Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Apple

Veho 360 Bluetooth speaker review

Apple, Blackberry, Bluetooth, Google, Holidays, Hotel, Playbook, Smartphone, Speaker, Tablet, Travelling, Veho, WP7, iPad, iPhone, technologyEdward Kiledjian1 Comment

 

Although this is primarily a European product, it is often easily available on ebay and I wanted to conduct a quick review for my readers. I received this as a christmas gift and have been using it daily for about 3 weeks now.

Quick look

The Veho 360 is a small cylindrical battery powered speaker. It stands 5 cm tall and 4cm in diameter.  The device has a  2.2 watt speaker that shoots sound out from the top. On the side, it has 2 ports: a charging port and a 3.5mm audio port. You can use the 3.5mm port to connect the speaker to a non-Bluetooth device.

Herein lies one of my pet peeves with electronic devices… why do I need a special proprietary tip USB cable to charge it?

On the bottom of the device is a little switch with 3 modes: Bluetooth, off and 3.5mm audio in. As you can imagine, the first mode turns on the speakers Bluetooth radio, the second mode turns off the speaker and the last mode allows you to use it with the 3.5mm audio in (thus saving battery by turning the Bluetooth radio off). The switch itself is easy to use and mode selection is clear with a solid click feeling when you change modes.

Cost

You can find this speaker online for about $50US.

Battery

The company recommends charging the unit for 4 hours for a full charge. I conducted a couple of charge discharge cycles then timed the duration of the battery and was able to get between 3.5-4 hours of constant playback. The battery is not replaceable and I was not able to identify the quality of the battery so I expect it to support 300-500 charge cycles.

Pairing

Pairing the device was simple. I simply moves the switch to Bluetooth mode and my iPhone asked if I wanted to pair with the Veho. It was that simple. If you want to pair it with another device, you have to force the original device to forget the Veho, switch Bluetooth off on the original device,  switch the toggle to off and back to bluetooth and the new device should see the pairing option.

Sound Quality

You control the volume of the device using the volume rocker of your source device (iphone, ipod, etc). Now let’s make it clear that this is not a high fidelity speaker system.  Sound quality seems to be a little better with the 3.5mm audio in (compared to Bluetooth mode).  Bluetooth has limited tranmital capacity and should not be used if you are an audiophile. 

For a small pocketable speaker, I was expecting lots of distortion at the higher volume levels but to my surprise, it handles higher volume levels well. As expected, you can start hearing sound artifacts and degradation as your Bluetooth source moves farther and farther away from the speaker. For normal use (5-10 feet from the speaker with open access) you won’t notice this. I pushed the Bluetooth connection to its technical limits and although the audio does degrade, I didn’t lose my connection once (staying within the allowable maximum Bluetooth distance standards of course).

Recommendation

Overall I think this is a nice little speaker especially if you want something small that travels well. I do with I could charge it with a regular USB connection.  How does this compare to the Jawbone Jambox or the Logitech Mini Boombox?

I have tried the Jambox and can say it is far superior to the Veho. The Jambox offers cleaner, louder and richer sound but costs 3 times more.  If you need something with longer battery life, louder volumes and the ability to add feature via loadable speaker apps then go for the Jambox.

I have not tested the Logitech mini Boombox yet so if Logitech wants to send a sample, email me ;-)

 

 

LifeProof Iphone 4/4s waterproof case review

Apple, Case, IOS, Waterproof, iPhone, technologyEdward KiledjianComment

 I love my iPhone 4s and use it everyday. It has become one of the most important productivity tools in my arsenal and I would be lost without it. I’m always looking for ways to keep the little guy safe and happy so I jumped on the LifeProof case as soon as it became available.

What is the LifeProof case?

This is a thin case the company claims is waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shock proof.  The fact is, I put the case through months of real world use before I wrote this review. I wanted to make sure I gave my readers the most accurate review possible.

Installing the case

First thing first, the product ships without a manual. There is an information insert that asks you to visit their website for installation instructions. The website is straight forward and provides installation, un-installation and maintenance information in text and video format.

The product comes in 2 pieces (a front and a back piece) that you slowly and carefully snap together. You want to make sure that each of the mini latches in the case lock properly otherwise your case would not be waterproof. You also want to make sure your phone is very clean. I even washed my hands a couple of times and conducted the installation on a dust and lint free surface.

Assembly is very simple and consists of aligning the 2 pieces together and slowly pressing the towards each other. Do it slowly and carefully to make sure each piece snaps in and that you don’t flex the plastic case too much.

If you ever need to take the case apart, follow the instructions on their site. Now here is my first issue. My last case was the Otterbox defender because I tend to switch cases, depending on my day. My 2 main cases are the Otterbox defender (when I need the extra protection) and a Mophie Juicepack Air (when I need battery power). With the LifeProof case, done are the days of swapping cases, their product was built to be installed once and rarely removed.  Keep this in mind.

The dock port door

The Lifeproof case has a mini hinged door that closes to keep dust and water out. It looks dinky and cheap but the company states that it has been tested for 10 000 cycles so you should be good for a while.

The original iPhone charging cable will fit through the opening but that’s about it. With this case installed, I wasn’t able to use any of my accessories that dock the iphone. Even the dock SendStation dock extender didn’t fit.  This was my second issue with the case. I wish they had made the dock connector door just a little bigger.

Headphone connector

To protect the device, they have a screw in (with an o ring) headphone plug protector. They include a general use headphone adaptor which screws into the headphone port and allows you to hook up you own headphone but again, this is just one more accessory I had to drag with me. 

