O'Grady's PowerPage » Accessory

Apple launches USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for 12-inch MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 13th, 2015, 08:46
Category: Accessory, MacBook, News

macbook2015

These are the first days of USB-C and we’re curious about it.

It’s sort of like having someone new in your life, except it’s a digital standard that Apple is applying for power, video, communications and almost everything else under the sun.

Which is pretty interesting, the raw facts stating that USB-C can apparently support 100W of power + HDMI 1080p + USB 3.x data rates at the same time. Even so, Apple is now offering its USB-C Digital AV Multipart Adapter, a US$79.00 device that offers a power, HDMI and USB bridge in one device.

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WaterField Designs announces Zip Brief for 12-inch MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015, 07:30
Category: Accessory, MacBook, News

slimzipbriefcase

The first of the 12-inch MacBook cases has arrived.

And it looks pretty nifty.

WaterField Designs has announced the Zip Brief, a case specifically designed for the new 12-inch Apple MacBook. The Zip Brief features pockets that cradle the MacBook on one side and accessories on the other, and an angled front pocket holds a smartphone, wallet or commuter pass.

The case is TSA-friendly and can be fully opened for airport security while contents remain safely secured.

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Luxury outfitter now offering 24 karat gold “Year of the Goat” iPhone 6 case for $3,668.27

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015, 08:39
Category: Accessory, iPhone, News

goldgoatcase

If you ever wanted a luxury gold iPhone 6 case that celebrates the year of the goat, this is for you.

Accessory outfit Goldgenie, which released a £2.3 million (US$3,563,928.10) iPhone 6, has released another limited edition of the same iPhone 6 device and is available for purchase.

24k gold iPhone 6 Year of the Goat edition is released to mark the Chinese New Year 2015. It has a laser engraved a hand-painted Chinese symbol of the Goat, which brings a peaceful energy into the year ahead.

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Judge orders Typo to pay $860,000 fine to BlackBerry for injunction regarding keyboard case

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 4th, 2015, 18:25
Category: Accessory, Hardware, iPhone, News

typokeyboard

This is a win for BlackBerry, which is kind of rare these days.

Also, if a federal judge orders an injunction against you, you should probably obey the injunction.

On Wednesday, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Typo Products owes BlackBerry more than US$860,000 for violating an injunction barring sales of its original iPhone keyboard case.

The contempt finding has to do with BlackBerry’s allegations that Typo continued to sell and market the original Typo case despite a court injunction issued in March of last year. Typo has since released a second product, Typo 2, that it says is designed to avoid intellectual property conflicts with BlackBerry.

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CES15: Parrot RBN6 puts both Carplay and Android Auto into your car’s dash

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 15:09
Category: Accessory, Hardware, News

parrotrnb6

Parrot sells some good stuff and this might be worth looking into.

The Parrot RNB6 allows users to effortlessly switch back and forth between the competing operating systems coming to market: Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s Carplay. Just connect your phone, push a button, and all your apps are pushed to the dashboard, where you can interact with them using voice controls and generally stay a little safer on the road.

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Mophie expands Juice Pack line for iPhone 6

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Date: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 15:00
Category: Accessory, battery, iPhone, News

mophiejuicepack

Accessory maker Mophie announced that it’s expanding its popular line of Juice Pack battery packs for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. According to The Verge, as of today, three new battery packs are up for preorder starting at US$99, and each will provide upward of 60 percent extra battery life.

The new lineup starts with the Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 6, which effectively doubles the iPhone 6′s already decent battery life. The Juice Pack Plus adds 120 percent extra battery life. The Juice Pack for the 6 Plus adds a meager 60 percent battery, but that shouldn’t bother most since the 6 Plus can already last more than a full day on a single charge after reasonable use. All three also come with bumpers inside the case to prevent damage upon impact. We’re not entirely sure if they’ll prevent bending, though.

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GIFT GUIDE 2014 – The TrackR bravo

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 19th, 2014, 14:03
Category: Accessory, Bluetooth, Gift Guide, iPhone

GIFT GUIDE 2014 - The TrackR bravo - Jason O'Grady

Have you ever said “I wish there was a way to call my keys.” I used to say it all the time while scrambling through my couch cushions looking for my car keys (usually making me late to get somewhere.)

Enter the Bluetooth tracking tag. Introduced in 2009, these small Bluetooth ‘fobs’ can be attached to anything from keyrings, to bags, to kids. Once paired with your smartphone you can find them using the Bluetooth feature on your smartphone via an app. They’re undeniably handy.

