAh, giving it a solid 15 hours of play time – which means you can probably forget about charging it on a long weekend getaway or camping trip. It isn’t quite the best sounding in the group, but it is very close with solid base and very clear mids and highs for a portable speaker.

The quibbles: Charge 2+ isn’t fully waterproof which means that it is OK for the shower and a few splashes around the pool, but who knows what will happen if it falls in. Also JBL doesn’t do apps like UE that really add functionality – including battery metering, equalizing, stereo pairing and alarm clock. The sound also isn’t quite as clean and deep across the spectrum as the Bose Soundlink Mini – though it is as loud. Finally, the base of the unit is pretty small and makes it prone to rolling over. You can stand it on an end but then you are putting one of the drivers in the ground.

I would absolutely still reccomend the JBL Charge 2+ if long battery life, charging phones and great sound are a priority at a great price. Currently, the Charge 2+ can be found for about $145. But the original Charge 2 is a bargain at $110. Oh, one more thing: JBL announced a new Flip 3 and Xtreme which will be available in September and may Osborne these Charge 2s. Expect a review update before they launch.

UE Roll, MegaBoom (and Boom/Mini)

UE-Boom-line

Logitech’s UE brand really brought their “A Game” this year. They’ve been adding features to the UE Boom apps and both new hardware products are easy to love. On the low end, UE replaced the popular Mini Boom with something that sounds almost exactly the same! – The UE Roll 360 (review)

UE-Roll-360

But sound quality is where the similarities end with the UE Roll. UE packaged the speaker inside a rugged, waterproof enclosure that is just 1.6 inches thick – and that’s an incredibly important dimension when you are packing your backpack or purse. Width-wise it is about the size of a DVD at just over 5 inches and it weighs in at just over 300 grams or 2/3rds of a pound. That makes it by far the most portable on this list and the one I ended up taking with me on most short trips.

UE-Roll-partyNot me

The “marine grade” bungie cord housed in the back means it is easy to connect to handle bars, backpacks, beach umbrellas or even your wrist or body. Is it tough? I played catch with my 6 year old with it for most of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. It took many, many hard falls on asphalt without any degradation of packaging or sound. I also threw it in the pool a few times. NBD.

Variety!

Quibbles on the UE Roll are basically tradeoffs. It doesn’t have a mic (like the Mini) so it can’t be used for speakerphone calls. It also doesn’t have the kind of bass that bigger/thicker/heavier speakers have. Even though I love the app, I wish UE would have one app for all of their portable Bluetooth speakers and make it a little easier on the eyes.

Like I said in my initial review, the UE Roll is a fantastic rugged, waterproof outdoor speaker. It just screams fun, but at a lower decibel than UE’s other new speaker, the Megaboom.

MEGABOOM!

With a name like ‘Megaboom’, you know that UE is trying to tell us that this is their biggest, loudest speaker ever, and it clearly is with its dual 4-inch drivers throwing out 30W of power. What isn’t so obvious is that they’ve also built in some app smarts that lets you daisy chain up to 10 of these like a Sonos throughout the house or around the yard and some niceties like the same IPX7 waterproofing as the Roll.

In practice, I only have one of these so I didn’t try making a stereo or a Sonos. However the sound absolutely is fantastic and it can easily fill a room like a home stereo or a backyard barbecue/picnic like professional grade outdoor speakers. It has the longest range of any Bluetooth speakers I’ve tested at 100ft which means you can play from your phone in your pocket without having to stay the standard 30ft from the speaker.

UE-Boom

The Megaboom tradeoffs are mostly obvious. It is much bigger so it doesn’t fit in the same cupholders as the Boom or Charge 2. Its battery is smaller than the Charge 2, so even though UE says it can go 15 hours, on high volume, you are lucky to hit 10 hours. The biggest barrier to entry is the price at $299, more than double the Charge 2 with very few discounts out there. Other quibbles include a recessed, hard to reach Micro-USB charging port which takes 2.5 hours to charge once you are able to get the cable in, and the colorful designs which says “fun!” more than sophisticated professional…

Bose Soundlink Mini II

For the more sophisticated amongst us, Bose recently updated its $199 Soundlink Mini with everything you could ask for…literally?…
Bose Soundlink

From my review of the original Soundlink Mini in 2013:

But Bose has its downsides as well. First of all, it is almost impossible to find it for less than its $199 list price. It also charges via a proprietary AC adapter rather than micro-USB standard, which makes it a hassle to charge on the go – which is made more painful by its shorter, 6 hour battery life. Finally, it doesn’t do speakerphone calling, which hampers its accessibility. Plus, it requires a manual turn on every time it wakes from sleep.  But Ohhh that sound.

