The fatal flaw in Apple’s Magic keyboard and mouse

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Date: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017, 05:25
Category: Bluetooth, Hardware, News, Peripheral
Apple's Magic keyboard and mouse don't support multiple Macs.

Apple’s Magic keyboard and mouse don’t support multiple Macs.

Like many of you, I have a home office setup with a monitor, speakers keyboard and mouse. When I need to get some work done, I plug my MacBook into power, monitor, speakers and I’m off the races. I prefer wireless peripherals because it’s two less cables to plug in.

The problem is that Apple’s latest keyboard (MLA22LL/A) and mouse (MLA02LL/A) took a huge step backwards in functionality because they don’t support multiple Macs. That’s right, you can’t switch between Macs without have to re-pair Apple’s “Magic” peripherals – every time. This defeats the purpose of having wireless peripherals!

I’ve used every incarnation of the Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and every one remembered it’s previous pairing and easily switched from Mac A to Mac B without issue. But not Apple’s 2016 “Magic” keyboard and “Magic” Mouse 2. I know this because it grinds my gears every time I switch between Macs in my home office.

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Apple to include “Find My AirPods” app in iOS 10.3

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017, 05:52
Category: AirPods, Bluetooth, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

With iOS 10.3, it’ll be easy to find your lost AirPod wireless headphones.

Apple is apparently working on an app in iOS 10.3 that can hone in on your AirPods’ wireless Bluetooth signal, provided it’s within range of an iOS device connected to an iCloud account. Like the Find My iPhone app, users will be able to tap “Play Sound” and both of your AirPods will begin to chirp.

If one is in your ear, the app gives you controls to mute the right or left earbud. If someone has borrowed your AirPods and that’s why they’re missing, the sound won’t pierce their ear drums, but the volume will gradually increase, so they’ll have to surrender the AirPods.

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Bluetooth 5 spec officially approved, will offer four times the range, twice the speed, other new features

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Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2016, 05:21
Category: Bluetooth, Hardware, News, Software

bluetooth

The Bluetooth protocol is about to get a nifty upgrade.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced that the Bluetooth 5 standard has been officially adopted, which means manufacturers are now able to build it into their devices.

Compared to existing Bluetooth 4.2 protocol, Bluetooth 5 offers four times the range, two times the speed, and eight times the broadcast message capacity, bringing whole home coverage and more reliable connections between connected devices.

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Tile unveils Mate, offers original Tile’s functionality at 25% smaller size

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Date: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 05:04
Category: Accessory, Bluetooth, Hardware, News, retail

tile-mate-tile-slim-bluetooth-tracker-930x457

The Tile devices have gotten a bit smaller and more useful.

The accessory maker, which uses Bluetooth-enabled devices that attach to and help you find lost items, unveiled a small key ring tracker to help you find your keys.

The Tile Mate, which retails for $25, looks similar to the original Tile, but is now 25 percent smaller. The details of the device were refined by Fuseproject, a firm created by roving industrial designer Yves Béhar.

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Cirrus Logic releases Apple-authorized Lightning headphone development kit, strengthens rumors of headphone jack removal on next-gen iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, June 29th, 2016, 12:26
Category: Bluetooth, Hardware, iPhone, Lightning, News

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It’s looking less likely that the next-gen iPhone will feature a traditional 3.5 millimeter headphone jack.

Amidst rumors that Apple will remove the headphone jack, supplier Cirrus Logic this week announced the release of a new development kit that will enable companies to make Made for iPhone-certified Lightning headphones.

The development kit is geared towards helping to transition products away from the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack toward Apple’s digital Lightning connector. Using the kit, manufacturers will have an easier path to migrating existing products to deliver audio over Lightning.

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Bluetooth 5 standard to be announced next week, will double range, quadruple speeds

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Date: Friday, June 10th, 2016, 08:56
Category: Bluetooth, Hardware, News, Software

bluetooth

Bluetooth 5, the next generation of the Bluetooth standard, is set to be formally announced next week.

The standard will offer double the range and quadruple the speed of the current Bluetooth protocol.

Executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Mark Powell, revealed the news in a published email this week. The Bluetooth SIG, which is backed by Apple, Intel, and other major technology companies, will officially make the announcement on June 16 in London.

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Rumor: Apple looking to incorporate Touch ID support into OS X 10.12

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Date: Friday, May 20th, 2016, 08:45
Category: Apple Pay, Bluetooth, iOS, Rumor, Software, Touch ID

touchid

Siri isn’t the only thing that could come to OS X 10.12. A new report has indicated that Apple could add Touch ID support to OS X with 10.12 as well.

The rumor has it that Apple “could” be incorporating an auto-unlock feature into OS X 10.12 that would allow an iPhone to unlock a Mac when the two are in close proximity of one another. Much like how Apple Watch can bypass its passcode when near an unlocked iPhone, the OS X and iPhone feature would also use Bluetooth LE.

In addition to an iPhone unlocking a Mac, the report claims that it’s also “possible” that when an Apple Watch is in close proximity to a Mac, it could also unlock the computer. This is similar to the functionality provided by the third-party app Knock.

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Apple adds Bluetooth support to assorted iPhone, iPad models

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Date: Monday, October 12th, 2015, 08:50
Category: Bluetooth, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone, News, Software

bluetooth

It’s not unexpected by any means.

And it’s a cool bell and whistle.

Apple has published changes to its tech specs following its September 9th announcement of the 2015 iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro and iPad mini 4. With these changes, Apple quietly modified the tech specs and comparison pages for 2014’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2 to bump them all from Bluetooth 4.0 to Bluetooth 4.2, the latest version of the increasingly popular wireless standard. While the sixth-generation iPod touch shipped with Bluetooth 4.1, the original iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPhone 5s all remain on Bluetooth 4.0.

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GIFT GUIDE 2014 – The TrackR bravo

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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: AudioEngine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker

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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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