A lot of devices rely solely on Bluetooth for connectivity, but they always require another device to provide them with a link to the internet. That often means you need to be right there with itâbut not for much longer, because the low-power standard is getting its own gateway to the internet.
Popular accessory maker Kanex today announced a new lineup of Bluetooth keyboards for Mac and iOS users that allow easy switching between up to four wirelessly connected devices, as well as two products aimed specifically at iPad users.
There are four new keyboards in the lineup including theÂ full-sized keyboard in black and aluminum pictured below, and a smaller miniatureÂ version (above) that is a lot like Appleâs own wireless keyboard in form factor (minus the questionable arrow key size).
Additionally, youâll find two new iPad keyboards with stand covers, one for the iPad mini and one for either theÂ iPad Air or iPad Pro:
- MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard $99.95
- MultiSync Mini Keyboard $49.95
- EasySync iPad Keyboard with Stand Cover $49.95
- EasySync iPad Mini Keyboard with Stand Cover $39.95
The company notes the stand on the iPad keyboards can support a smartphone in case you want to use the keyboard with an iPhone or other device.
Perhaps my favorite feature of the new keyboards at first glance is the design of the two black and aluminum keyboards that will fit in nicely for Mac users where the all-white and aluminumm Apple keyboard feels a bit out of place these days (like with my MacBook or Mac Pro desktop setup and mostly black monitors and gear).
The larger of the two aluminum keyboards unfortunately takes two AAA batteries, while the compactÂ version and the two iPad keyboards include the expected charging cable and built-in batteries.
All of the new keyboards are available alongside specs and more info on Kanex’s website now. Keep an eye out for a full review in the near future.
Filed under: iOS, Mac Tagged: Air, Aluminium, Bluetooth, iPad Pro, iPhone, Kanex, Keyboards, multisync, stand cover
When youâre heading out for a night run, or hiking through the woods after dark, a working headlamp is almost as important as the shoes on your feet. So Petzl is upgrading its hands-free headlamps with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity to intelligently manage brightness and battery life.
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tvOS 9.2 Preview: First look at Apple TV’s new Podcasts app, folders & switcher UI, Bluetooth keyboard support, more [Video]
Apple kicked off the week by releasing a major new beta for each one of its platforms including tvOS 9.2 beta for the new Apple TV. While the software update isn’t available to everyone just yet, the pre-release software brings the 4th-gen Apple TV up to parity with older Apple TVs and even makes it work more like iPhones and iPads. For example, tvOS 9.2 beta finally adds Bluetooth keyboard support to the new Apple TV after first shipping at the end of October without the feature; previous Apple TVs worked with wireless keyboards from the start. The new update also adds a new built-in app and some iPhone-like features as well. Check out the details below:
Just like older Apple TVs, tvOS 9.2 includes Apple’s Podcasts app which lets you subscribe and listen to podcasts like 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast for example. The new Apple TV Podcasts app works very similarly to the iOS 9 version of the same app, which is organized by unplayed episodes, subscriptions, featured podcasts, top charts, and search. Just don’t expect to find or play any video podcasts on this version of the Apple TV Podcasts app.
While the Podcasts app is technically in beta, it’s worth noting that Siri on the Apple TV doesn’t yet talk to the Podcasts app like Siri on iPhones and iPads does. There’s also no special “top shelf” artwork when you put the new app in the first row on your Apple TV, although these are likely beta shortcomings that will be resolved in future software updates. Overall it’s a very solid podcast app if you like it on iPhone and iPad.
Check out our hands-on video with Apple TVÂ and tvOSÂ 9.2 below:
In addition to Bluetooth keyboard support and a new Podcasts app, the new Apple TV also features an updated app switcher user interface that looks more like iOS 9 and less like iOS 8. The full screen left to right app previews have been replaced with stacked cards of right to left app previews. Opinions on this will likely vary, but on the plus side both iOS and tvOS have a more consistent UI when moving between apps.
