While there are numerous covers for our various mobile devices, one company takes this add-on feature a stage further with extra accessories.
No sooner do I finish watching one of the numerous repeats of an episode of “Only Fools and Horses” featuring Del Boy and his precious yuppie Filofax and the classic “pratt fall” sequence, when a press release arrives containing details of some of Filofax latest offerings specific for the digital user. I should point out that this report is based entirely on the information supplied from Filofax.
The Tablet Tail is also called a Monkey Kit useful to hold your Android or IOS device in a viewable position. Parrot Flower Power is a device to stick in the soil near your plant and it will notify wirelessly when it needs watering or is too hot or cold.
This is in fact two items in one. First a suction device to fit onto the rear of a Tablet or large Smartphone or IOS device. Second a long bendable tail much like a monkeys that can be used in similar way to grip onto things that otherwise would require more permanent fixings. First the suction device it is circular at 9cm across and around 4.5deep. It has 5cm rounded strip that you depress to remove the air once attached.
Having recently attended a games event and told you about some rather nice headphones I was offered the chance to review a Bluetooth speaker set that works rather well via USB when connected to your PC its secret is that its a single speaker.
I am now really sure where the ‘10’ comes from in the name, a few months ago Michael Fereday got to review the ‘8’ in the same series. It is 30x9x8cm at the back of the unit, the front of this six sided unit is 27cm. All bar the back are covered in a fine mesh material. There are seven touch controls on top of the unit. The rear has three inputs Auxiliary In, Headphones Out and USB connection.
Sometimes follow-up products arrive quickly but in this case there was a gap of years between my look at speakers from the same family.
About three years ago I took a look at a product that had been developed by XMI PTE, a technology driven company that was based in Singapore. The product in question was a small, capsule-shaped speaker that went under the title of X-Mini™ MAX II. If memory serves me correct, I was reasonably impressed with the build quality and general performance of this speaker which could link to various audio devices via a standard audio lead with a 3.5mm jack plug.
Imagine, if you will, a section of interior tubing that has been designed to bend (I was tempted to say it like Beckham but resisted) around an obstruction and you will have some idea as to the general shape of the Samsung DA-E550 product. This piece of kit is a Bluetooth, one-piece, audio speaker system with a docking facility.
Decked out in a high-gloss white coating, the DA-E550 unit has dimensions of 462.7 x 122.3 x 151.8mm (W x H x D) and weighs 1.6kg which does take it out of the range of a portable device. Situated at each end of this curved cylindrical tube are the speaker’s cones which display fixed and flexible silver meshes with a silver phase plug protruding from the centre. Arranged near the right speaker is an array of touch sensitive controls for Bass, volume and play/pause.
Here I am looking at various styles of SmartPhone cases, from iLuv, Gear4 and Brando. The first for Apple iPod Touch, the next a kids design Angry Birds for iPhone and lastly for those on Android a wooden case for Samsung III.
My iPod Touch has been naked for months and of course the reflective back gets covered with fingermarks so this offering from iLuv came just as the weather got colder which spared its modesty when out and about with me. It is described as a Silicone Case with 3D Patterns, when fitted it increases the overall dimensions by a tad to 11.5x6x1cm. It is made in black or white, mine was white. It feels nice in the hand and should you sweat it will increase stickability.
A while ago I reviewed another high quality device from Audyssey. Here a Wireless device that can also be attached via 3.5mm cable. However this is mainly Wireless and I mean Wireless not Bluetooth and can be used in several ways.
It is 21x12x20cm and each side has cloth covering where the speakers sound emerges. At the base of the back is the power input, a 3.5mm Auxiliary input and the ‘Pair’ button. The top has a large circular volume button and behind this two small LED’s. The front has a 3.5mm socket for headphones or earbuds when the speaker may be inappropriate. While not as heavy as the last Audyssey I reviewed it still weights over two and a quarter kilos.
Despite the popularity of touch screens and virtual keyboards, many users still prefer a physical keyboard for inputting text to a tablet or mobile devic
I have noticed recently that there has been an increase in the number of emails that I have received that have included the words “Sent from my (device name) mobile, please excuse my brevity”. Obviously I am not alone in finding that typing using a mobile device’s keyboard, whether physical or on-screen variety is not as convenient as when using a proper keyboard.
Think back a generation and perhaps your TV had a basic remote to change the channel or increase/decrease the volume. Now almost any electrical item that is not tethered to you has a remote. So here a control that uses your i device to control most of your device whose remotes have vanished, been eaten by the dog or just stopped working.
The one device that most – especially the young - never lose is their music player and all the ‘i’ devices can do that, of course it may run out of power but that’s another story. Here a device that turns your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad into a remote control so whether it is a TV, Blu-ray player, Hi-Fi or other such device your ‘i’ can control them all.