It’s like Bose was reading my wishlist when they announced the Soundlink Mini 2. The new version is charged via USB, it has a mic for speakerphone calls and its battery now is a more than respectable 10 hours. And yes, the old model is a cheaper $179.

The sound, which I’ve always said and continue to believe is simply the best, is unchanged. In addition to my wishlist, Bose added some new colors – the darker is above and my favorite, but the lighter below is also lovely.

You can still personalize the speakers with $25 gel cases, but I think that the Mini 2s look and feel better without.

Bose also added speakable menus for when devices are connected and disconnected. I initially thought this was a gimmick, but it actually does come in very handy and probably even more-so for Bluetooth speaker novices.

The Bose still does have some downsides. While incredibly small for the awesome sound it puts out, it is a form factor that doesn’t lend itself to activity. It is more like an inside device that wants to sit on a desk, kitchen counter or nightstand. When it does go outside, you’ll not want to drop it or let it go anywhere near water. Also, when I used it as a speakerphone, the people on the other end complained of echo.

Wrapup time!

Does JBL’s Charge 2+ remain the king? Not this year…

Bluetooth-speaker-UE-Boom

The splashproof Charge 2+ was an improvement, but both UE and Bose really stepped up their game.

I can’t choose an overall winner this time. I need to quantify. You need to decide how much you want to pay.

For fun outdoors, definitely go with the UEs. Waterproof and durable with remarkable sound and apps to fine tune them. I’ve almost always chosen the UE Roll as my companion on small trips because it is so small and light and packs away without taking up almost any room. I went with the UE Megaboom to DJ our last house party and tons of people were impressed. The app means they can keep getting better, too.

On the other hand, inch for inch, Bose produces the best sound – and that’s what we are really here to talk about. It isn’t waterproof, is extremely heavy for its very small size and doesn’t exactly bounce when dropped. But inch for inch, it produces the best sound I’ve ever heard in a portable speaker. Sure some folks don’t like Bose’s bass-heavy acoustic profile, but it suits me and the music I listen to just fine. At $199, or $179 for the previous edition, it won’t break the bank.


Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Best Bluetooth, Best of 2015, Best speaker, Bluetooth, Boom, Bose Corporation, JBL, UE

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Seth Weintraub

July 24th

Apple

Mac

Notes on the new iPods: Bluetooth 4.1, skipped generation, benchmarks and EOLs?

ipod benchmarksAs expected, Apple updated its iPod lineup today and I just wanted to add a few notes on the new hardware.

The iPod shuffle and nano lines got new colors but otherwise are the same internally with the 2GB and 16GB storage inside and same skeuomorphic UI for the nano. To me this is Apple saying the long goodbye to these products the same way the iPod classic was ushered out. Expect these to last as long as whatever inventory Apple decides to build.

The new iPod touch is much more interesting. It got the same new color palette and otherwise is the same externally – except losing the unpopular Loop strap. However, internally it gets supercharged with the same A8 processor as the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus but running about 15% slower, the M ‘motion’ coprocessor, Bluetooth 4.1 – an Apple first and 1GB of RAM. Techcrunch was the first to run some benchmarks on a review unit:

We’ve got some of the new iPods here to play with and we ran an initial benchmark on the iPod touch. The processor appears to be running at 1.10GHz per core, vs the iPhone 6’s A8 processor, which clocks in at 1.39GHz. The Geekbench scores clock in at 1379 and 2440 right out of the box with as much idle state as I could manage. This means that the iPod touch A8 processor is under-clocked slightly from the iPhone 6, which is not surprising given the battery constraints I mentioned above. It also appears to have 1GB of RAM.