You’ll also find folders on tvOS 9.2 beta. Just drag and drop two app icons on top of each other very similar to how iOS works. Rearranging apps can be a lot of work on the big screen, however, so tvOS includes a new menu for quickly moving apps to the Home screen and other folders when pressing the play/pause button in jiggle mode. Finally, the tvOS grid layout for app folders first appears to be a 3×3 grid of 9 apps per screen like on iPhone, but adding additional apps reveals that Apple TV app folders can actually infinitely scroll vertically with three columns and numerous rows.
The new tvOS 9.2 software update will ship to all fourth-gen Apple TVs later this year.
Filed under: Apple TV Tagged: Apple TV, Bluetooth, Bluetooth keyboards, Podcasts, tvOS, tvOS 9.2, tvOS 9.2 beta
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If all the recent reportsÂ turn out to be true, it looks like Apple might actually ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for the next-generation iPhone later this year. Itâs been a long-time coming, not just since Apple started preparing for the transition with audio over Lightning for headphone makers a coupleÂ years back, but also since wireless Bluetooth headphones have become good enough in recent years to replace wired solutions that rely on the 3.5mm jack weâve used for the last century or so.
Apple is no stranger to being first to ditch old technologies while ushering in the new (think floppy drive, optical drives, and everything on the new 12-inch MacBook, as a fewÂ examples), but how do you feel about this particularÂ transition?Â
Removing the headphone jack is thought to allow for an overall thinner profile for the device, but itâs unclear exactly how Apple plans on presenting the change that will inevitably be a big topic of conversation if an iPhone without a headphone jack ultimately launches. In fact, Apple fans are already voicing their concern with a new petition gathering over 200,000 signatures from those against Appleâs reported plans.
It’s likely AppleÂ will have a few partners showing off some slick new Lightning/Bluetooth headphones if it does introduce an iPhone without a headphone jack. It’s already been working with partners over the last year through its MFi program and adding products to its retail channels. We also reported this week that Apple is developingÂ revamped, cord-free Beats with a charging case,Â andÂ Apple will likely bundle some new Bluetooth and/or Lightning EarPods (or AirPods)Â to get you started.
But, really, will a thinner iPhone 7 be worth having to upgrade your headphones or buy an adapter to use over Lightning?Â
Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 3.5mm jack, Beats, Bluetooth, heaphones, iPhone, iPhone 7, Lightning, Wireless
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With its resources from the 2014 acquisition of headphone maker Beats Electronics, Apple is prototyping a completely new set of Bluetooth earphones with the potential of launching the accessory alongside the iPhone 7 this fall. The new earphones are said to be completely wireless, which is to say that they do not even have a cable connecting the left and right ear pieces. Sources say that the headphones are similar in concept to the Motorola Hint headset (pictured above) and Bragi’s new Dash headphones that were shown at CES this week.
Itâs expected that the in-development accessory will include a noise-cancelling microphone system, enabling phone calls and communication with Siri even without Appleâs prior in-line microphone and remote. In order to fit inside of the user’s ear, Apple will likely develop different sized ear sleeves for the hardware, similar to the approach used by Motorola and Bragi. Bragi’s headphones include a built-in button to answer calls, so Apple’s could have a control for managing calls and activating Siri.
The headphones are planned to be a premium alternative to a new version of the EarPods, and are highly likely to be sold separately from the iPhone 7; a comparable model from Bragi will retail for $300. As has been previously rumored, sources confirm that the iPhone 7 will not include a standard headphone jack and will instead require headphones to connect via the Lightning connector or wirelessly over Bluetooth. The ability for headphones to connect over Lightning has been included in iOS since 2014, and new EarPods will support this.
The latest version of the new wireless Apple/Beats headphones in development do not include any ports for charging, in contrast to the mini-USB port on the current wireless Beats. Instead, the new headphones are likely to come with a carrying case that doubles as a rechargeable battery to juice up the headphones when they are not in use. Apple first tested the battery case waters last month with an iPhone 6 battery case. While Apple hopes to launch the new earphones this fall, the hardware is still in development and could be delayed by battery life concerns. As the design requires twin wireless chips and separate batteries, sub-4-hour battery life without use of the case would be expected.