My favorite tag – in an overcrowded market – is The TrackR bravo ($29, pre-order).

[I've been testing a pre-production of The TrackR Bravo design and it has the potential to be the best Bluetooth tracker on the market. If you can't wait until Bravo ships in January, keep on reading to find out about TrackR's other tags which are available now.]

TrackR started as Phone Halo in 2009 and introduced its Bluetooth tracker at the Demo conference in spring 2010. The company offers three models, the Sticker and Wallet are shipping now and the super-small Bravo (which raised $1.2M on Indiegogo) and will begin shipping in January 2015.

Read the rest of my review of the TrackR lineup after the jump:

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GIFT GUIDE 2014 – HiRise Deluxe stand by Twelve South

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, 09:37
Category: Accessory, iPad, iPhone

HiRise Deluxe stand by Twelve South (Jason O'Grady)

What do you do with you iPhone when you sit down at your desk? You probably plug it in and leave it sitting flat on the surface of your desk. The problem with doing this is that your iPhone is practically invisible when it’s laying flat and not really that useful. If an alert comes in you need to pick up your iPhone to read the screen.

The HiRise Deluxe stand from Twelve South ($60) is a sleek stand that elegantly solves this problem. It allows you to dock your iPhone (or iPad) at a comfortable viewing angle making it more accessible while charging on your desk. It’s perfect for keeping an eye on push notifications while you get your work done, but it’s also convenient for making phone and FaceTime calls.

The new HiRise Deluxe stand features and easy-to-adjust rear support, making it easily to switch between an iPhone and an iPad of different thicknesses. The cable height at the bottom of the stand is also adjustable allowing you to use it with or without a case. If you’re using a thicker, impact-type case on your iPhone simply raise the height of the cable so that it reaches inside the case opening to properly charge the device.

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Gift Guide 2014: AudioEngine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 15th, 2014, 11:19
Category: Accessory, Bluetooth, Hardware, music, Review

AudioEngine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker

If you’re looking for a compact Bluetooth speaker I recommend the AudioEngine B2 ($299). The B2 sounds great and has better range than other speakers I’ve tested because of its antenna and specially tuned transmitter. In a two-story, mostly stucco and brick house my iPhone 6 easily reached the B2 speaker on the second floor when I was on the first.

The B2 includes the aptX audio decoder and a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a beautiful, warm sound. The hand-built walnut cabinet is luxurious and dual front slots really pump the bass. I just wish that it had a battery so that I could toss it in a bag and drag it to the beach.

You can purchase the B2 Bluetooth Speaker in walnut (pictured), zebrawood or black ash from the AudioEngine website.

[Despite my aforementioned problems with Apple’s Bluetooth stack, I was still able to keep a reliable connection to the B2 speaker for over an hour. And to be clear, I think that that’s Apple’s problem and not AudioEngine’s.]

A picture of the backplane after the jump.

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How Apple blew it with Bluetooth

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 15th, 2014, 08:32
Category: Accessory, Bluetooth, iOS 8, iPhone

How Apple blew it with Bluetooth - Jason O'GradyI use Bluetooth every day.

Bluetooth was rock solid on my iPhone 5s running iOS 7.x. I never thought about about it. It just worked. Every day.

Now I hate all of my Bluetooth gear.

Bluetooth is crappy with my iPhone 6 and iOS 8.1.x. Every one of my Bluetooth devices cuts out, drops out or starts warbling within a couple minutes of use.

After upgrading to an iPhone 6 (and iOS 8.1.2):

  • my BT speaker starts cutting out after a minute or two of streaming
  • my BT earbuds drop out after a song or two, or during app switching
  • my BT headset disconnects one minute into every call

While this is my specific story, I’m not alone. Other people are having trouble with Bluetooth as well, especially with the newest iPhone hardware and iOS 8. I don’t use Bluetooth in my vehicle, but that’s another problem spot for iOS 8 users. The Apple discussion forums are littered with complaints about the iOS 8 Bluetooth stack and some users are having trouble with it on Yosemite (OS X 10.10) too.

I was hoping that iOS 8.1.2 would fix things with Bluetooth but the update did nothing to address my specific issues.

I’ve spoken with several OEMs that are patently furious with Apple over the Bluetooth fiasco, but most won’t speak out publicly for fear of losing access, distribution, etc. The hardware vendors probably have Dan Riccio and Craig Federighi on speed dial because Apple’s poor Bluetooth performance is making their products look bad.

Further reading:

(Blue tooth icon: TrySoda)