Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.
These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction. Read More
So far Samsung's plus-sized Galaxy View tablet has been given a custom CNN news app and a sort of bulletin board photo app, both of which are exclusive to the device. But Samsung isn't finished yet. Today they published a third app that, if not exclusive to the 18.4-inch tablet itself, is certainly meant to be used exclusively with it. It's a remote control app that lets you operate pretty much every input on the device via a Bluetooth-connected Android phone. Read More
Today, the Bluetooth SIG announced a series of improvements on the Bluetooth standard's "technology roadmap" in 2016 would offer enhanced range, speed, and mesh networking capability for the wireless communication protocol.
It's not clear if these changes will be part of a new standard (like Bluetooth 4.2 and beyond) or if there will be improvements applicable to older specs as well. In addition, we don't know if any of these improvements would require changes to the Bluetooth hardware itself, or whether both host and device must support the spec to see any kind of benefit. It's not even clear when we'll be able to expect devices with the improvements. Read More
If you've been drooling over Kwikset's Bluetooth-powered, Android-compatible power door locks, but you've been wary of the high entry price, today is the day to bust out your wallet. Best Buy is offering refurbished versions of the Kevo smart lock for $129.99. While that doesn't quite make it into impulse buy territory, it's a generous $60 off the regular price of the refurbished version and $70 off of a new retail unit. You can get free shipping (store pickup is not available), but the price is only good for today.
For the uninitiated, the Kevo is an electronic lock that works with conventional metal keys and can also be controlled via mobile devices or home automation systems. Read More
I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to review the V5PF (Play-Fi) Wireless Speaker from Wren. The sound quality was absolutely immaculate, and everything about the physical product more than justified its fairly high price tag. The one unfortunate dark spot in the nearly perfect experience came from software – an Android app built by DTS to run its proprietary Play-Fi protocol. It was ugly, amateurish, and unreliable. Two years have passed, and Wren has released the V5US, a new model that not only fixes some minor issues from previous products, but it also combines the features of its three existing variants to produce a single speaker with support for Play-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth. Read More
Nope, Apple Music still isn't available on Android (though it's being actively tested). Instead, the second Android app that Cupertino has officially published is in support of the hardware half of its Beats acquisition. It's a companion and pairing app for the Beats Pill+, the latest revision of Beats' portable Bluetooth speaker. That's it. That's all. There isn't any more. Read More
If you're looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones that are designed specifically for working out and other active pursuits, you couldn't do much better than the BlueBuds X from JayBird. The company has released a second generation of the headphones, but the originals are still quite good, and they're available with respectable discounts. Right now Amazon has them for as low as $89.99, at least if you buy from the right vendor, Amazon's listing (close to the top) on this page. That's the lowest price for the headphones that we've seen yet.
There's a bit of a catch: that particular vendor, which is selling the white version of the Gen 1 BlueBuds X, is out of stock right now. Read More
The JayBird BlueBuds X are possibly the best wireless earbuds you can buy without breaking the bank, and you can get a solid deal on a pair from Massdrop right now. They usually sell for $130-160 depending on whether or not you catch them on sale. Be aware, though, Massdrop is a little different than most online retailers. Read More
Ever since the Motorola StarTAC, the loose association between cell phones and the original Star Trek TV series has been painfully obvious. If you want to show your love for America's most iconic piece of science fiction (back off, Star Wars nerds, don't make me bring up midichlorians), you'll soon be able to buy a screen-accurate and officially licensed version of the cell phone's spiritual progenitor. The Star Trek Communicator Bluetooth handset, Starfleet standard issue, will go on sale on January first.
There have been plenty of fan-made Bluetooth versions of the Communicator, mostly based off of toys or one-of-a-kind creations for cosplay. Read More