The iPhone 7 is likely to debut this fall, but sources say that Apple has not yet finalized the design of the handset. Case makers tell us that Apple is currently testing three different designs for the iPhone 7, including a completely new, thinner look as well as a backup design that looks substantially like the iPhone 6s. Since 2014, the Apple-owned Beats division has released Apple Music as well as minor updates to existing headphone lines, so this new wireless pair will mark the first major hardware launch of the merged companies.
Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Beats, Bluetooth, headphones, iPhone 7, Lightning, Thinner, Wireless
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9to5Toys Lunch Break: 12-inch MacBook 512GB $1,300, Car Bluetooth Receiver $16, Mac App Bundle $20, more
TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:
Apple 12-inch MacBook w/ Retina display 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB: $1,300 shipped (Reg. $1,599)
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Best BuyÂ Apple sale:Â iPad Air 2Â $125 off,Â iPad AirÂ $100 off,Â iPad mini 4Â $100 off, muchÂ more!
Add Bluetooth capabilities + a dual-port USB charger to your car for $16 (Reg. $28)
Your Choice of 10 Top-Rated Mac Apps for $20 (up to $500 value), free video training course on how to prevent hackers
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Download the iPad at Work for Dummies eBook for free (Reg. up to $17)
iPhone 6/s/Plus Accessories w/ Prime shipping: Dual-layer Cases fromÂ $3 (Reg. $8+), Sport Armband $3.50
Anker ToughShell iPhone 6/s/Plus Case w/ built-in tempered glass screen protector: $10 (Reg.Â $18)
MOREÂ NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:
Games/Apps: Star Wars Battlefront & COD Black Ops 3 $35 ea, Guitar Hero Live Guitar Controller $20, iOS freebies, more
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Simplify your charging setup w/ these USB power strips from $13 (Reg. up to $30)
Aukey Magnetic Cradle-less Car Air Vent Mount $5 Prime shipped (Reg. $8)
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- Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband $90 w/ free shipping (Reg.Â $130)
- Hyper USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub with Pass Through Charging: $40 + shipping (Reg. $50+)
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- Get in shape this year w/Â huge savings on home workout gear
- Lightning 3600mAh Aukey Portable Battery Pack + MFi cable:Â $10 shipped
NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:
Activeonâs new 4K action camera uses solar power to provide six hours of recording
Satechi addsÂ pass-through charging to its USB-C hub
- Bang & Olufsen releases a new aluminum soundbar with AirPlay and a big price tag
- Reddit has compiled the best AMA sessions into a limited edition book, order now
- Nostalgia runs high on Kodakâs modern take of theÂ Super 8Â camera
- Polaroidâs new Snap+ is the beneficiary of a touchscreen display
- Sony takes to CES 2016Â with new 4K HDR Ultra HDTVs, multi-room audio,Â more
- Nikon jumps into the action camera frayÂ with its new Keymission 360
- LG dropsÂ new ultra-slim OLED 4K UHDTVsÂ at CES that focus on HDR capabilities
- DJI introduces new 4K droneÂ with a more affordable price, updates Inspire 1 PRO
- Harman Kardon releases a newÂ HD audio multi-room speaker line with outdoorÂ functionality
- Jaybird slates Freedom,Â X3 Bluetooth 4.0 athletic headphones for Q2Â 2016
- Parrotâs new DISCO drone hits the skies withÂ 50MPH speeds and extended flightÂ times
- Altec Lansingâs new Bluetooth earbuds areÂ completely wireless and have built-inÂ GPS
- Samsungâs newest âFamily Hubâ refrigeratorÂ sports a Tesla-like 21-inch 1080p display
- Roku announcesÂ fresh 4K UHDTVs w/ HDR as 1080p modelsÂ hit all-timeÂ lowÂ prices
- Altec Lansingâs new Bluetooth earbuds are completely wireless and have built-in GPS
Filed under: iOS Devices, Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, Amazon, app deals, Aukey, Best Buy, Bluetooth, Daily Deals, free apps, Gold Box, Mac App Bundle, MacBook, video games
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A pregnancy test can tell you if you can expect a little bundle of joy in nine months, but not much else. So working with Qualcomm, First Response has created the first Bluetooth app-connected pregnancy test that provides other crucial info and guidance if you are indeed expecting.