Two items that I saw recently at a press event called Digital Winter, other requested items from various other manufacturers have yet to arrive so these two stocking fillers get pride of place as their PR person is on the ball.
These are in ear earbuds, they come with soft silicone buds that enable them to fit to most ears – two other sizes are provided – the sound quality is reasonable with a good base just using it with MP3 or iPods, on a proper audio system they were fine. The lead is white and 1.3metres long so you are dying to know how are they ‘non tangle’.
Did you realise the iPod first appeared over ten years ago? What started as a music player to challenge other manufacturers MP3 offerings has now become a brand that has spread its wings and gone on to be far more than that?
Here are twelve musical facts about those years. Do you know the year in which each of these happened? Check your answers with those at the end of the following review to see if you got them all. While I have not had an iPod for more than half that time it has still got lots of duplicates, untitled tracks and as for missing artwork …. So here Real Networks bring you Rinse that utilises the Gracenotes database to remove duplicates, give tracks correct titles and find that missing artwork.
My recently acquired iPod Nano 5th generation got an outing here. However hands up those who remember the ghetto blasters those of a certain age carried on their shoulders that will give you an idea of the size of this interesting product.
The iMT800 from Altec Lansing measures 50x19x20cm at the front narrowing to 36cm at the back. While it is an iPod and iPhone player it does a lot more and has six mighty speakers built in, however it is designed for use on mains power and for good reproduction. For those who long for their ghetto blaster days it can also be run from eight ‘D’ cell batteries.
Exspect launch their pretty pink accessories to protect your iPhone with just a hint of Bling and give your support to Breast Cancer Campaign.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women to experience. Over 1 in 9 women are affected by breast cancer in their lifetime, with nearly 46,000 people being diagnised each year. Luckily research has improved both the awareness of breast cancer and an understanding of effective treatment - so now more and more people who are affected will have a better chance of survival. So it's always nice when we can do our bit to help support this fantastic cause.
I have been enjoying the vast range of sounds from this unit for a couple of months. Just about time to buy for Christmas as this item that would make a perfect gift/purchase for anyone who loves their music.
Within this small unit it has the ability to play CD’s, FM and DAB radio, an adapter is supplied to incorporate your iPod or iPhone and of course you have an auxiliary input so anything from your MP3 player can benefit from the speakers provided. It also accepts input from SD card and even has a USB input; alas so far it has steadfastly refused to make the tea or even do the washing up. It is 25x14x16cm with cables fitted.
As a personal mobile device, it makes sense to use your iPod for your in-car music entertainment when making a road trip.
Although not exclusively so, the vast majority of products available from Griffin Technology have been designed with the Apple Mac and iPod in mind. One such product is the RoadTrip. As you might suppose from its title, the RoadTrip is an in-car device that could help when you need to make long distant journeys. The RoadTrip designated task is to send music from your iPod or iPhone to your car’s stereo FM radio kit.
If your singing is better than hair brush standard then this item from Memorex could get you used to a Microphone so that when you progress you do not make the eating/licking the microphone mistake on your first gigs.
The base of the Memorex Sing Stand is circular at 32cm across and it stands 15cm high. The controls and settings are in the base. In the centre of the stand fits a three piece pole that stretches to more than two metres so that the supplied microphone can be at the correct level for all, no matter how tall or short you maybe. The reasonable quality microphone has a 2.7cm lead attached and even an on/off switch on the arm of the microphone.
Here two items from Griffin to enable you to power iPods. The first PowerDock 2 allows you to charge two iPods simultaneously. The second allows you to power an iPod from either in the car or by inserting an AA battery to give you a Power Boost when out and about.
I am told they also do a PowerDock 4 but I find it hard to imagine anyone having four iPods, still in a large family it could be possible. It is 18x7.5x3cm, brushed metal top with black inserts and sides and grey rubber base. The back has the input for the power lead. This lead comes with one of those multi plug devices that has different plug ends to clip on for Europe, the USA/Japan, Australia/New Zealand and of course the UK. The lead is 1.4metres.
Joining the ever-expanding range of iPod add-on devices is Kensingtons latest FM device for working with your car radio.
Kensington has consistently supported the iPod platform with many of its products. In the past the company has developed external speaker units; and adapter to enable the iPod Shuffle to be connected with standard iPod peripherals; rechargeable battery packs; and various solutions for in-car use. Recently added to the latter group is Kensington’s Liquid brand featuring both LiquidAux and LiquidFM products for connecting an iPod to a car radio.
Gear4 takes a different approach with its product that connects an iPod to your car radio.
Mobile devices, such as the popular iPod, rely a great deal on battery power which has a habit of running out at inconvenient moments. One solution to this type of problem could be a battery pack.
Since its original introduction in 2001, a healthy industry has been built up on the back of the iPod as various companies have set about developing a range of accessories for the different iPod devices. In the past I have checked out a number of these accessory products.