Starting at $199, the iPod touch costs less than the margins Apple makes on even its cheapest iPhones. Almost every human has or will have a phone and Apple surely wants everyone who buys a phone to buy an iPhone. But there are some important features to consider here:

The underclocking and 1GB of RAM is almost certainly due to the smaller battery and reduced screen size and information load of the cellular-less Touch. The 7.1 model number indicates that that there might have been a 6.1 iPod touch that never got released between now and the previous 5.1 model. Purely speculating, perhaps there wasn’t enough of a difference in that model to warrant a redesign. Or perhaps the market wasn’t demanding a new model.

More importantly, what does the new Bluetooth 4.1 buy you?

Bluetooth 4.1 extends the Bluetooth brand promise to provide consumers with a simple experience that “just works.” Major usability updates come in three areas:

Coexistence — engineered to work seamlessly and cooperatively with the latest generation cellular technologies like LTE. Bluetooth and LTE radios can communicate in order to ensure transmissions are coordinated and therefore reduce the possibility of near-band interference. The coordination between the two technologies happens automatically, while the consumer experiences the high quality they expect.

Better Connections — provides manufacturers with more control over creating and maintaining Bluetooth connections by making the reconnection time interval flexible and variable. This improves the consumer experience by allowing devices to reconnect automatically when they are in proximity of one another. The consumer can leave the room and upon returning, two recently used devices reconnect without user intervention.

Improved Data Transfer — Bluetooth Smart technology provides bulk data transfer. For example, through this new capability, sensors, which gathered data during a run, bike ride or swim, transfer that data more efficiently when the consumer returns home.

Coexistence with LTE isn’t a concern with the WiFi-only iPod touch, but it will be important for when 4.1 hits iPhones and iPads later this year. Data transfer and better connections are obviously important for all of Apple’s devices. But there is more to Bluetooth 4.1:

Bluetooth 4.1 extends the Bluetooth Smart development environment by providing product and application developers with even more flexibility to create products that can take on multiple roles. With this new capability, a single device acts as both a Bluetooth Smart peripheral and a Bluetooth Smart Ready hub at the same time. For example, a smart watch acts as a hub gathering information from a Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor while simultaneously acting as a peripheral to a smartphone — displaying new message notifications from the phone. As the Bluetooth Smart ecosystem grows, the Bluetooth SIG expects more solutions to play both a hub and peripheral role. Bluetooth 4.1 delivers this type of flexibility to Bluetooth Smart devices and application developers.

Enabling the Internet of Things

By adding a standard means to create a dedicated channel, which could be used for IPv6 communications in the Core Specification, the groundwork is laid for future protocols providing IP connectivity. With the rapid market adoption of Bluetooth Smart and the coming addition of IP connectivity, all signs point to Bluetooth as a fundamental wireless link in the Internet of Things. These updates make it possible for Bluetooth Smart sensors to also use IPv6, giving developers and OEMs the flexibility they need to ensure connectivity and compatibility.

This means that the iPod touch, for instance, could be a hub for Sonos-like speaker array or multiple different devices in use at the same time. Use of the iPod touch as a hub for Internet of Things makers hasn’t yet taken off, but at $199 and dropping, perhaps that’s a new direction for the iPod touch to travel.

Is this the end of the line for the iPod?

There are a few grandparents and most kids out there who don’t have a phone (and its included carrier bill), however, and Apple still needs to serve this audience. The kids audience will remain without phones for the foreseeable future, but I imagine that many get their parents’ old iPhones or are content with an iPad mini. There are also development needs and other use cases for which a separate iPod touch still makes sense.

An interesting rumor popped up this morning saying the iPad mini was ending its run after this holiday season’s upgrade. Perhaps in 2017 or 2018, Apple will converge the 4-inch iPod and 7.9-inch iPad into one product aimed directly at kids and education.

