Watches. A lot people used to wear them, because a watch had two great functional purposes: giving you the current time instantly, and providing a quick, easy, and almost universally recognized way to socially cue that you're becoming impatient / need to go / it's getting late. A lot of people actually still wear watches, but by and large, the reason has changed - it's mostly about fashion. For some people, maybe it was always about looks, but now more than ever the watch is, in any functional sense, obsolete.
Back in early July, I reviewed what has since been my favorite portable Bluetooth speaker: the Ultimate Ears BOOM. It really lives up to its name, delivering top-notch sound quality that's nearly impossible to find in most speakers twice its size. Of course, that kind of quality comes at a price – a $200 price, to be exact. And if you wish to utilize the Double Up feature that lets you use two BOOMs at the same time, that price doubles.
Expandable storage seems to be dying off in Android. The
excuses reasons are varied, but the writing seems to be on the wall. Of course, each time a new flagship rolls off the line sans microSD slot, fans cry out in frustration. SanDisk is taking on the challenge of making an accessory meant to bring expandable storage to any device. The result is called SanDisk Connect, a pair of portable drives with Wi-Fi that your phone or tablet can connect to for file storage or content streaming.
A few weeks ago, I went on my semi-annual trip from Texas to Virginia to spend some time with my family that lives there. Throughout the duration of my stay, I had to tether for internet access, as I generally stay with my grandparents (<3), who don't have internet. They're extremely old-school country folks who like to keep things simple. Visiting them is actually incredibly refreshing – the air is pure, and lifestyle is vastly different than what I'm used to.
Most of the Bluetooth speakers that we review here at AP fall into the portable category (with the exception of this one). Since portability isn't a requisite on everyone's "I need this in a Bluetooth speaker" list and some users may just want a standard set of wireless speakers for the desk, we decided to venture out and take a look at Logitech's sexy new Z600 desktop Bluetooth speakers ($150, Logitech).
When I was a kid, every Saturday my parents would to have cookouts and invite the rest of the family (and some friends) over. Almost everyone showed up week after week – my aunts and uncles, cousins, people my parents had been friends with for years, and many of the kids I was friends with from the neighborhood. Everyone knew that during the summer, my house was the place to be on the weekends.
Perhaps you noticed that I was a little light on post activity last week – that's because I was on a road trip to visit my family in Virginia. Just before I left, Arkon contacted me about a new product in their car mount lineup: the IntelliGrip NFC Car Mount ($35). Considering the timing, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.
Basically, the NFC Mount is nothing more than Arkon's Slim-Grip Holder, but it has an embedded, re-writable NFC chip inside.
The amount of Bluetooth speakers on the market could easily boggle one's mind, with more manufacturers getting in the game every day. And while there are many worthy competitors in this somewhat-crowded market, one of our favorites in the "small and portable" category is easily the Braven 600 – a small speaker with a lot to offer.
Today, we're taking a look at the 600's big brothers, and Braven's competitors with Jawbone's Big Jambox: the 850 and 855s ($300 each).
I love the JBL Flip. The JBL Charge is the follow-up, of sorts, to that speaker, and addresses a few of the shortcomings its predecessor had. No more proprietary charging. Much longer battery life. A USB port for charging your various gadgets. It's also louder, and feels just as robust as the already-solid Flip.
The Flip's real selling point, though, is value. I simply don't believe there's a small, portable Bluetooth speaker on the market that makes a better value proposition than the Flip.
When it comes to audio on-the-go, the consumer market has come full circle over the last several decades: back in the 80s it wasn't uncommon to see kids running around with massive headphones attached to their skulls, rocking out to whatever crap their parents hated the most. Fast-forward twenty years, and it was all about earbuds – stuffing tiny speakers into your ear canals was the only [socially acceptable] way to listen to music.