I tested the headphone jack with my Etymotic, Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 and Senheiser headphones and none of them can be plugged in without this adaptor. The Apple stock headphone do fit (but who really uses those $0.99 crappy earphones)..

Other phone features

All of your devices features are accessible with the case installed. Most work surprisingly well but….

I had issues with the silent rocker. Many times when the phone was in my pocket, it was automatically switching the phone to silent. My wife had the same issue a couple of times when the phone was in her purse. My guess is that the silent rocker is a little bigger with the case on which is making it more likely to switch modes unintentionally.

Protection

The company claims the case is waterproof to 6.6 feet and that it can survive a similar fall onto flat concrete. The case was also designed to operate in the -40 - 140 degree Fahrenheit range (which covers Apple’s recommended operating temperature of 32 – 95 degrees).

Conclusion

I love the concept of the case and the fact that it offers great protection but considering the caveats I discovered, I am not likely to recommend this case (unless you really need extreme protection and are therefore willing to live with the shortfalls). 

 

Wozniak : believes some Android features are better than the iPhone

Apple, Google, IOS, Nexus, Wozniak, iPhoneEdward KiledjianComment

Before people start sending me hate mail, Woz still believes the iPhone is a better overall experience but believes Android performs some functions better. One of those features is voice commands and built-in navigation. With all the phanphare around SIRI, WOZ says the Android version performs better (for him at least). 

In case you missed it, WOZ went to the Google campus last month to take ownership of a freshly baked Google Nexus phone (although his Android phone of choise is still the Motorola RAZR). WOZ said  “The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here’s a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do.”

The fact is Apple has bought a bunch of mapping and navigation companies but has yet to announce anything concrete. When of when will Apple finally offer some type of IOS bundle navigation. 

As for SIRI, we all know it is beta and Apple is likely collecting voice samples to improve the accuracy of its speach recognition engine. Plus many of SIRI's add-on features (like finding a pizzeria) still don't work outside of the US. 

Read for more details.

 

iPad 3 rumor roundup

Apple, IOS, iPad, iPhoneEdward Kiledjian2 Comments

Anything you hear or read about the iPad 3 is pure speculation so take it with a grain of salt but..... in case you were wondering what the interwebs are thinking, here is a roundup.

Most expect the iPad 3 to include:

Retina Display - Likely

Most would be surprised if the iPad 3 didn't include a Retina display. A Retina display is any screen that has a pixel density above 300dpi. The current rumor is that the iPad 3 will have double the resolution (2,048-by-1,536) of the iPad 2 plus a 326dpi Retina display.

Not only has this been a persistent rumor but we know that Apple rivals are working to bring these types of resolutions to their devices so Apple has to deliver if it wants to remain king of the hill.

Multiple Screen Sizes - Unlikely

Many believe Apple will have to create a smaller cheaper and more portable iPad to stay competitive. We all know Steeve thought a smaller screen would make the device un-usable so my guess is that they will not create a smaller screen version.

New Quad-Core A6 Processor - Likely

With each iteration of the iPad, Apple has bumped up the horsepower and there is no reason why they wouldnt do the same again. Chances are they will move to a new faster and more efficient chip likely called the A6. Unfortunatly that is about all we can say with certainty. We don't have any credible information about the chip. Is it a faster dual-core or is it a quad-core chip? If Apple can come up with a power efficient quad-core chip then I'm sure they'll use it but they won't sacrifice battery time for power. 

More Storage - Maybe

Many thought this was a given but with the advent of iCloud and itunes Match. I doubt Apple will double storage capacity on the iPad 3. I believe we will see 16/32/64GB capacities like the iPhone 4s.

Thunderbolt compatible - Not likely

Obviously Apple will someone bestow the speed of thunderbold on its new device while maintaining USB connectivity. The read question is will the connectivity be through a dock connector cable or will they add a thunderbolt port on the device itself?

My personal guess is that connectivity will be done through a dock-connector cable.

iPad 3 will be thicker

If Apple uses a higher resolution Retina display then we all expect the device to be slightly bigger since the back illumination may require an additional LED illumination bar and more battery power.

Better camera - likely

There is nothing more frustrating that taking beautiful pictures on your iPhone 4s then switching to an ipad and taking grainy ugly ones. My guess is Apple will be the 8MP Iphone 4s camera on the back and an HD capable camera on the front to allow HD Facetime.

From Aluminum to Carbon - moderately likely

We know Apple hired a composites engineer a while back and the standing rumor is that they will switch from aluminum to a lighter and stronger carbon fiber composite. This may provide a better user experience, more reliability and cheaper manufacturing costs.

March release - Likely

There is no way to be certain but most industry insiders expect the new Apple tablet to be released in March. This makes even more sense when you the other industry rumor is that Google will release a new sub $200 7" Android tablet to compete with the Amazon Fire and Apple iPad.

iPad 2 price drop - Likely

As competition from the Amazon Fire heats up, Apple may have to find a way to play in the lower cost tablet market and keeping the iPad 2 as their entry model may do the trick. Analysts believe Apple may keep it around and sell it for either $299 or $399.

Google acquired another 217 patents from IBM.

Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, PatentsEdward KiledjianComment

Engadget is reporting that Google recently acquired 217 patents from their big blue brother( aka IBM). The transaction was posted in the USPO assignment database on Tuesday. Some analysts have looked at the patents in question and have said they include techniques related to email administration, Instant messaging, video conferencing, presentation software and the like.

Just a reminder that they also acquired another 1000 patents from Big Blue in July of 2011, 1023 in September of 2011 and bought Motorola Mobility which also had a vast patent portfolio.

Could they leverage these patents to protect Android against legal attacks from Apple and Microsoft?

Read More: Link