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iHome today has unveiled a handful of new accessories at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The well-knownÂ accessory maker has unveiled a new version of its popular SmartPlug, a handful of Bluetooth accessories, and a pair of new docking stations.
Perhaps most notably is the new version of iHome’s SmartPlug.Â For those unfamiliar, the WiFi-enabled SmartPlug adds Siri automation to any two- or three-pronged accessory you have around the house. The accessory is controlled via iHome’s app and Siri. We reviewed the original model last year and noted of it being an inexpensive way to try out HomeKit.
The first iteration of iHome’s SmartPlug was unveiled at CES 2014 and was relatively popular when it was released last summer. This year, then company is introducing the iSP8 SmartPlug as a successor to the iSP5. The new model features all of the same capabilitiesÂ as last year’s, but adds the ability to manageÂ it with a remote control, should you not have your smartphone or tablet near you. The iPS8 also features power consumption monitoring of devices that are plugged into it.
iHome has also unveiled a pair of new docking stations. The first is the iDL44 Lightning Dock, which features built FM radio capabilities, Time SyncÂ capabilities, and Reson8 speaker chambers for “exceptional” sound quality. The iDL44 will be available for $99.99. Further more, the iPL24 is a more compact and affordable version of the iDL44 and will be available for $69.99.
Next, iHome has unveiled a plethora of Bluetooth accessories. The iBT37 is a waterproof rechargeable speaker, the Kineta K5 is a Bluetooth capable alarm clock, and the iBT682 is your standard Bluetooth speaker but with a “color changing mode.” Finally, the accessory maker has unveiled the iB29 metal Bluetooth earbuds and the iB71 Bluetooth water-resistant earbuds.
More info is available in the press release below.
iHome Unveils New Smart Home Products, Portable Speaker Lines, Docking Stations, Bluetooth Headphones, Fresh Home Gadgets & More at the 2016 Consumer Electronics ShowÂ
RAHWAY, NJ, January 5, 2016 â The worldâs best-selling digital speaker brand and emerging smart home innovator will unveil its most diverse product lineup in the companyâs rich 60 year history at this yearâs Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Â Highlighting the 2016 lineup will be new products from iHomeâs popular iHome Control smart home brand, as well as a new rugged portable speaker line called Weather Tough; gadgets for the home, Bluetooth speakers, mobile docking/charging stations, headphones and much more. Select offerings from the 2016 line-up include:
iHome Control Smart Home
iHome Control iSP8 SmartPlug With Remote Control & Power Monitoring
iHomeâs first smart plug (iSP5) was unveiled at last yearâs CES and was a top-seller in the category when it launched last summer.Â The new iSP8 features compatibility with iOS, Android, Nest, Wink and more.Â It allows users to control any connected device from home, or remotely.Â Turn on or off any small appliance such as fans, lights, and heaters remotely or at home via the free iHome Control app. The iSP8 also features power consumption monitoring of devices connected to the SmartPlug and works with an included remote control without using a smartphone or tablet.Â Expected MSRP: $49.99.Â
iBT37 Portable Waterproof Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker with Speakerphone
From the new Weather Tough line of rugged, weather/water- and shock-resistant, versatile audio units, the iBT37 lets users bring the music anywhere.Â The wireless system streams digital audio from Bluetooth-enabled devices. Built-in mic and digital voice echo cancellation make speakerphone use a pleasure. Operates on internal rechargeable battery, charges via USB charging port (USB cable included). IP67-rated water and dust proof, shock resistant. Carry strap with carabiner clip included.Â Expected MSRP: $39.99.
iDL44 Lightning Dock Dual Alarm FM Stereo Clock Radio
A dual alarm clock FM radio for iPad, iPhone and iPod allows users to charge and play iOS devices as well as wake or sleep to them, or the built-in FM radio.Â The new Lightning Dock design allows extra space to fit most cases, including Appleâs new charging case.Â The Time Sync feature syncs the clock to an iPhone or iPad in moments. The iDL44 includes 6 FM presets, EQ controls and Reson8Âź speaker chambers for exceptional stereo sound, as well as a USB charging port to charge most mobile devices.Â Expected MSRP: $99.99.
