Hey Android TV fans: have you checked out our review of the NVIDIA SHIELD? You should. We worked really hard on it, and it's kind of being blown away by all this Google I/O news. Two things that the SHIELD Android TV can do that the Nexus Player can't are accessing external storage via USB and broadcasting audio over Bluetooth (with the extra remote). But if you flash the Android M developer preview to your Nexus Player, you can access both of those things! Read More
Remember those baseballs that measured pitch speed with a little LCD screen right on the ball, the ones that only the rich kids on your little league team had? This is the modern, logical extension. For the last year, Adidas has been selling its Smart Ball, a soccer ball (or football, if you insist) with integrated sensors that can detect speed, spin, strike force, and flight time, and a Bluetooth radio to transmit all that data. Previously it was only compatible with the iOS app, but the company has finally released an app for the most common mobile OS on the planet. Read More
I have tried more than a dozen Bluetooth earbud form factors, but the one I absolutely love for everyday use is the Jaybird Freedom Sprint / Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 design. Two small earbuds, one wire, and all the freedom you can think of. It's less cumbersome than the dog tag design (à la Jabra Tag) and lighter to carry around than the necklace style (think Samsung's Gear Circle or LG's Tone series). And when you have something like the Freedom Sprint, you simply wrap up the small wire and put it in a pouch, pocket, or purse and you're good to go whenever you need it. Read More
Not too long ago, I took a look at the Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth dongle. It was a solid product that delivered on its goal of allowing people to connect over Bluetooth in cars that don't have the functionality built-in. But at $49.99, it's a little on the pricey side. For that cost, you can get a Kinivo BTC455 that not only delivers the same capability, it supports two devices at once, hands-free calls, and controlling music playback. Frankly, it's more bang for buck.
That said, after trying out the Kinivo BTC455, I occasionally longed for the Griffin iTrip AUX. Let me tell you why. Read More
Cerberus is a popular app that extends Android's tracking and anti-theft abilities with a host of new tools. Developer LSDroid tends to release updates often, and the latest one fixes an important bug and adds a few more features. Notably, Cerberus can now disable your phone's ability to lower the status bar on the lockscreen, where the Quick Settings menu displays by default in Android 5.0 and 5.1. That will keep thieves from easily disconnecting from Wi-Fi or data networks.
The AutoTask function has been extended to work with various Bluetooth triggers. AutoTask can react to certain conditions like an incorrect PIN or a low battery setting by enabling or disabling certain functions, or locking down the phone. Read More
The original NVIDIA SHIELD (before the Tablet or the set-top box, so just called "SHIELD" at the time) was a surprise revelation at CES 2013. This high-powered Android device with an Xbox-style controller and a flip-up screen was unlike anything we had seen before, and though it never became a runaway hit, many (including yours truly) have been hoping that NVIDIA would update the design in addition to its more conventional SHIELD entries. Get your thumbs ready: it looks like a SHIELD 2 is being certified by both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth trade groups.
Chinese Android news site Juggly spotted a new entry for a device called the "SHIELD Portable" on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group certification listing, published on March 15th. Read More
Newer cars let you connect your phone over Bluetooth, empowering you to stream music and make calls. The capability is found in most base models nowadays, but drivers of older cars typically have to install an aftermarket radio to get in on the fun. The Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth is a cheaper way to get some of the benefits of Bluetooth without having to fork over as much money.
But at $49.99, the iTrip AUX Bluetooth remains a bit pricey itself. It works as advertised, but in this case, I don't know if that is enough. Here, let me tell you why. Read More