It's been a year since Android Auto was announced, and it's only now starting to hit the market. You can buy a handful of cars with support for Auto (with a software update), and more vehicles are on the way. There are also some aftermarket head units that can smarten up your dumb old car. Now that it's finally reaching consumer availability, we can see how Google's car infotainment platform works.
I've had a chance to play with one of Pioneer's NEX Android Auto kits (the AVIC-8100NEX), and have already posted some initial impressions. Now let's dig in and explore this new frontier for Android. Read More
Anyone who's been around AP for a reasonable amount of time knows that I'm a big fan of my iPad Mini simply because I love the guitar amp sims available on the platform. For roughly $50(ish), I'm able to cover essentially any tone I can imagine, most of which are very true to the amp they're recreating. While I wouldn't think about using this in a live situation, it's absolutely indispensable for practice and recording quick licks.
I've longed for this type of functionality on Android for a few years now, and while Google has done a little bit to reduce the amount of audio-in latency with Lollipop, we're still not quite there. Read More
When you hear the name "NVIDIA," the first thing that comes to mind is most likely graphics cards, or at the very least the company's Tegra chips that have been powering Android devices for several years now. Either way, it's probably not "the company that makes the killer Android TV box that's hanging out in my living room."
But after today, it honestly might be.
We've spent the last week or so playing with both the base model SHIELD and storage-laden SHIELD Pro, which at this point are unquestionably the best Android TV boxes that money can buy. Read More
It takes a special skill set to make something as repetitive, boring, stressful, and annoying as blood pressure (BP) monitoring look and feel good. While I'm lucky enough to still be too young and healthy to worry about my own BP, I do manage a small town pharmacy in Lebanon, which requires me to perform routine measurements on many patients.
Unroll the cuff, slide it around the arm, correctly position the diaphragm, close the cuff, adjust the stethoscope, inflate the cuff, let it slowly deflate while listening in, and finally remove everything after the readout is done. Rinse and repeat. It always feels like there are way too many steps involved than necessary. Read More
Livescribe released their newest smartpen, called Livescribe 3, about 18 months ago. Why review it now? Well, with Android’s native support of Bluetooth 4.0 LE and wider adoption of KitKat and Lollipop, the smartpen finally has software support for Android. We first caught wind of the Android app back in January, its preview was released just a couple weeks ago, and now I will walk you through how the hardware and app play together. Overall, I am walking away very impressed with the experience. With that said, there are several significant drawbacks with taking notes with the Livescribe 3 that you will want to know about before picking one up. Read More
In recent years, Dropcam has been the leader when it comes to smart home security cameras. FLIR recently jumped in to the market with the FLIR FX wireless security camera. This is a mobile-centric security system that offers cool ways to review your video and receive alerts on your phone when something goes down at home. Let's see how it performs.
LG's newest smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane, costs $350. So let me just throw it out there now: judging LG's new Watch Urbane from a value perspective is sort of completely silly. When it comes to value, I don't think any Android Wear watch has especially great appeal - after all, you're paying as much or more for one than you would a relatively inexpensive smartphone, a smartphone that does many, many more things. But the Watch Urbane has even less value appeal than most Wear devices (not that this is at all fatal to its success as a product).
If you really care about value, the Sony SmartWatch 3 with its Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC are right here for $100 less than the Watch Urbane (if not less than that if you get it on sale). Read More
Some number of months ago (I forget how many), I decided I needed to lose some weight. Using MyFitnessPal to monitor my food intake/calories and Runtastic's suite of apps to track my cycling activities, I was able to knock off something like 45 pounds. I've since gained back about 10 of those pounds for various reasons, but I'm finally getting back on top of things so I can get back to where I want to be.
A big part of weight loss is having a good, accurate scale. While there are plenty of options out there, one with Bluetooth connectivity can simplify your weight loss journey since it can essentially automate weight tracking. 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
Sol Republic has quickly carved out a place in the consumer audio market since their founding in 2011, so it was just a matter of time before they would offer a set of Bluetooth in-ear headphones. Shadow is their initial take on the category and I’ve been testing it out for the better part of two weeks. My overall take is that Shadow is exactly what I expected from Sol Republic: good looking, well built, solid albeit consumer-oriented audio, and fairly priced.
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here’s a breakdown of what’s ahead.