Today’s update shows that Apple is clearly still in the iPod touch game. There was some time invested in this product unlike the nano and shuffle. I imagine those products will die completely when the Apple Watch 1st generations begin selling for $100 in a few years. But clearly the iPod touch line still has some time left after seeing today’s significant upgrade.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: iPod, IPod Touch, iPods

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Seth Weintraub

July 15th

Apple

Mac

Beats 1 Radio appears to be down for many (Update: back up after 30+ mins)

Update: after about 35 minutes, it appears that the Beats 1 stream is back online. The outage may have been caused by an Amazon Web services outage on the East Coast of the US. 

beats off

Many readers are reporting Beats1 Radio is offline with error -12880 on iOS and just a spin on iTunes for Mac. As per usual, Apple’s System status page shows no outage but currently we aren’t able to find anyone able to get online.

Screenshot 2015-06-30 20.58.11

iTunes is showing the below error:

Screenshot 2015-06-30 20.49.25


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Seth Weintraub

July 1st

Apple

Mac

Fitbits are outselling Apple Watches … for now

Fitbit-apple-watch-slice

Bloomberg uses Slice Intelligence data to show that Fitbit is actually still doing well as Apple Watch orders begin to level off from launch day highs. In fact, the data from Slice, however accurate that is, shows that Fitbits are actually outselling Apple Watches.

But it is hard to compare the two: Apple’s costs $350-$400 to start, where Fitbits start at around $55 and only go up to $250.

But the same could even be said for $99 Pebble watches really. Or Android Watches which often start below $99 for certain models.

The flip side however is that people who have an Apple Watch aren’t in the market for a Fitbit, but Fitbit users are prime market for the Apple Watch.

According to Slice, less than 5 percent of people who bought a Fitbit since the end of 2013 have also purchased an Apple Watch. About 11 percent of people who bought an Apple Watch had purchased a Fitbit product over that period.

Also, Apple’s distribution of the Apple Watch hasn’t really even started yet. There’s no Apple Watch at Target, Walmart, Best Buy or any of the big retail chains. In fact, Apple can barely keep up with demand within its own stores.

Apple Watches will also drop in price as new models come out, bringing the price of base models more in line with the competition. It is certainly hard to imagine how Fitbit will keep up as more and more of its market is subsumed by the Apple Watch and its ecosystem, and Fitbit doesn’t appear to want to play nice with Apple. With the fitness tracker maker entering the true smartwatch territory with its $250 Surge, Apple last year returned the favor by removing Fitbit products from its stores.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple watch, Fitbit, Market share

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Seth Weintraub

June 29th

Apple

Mac

Toys: iPhone 5 refurb + 1 Year Unlimited Talk/Text, 500MB LTE/m: $300 shipped (CA Tax Only)

47a9f03abf75cc717251b46436a4f921dab4532b main hero image

9to5Toys Specials now has the iPhone 5 (recertified) with one year of Unlimited Talk-and-Text from FreedomPop for $299.99 with free shipping. The deal combines a great phone with generous network service.

With most tier 1 mobile services charging $100/month or more, this is clearly a no brainer as a second iPhone, an iPhone for the parents/grandparents or kids. Or perhaps you need a “burner iPhone for nefarious purposes. No judgement here. Or maybe you are a developer that needs another phone to try out your apps on? Whatever the reason, it is the equivalent of $25 a month with a free iPhone and it is on Sprint’s MVNO LTE network for better or worse. If you use up the 500MB of data, you can buy more cheaply or just use Wifi. Talk and texting are unlimited.

Plus, it is an iPhone 5 – the one you can actually use in one hand.

  • Unlimited talking and texting, plus 500MB LTE data per month for 1 year – worth $131.88
  • 1 year of Premier Service Bundle – worth $360
  • No contracts or early termination fees
  • Sleek, durable design
  • Free international calling
  • Dependable performance

The deal takes 73% off the regular price of this matchup.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: deal, FreedomPop, iPhone, LTE (telecommunication), LTE iPhone, Mobile virtual network operator, Sprint

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Seth Weintraub

June 20th

Apple

Mac

Ultimate Ears Roll is a tough, wearable speaker that hangs, swims and sounds great

 

UE-Roll
Over the weekend I got my hands on the new Ultimate Ears Roll Bluetooth speaker –a durable and waterproof frisbee of a device that pumps the beats like its UE Mini Boom cousin.

