JBL makes some killer portable speakers and I'm a big fan of its affordable, stylish, and stellar sounding product lineup. This morning, JBL announced that its latest generation of products is getting even a little better. As of today, JBL's current gen speakers will support Google Now voice integration.
The Flip 3, Charge 3, Xtreme, and Pulse 2 are all compatible with the new update (sorry Clip 2 owners, no support for you). To add the feature, all you need to do is download or update the JBL Connect app on your Android device. Once updated, simply long press the play/pause button on your speaker, wait for the ping, and then state your command. Read More
In recent years, people have commonly associated Jaybird with quality; their earbuds are widely considered some of the best available on the market. However, good stuff comes at higher prices—or so we thought. Now, as part of Best Buy's 50-year anniversary sale, you can pick the Jaybird X2 earbuds up for just $69.99. Read More
Jaybird's sport-focused Bluetooth earbuds have been very popular in recent years, but they're also very expensive. The new Freedom earbuds are $200, for example. If you don't mind last year's model, the Jaybird X2 earbuds can be yours for the low, low price of $79.99. The catch: this deal is only available to Amazon Prime members. Read More
Virtual Network Computing, better known as VNC, remains one of the most popular ways around to access remote computers. VNC Viewer, the official remote access app for Android from the developers of Real VNC, gets a substantial update today. The biggest improvement is the addition of support for Bluetooth mice and trackpads. Of course you could use them with the app before, but now the Viewer app will specifically interpret them to directly control the cursor of the remote machine instead of simply emulating local touches. It should also work with other connected peripherals, whether wireless or wired. Read More
Since I took over audio reviews at AP from Cam, I have been asked to share my opinion on speakers from dozens of brands. One brand that pops up often in these discussions is RIVA. I hadn't heard of the company before so I did some research and discovered that the newcomers to the portable audio industry are building speakers that are turning heads (or maybe just ears) with their smooth sound and sophisticated styling.
I asked RIVA to send me one of their speakers to check out, and they obliged, so today we'll take a look at the newest speaker in their lineup, the RIVA S ($250). Read More
Love it or hate it, Bluetooth is in almost every gadget we own and use. It's one of the most universal means of communication between devices and thanks to the Low Energy protocol of Bluetooth 4.0 (and 4.1 and 4.2 subsequently), it has been propagating to various accessories, gadgets, wearables, and Internet of Things devices. Right now, I can count 13 things within 2 feet of me that use Bluetooth, and they're not all phones: I also have a speaker, a wireless trackpad, 2 smartwatches, a Fitbit, and so on.
But Bluetooth is slated for even more expansion as beacons start showing up everywhere, multiple items around you and even on you get smart, and your house/office appliances and various things start learning to communicate wirelessly. Read More
Google dropped the news last week that Nearby was about to get a whole lot more interesting. With the use of Bluetooth and a special blend of tricks collectively known as Location Services, Google will enable Android devices to learn about all manner of things in close proximity, whether they be Eddystone beacons, Chromecasts, or even Android Wear watches waiting to be set up. In the announcement, it was mentioned that an update to Google Play services would be rolling out shortly that adds support for all of these new features, and this is the one. While most of the features have already been disclosed, there's one in the teardown that wasn't mentioned. Read More
Bethesda released Fallout 4 last year to somewhat positive reviews, and those who ordered the deluxe limited edition version of the game got a neato Pip-Boy accessory. It was actually just a phone case that snapped on to your arm, but now the Deluxe Bluetooth Edition is up for pre-order. It's the closest thing you'll get to a real Pip-Boy without living through a nuclear war. Read More
In the market for some high-end Bluetooth headphones? Amazon has you covered, at least for the next few hours. US shoppers can buy the Parrot Zik noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones for $99.99, which is half off of the current price. There are a couple of caveats, though: at the time of writing only the somewhat gaudy gold-on-white version is on sale, and these are the first-gen design, not the more recent (and much more expensive) second or third generation. David reviewed this version three years ago. Read More
Samsung is whipping its accessory offerings into shape today with two new fitness-oriented products. The Gear Fit2 is about what you'd expect, a followup to the original Gear Fit smart sports band. The Gear IconX is something new from Samsung. It's a pair of completely wireless earbuds that include some standalone fitness tracking features. If this sounds familiar, that's because both products leaked in April. Read More