iPL24 Dual Alarm FM Clock Radio
The iPL24 is a handsome, space-saving speaker unit featuring a Lightning connector to charge and play iPhones and iPods.Â New Lightning dock design offers extra flexibility to fit most cases, including Appleâs new charging case. Two alarms allows users to wake to their favorite iPhone or iPod tunes, or FM radio stations through a high fidelity driver in a specially designed Reson8Âź speaker chamber. Auto sync feature instantly sets clock to iPhone or iPod time. One amp USB port will charge most mobile devices and the aux-in jack connects almost any audio device equipped with a headphone jack.Â Expected MSRP: $69.99.Â
K5 Dual Charging Bluetooth Dual Alarm Clock Radio/Speakerphone
From the popular Kineta line featuring removable K-CELL batteries, this compact and space-saving unit has a Bluetooth-enabled wireless FM clock radio with built-in speakerphone an offers a pop-out removable battery pack to charge devices. Stream wireless digital audio from Bluetooth-enabled devices to Reson8Âź speakers for full, rich sound. Built-in mic, digital voice echo cancellation and answer and end controls make speakerphone use a breeze. Expected MSRP: $69.99.Â
Colorful Portable Bluetooth Audio
iBT682 Color Changing Rechargeable True Wireless Bluetooth Speakers with Speakerphone
Bring the party anywhere with the funky portable iBT682 Bluetooth stereo speaker with speakerphone. Stream music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device. True Wireless technology for real stereo sound imaging. Speakers can be used together or separately. Never miss a call with the built-in speakerphone. Compact speaker fits in the palm of a hand, yet offers surprisingly rich, detailed sound. Color changing mode for fun, fabulous color effects. Operates on internal rechargeable battery, charges via included micro USB to standard USB charging cable. Expected MSRP: $59.99
iB29 Wireless Bluetooth Metal Earbuds
Enjoy rich, detailed sound with enhanced bass response without inconvenient cables and cords. Earpieces connected by a stylish flat cable for tangle free use. Earbuds attach magnetically for added portability. Bluetooth 4.0 wireless capability offers lower energy consumption and allows users to listen to audio from mobile devices up to 30 feet away. Custom fit ear cushions make extended listening a pleasure. Built-in echo-cancelling mic allows for handling wireless phone calls and an in-line remote control puts track control, play/pause, answer/end calls and volume control within easy reach. Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides 4 hours of continuous audio (music playback or phone). Includes USB charging cable. Expected MSRP: $29.99.
iB71 Bluetooth Wireless Water-Resistant Sport Earphones
Features iPX5-rated water-resistant construction for sweat-proof use and protection from the elements. Enjoy rich, detailed sound with enhanced bass response without inconvenient cables and cords (earpieces are connected by a stylish flat cable for tangle free use). Bluetooth 4.0 wireless capability lets you listen to audio from your mobile device from up to 30 feet away, while our custom fit ear cushions make extended listening a pleasure. Internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides 4 hours of continuous music or talking. Built-in echo-cancelling mic allows you to have wireless phone calls and an in-line remote control puts track control, play/pause, answer/end calls and volume control within easy reach. Multiple ear cushions and ear clips for a secure fit. Includes important extras such as USB charging cable and travel pouch. Expected MSRP: $39.99.
For more information, or to see the lineup of 2016 products from iHome, visit CESâs Tech East, Central Hall, Booth 9024.Â Please note a number of units, including all new smart home products, will only be shown to media with advanced press appointments.
Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Bluetooth, iHome, SmartPlug
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Cars, blenders, fitness trackers, doggie bowlsâthereâs a connected version of basically any object you can name. Itâs like the new Rule 34. Thereâs even a âsmartâ menstrual cup. Many of these objects rely on Bluetooth connections, but someday, they may run on a juiced-up version of Wi-Fi.
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