First up: It sounds really good with significant bass emerging from that thin profile.. Not quite as good as $200+ portable speakers like the Bose Soundlink Mini or even the full-sized UE MegaBoom but plenty good to fill up a room or for a few people to rock out with some background music on the beach for a volleyball game. If you find yourself in a quiet spot the sound really comes through clean even though the device lends itself to the great outdoors.  It connects to Apple devices – even the Apple Watch – through a typical Bluetooth connection but Logitech offers some features via the iOS or Android app that debuted with the Megaboom.   With the app, you can set an alarm, pair speakers for stereo or do Sonos-like arrays in every room, check battery status and more with updates promised for later this year…

Key Details:

  • UE Roll is a frisbee shaped Bluetooth speaker meant for play
  • Somewhere between my tested 5 hours fo battery and the claimed 9 hour of battery can be expected
  • Great sound, great build quality
  • Apps and 66ft range are big differentiators here
  • $99 shipped starting later this month, pre-order here

The standout feature here is the housing. It is made from a rubber-like substance on the back and a fabric color, (7 patterns to choose from) and is IPX7 (1M underwater) waterproofing which “seals” the deal. I tried dunking it, throwing it and even rolling it down a hill. The sound never stopped coming, though it did sound muffled underwater. UE notes that it can actually go 66 feet from the host device, twice as far as normal Bluetooth speakers thanks to some antenna circuitry/wizardry. It also includes a bungie cable  for attaching it to your person, or, as my son, did put it on a bike.

Downsides are few but just like the Megaboom is it a bit of a hassle to plug in with the microUSB port being very recessed. It charges in an hour or two and the battery claims 9 hours of life. In my short time with this speaker I can tell you those battery estimates are a bit optimistic and folks should probably expect closer to 5-6 hours, especially if the music is turned up high. Another quibble is the volume buttons – they are huge, spanning the whole front of the speaker but you’ll have to train your aim for center because only a small part of the buttons work.

Overall, the UE Roll is a winner. I love that you can throw it in a bag for the weekend without having to bring a charger or a box to keep it from becoming crushed. I love that you can leave it outside in the rain or keep it near a pool without having to worry about it getting wet, stepped on, or hurt in any way.  I also love that this is wearable anywhere from the shower to a camping trip or a bike ride right out of the box.

We’ll have more on this speaker in an upcoming roundup.

Manufacturer:
Ultimate Ears (Logitech)
Price:
$99
Compatibility:
iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, All MacBooks, any Bluetooth Android or PC

 


Filed under: AAPL Company, Reviews Tagged: Bluetooth Speaker, review, roll, UE

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Seth Weintraub

June 16th

Apple

Mac

Apple releases new PowerBeats2 Wireless headphone colors aimed at Apple Watch Sport users

PowerBeats2-wireless-applewatch

image credit: Ben Thomas

Apple quietly updated its Powerbeats2 headphones to match Apple Watch Sport colors this week signalling a new move to focus audio accessories to the Apple Watch ecosystem. The new colors, which match the Apple Watch Sport Band colors of Blue, Black, Green, Pink and (updated) White, are available in Apple Stores but haven’t arrived at other retail locations yet.

Powerbeats2-apple-store

The Apple Watch can store and play 2GB of music without a tethered iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth 4 and with watchOS 2 will get access to many more audio applications. It wouldn’t be out of character for Apple to release over the ear Beats headphones in matching colors or even PowerBeats Wireless to match the more expensive stainless steel Apple Watch.

The new Powerbeats2 headphones will of course work with all Apple and other Bluetooth 4 devices even though they appear to be focused on the growing Apple Watch market.

Apple Powerbeats2 Wireless earphones still come in their original, dare I say, dated colors for $199 ($189 Amazon, $160 Ebay) but the original White version has been moved from the old lineup the the new lineup. Original URBeats Wired headphones can be found for as little as $45 via 9to5Toys.com

(Via Benjamin Thomas)

 


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, Beats, Bluetooth, Bluetooth 4, Powerbeats 2 Wireless, powerbeats2

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Seth Weintraub

June 14th

Apple

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‘Code Like a Girl’ is an inspiring look at 5 young women and their WWDC experience

This video is so well done, it is almost like Apple made/coordinated it themselves.


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Seth Weintraub

June 14th

Apple

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