Archive for the 'Smartphone' Category

Monday, July 15, 2013


If you are looking for a way to view your baby, keep an eye on employees, or just secure your office when away, and you want an easy set-up with the ability to view it all on your iPhone or Android-based defive, then take a look at our Dropcam review.  You will see what SvenOnTech’s hard-earned money found when it plopped $150 for this little camera that claims to do everything including showing Apple an innovative trick or two.  Sorry, that’s the only Apple punch you’ll find.  Take a read and see if the Dropcam is the right fit for you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A01P01So Apple flaunted it’s Playskool iOS 7 interface to the world at WWDC along with the a slew of new features to the silence of most who cared.  Yes, the first few rows applauded and cheered but those were Apple employees and board members. They’re delusional. While I have already discussed the problems with the update that really isn’t more than a slap in the face to those that love a good and useful user interface as well as desire envelope pushing from Cupertino, I neglected to touch on two important items.  The Big Missing Features. Did you read all the Tweets about the lack of Widgets?  Or the Facebook posts that there is no Active Icons?  There’s a reason for that and I’ll tell you what that is.

First, I do have to touch on the irony about the icons.  For years, Apple plastered a 73 on its Weather icon which was meaningless.  Then it finally updates its old and tired looking home screen with kids Crayola art and even gives us a ticking clock icon…but yanks the number from the Weather icon instead of actually adding the current locations temperature!  What immense irony that is.  Ya, I know, Android has been doing this for years but Apple doesn’t care what user want.  Have you seen iOS 7?

So what is an Active Icon you ask?  This is where the icon actually takes on some life, such as the weather example.  In a sense, Apple does have some activity on icons such as Message, Mail, and Phone with the number badge.  However, being able to simply look at the Weather icon and immediately see some clouds over the sun and 78 for the temperature beats tapping the icon and waiting for the app to refresh for the same bit of information.  For some reason, Apple doesn’t get that.

The most blatant omission from iOS 7 are Widgets.  Widgets are objects found on the home or lock screen that give you access to an application; however, these widgets also tap into the app with information such as a blip of emails, some posts in Facebook, or trending tweet,s and oh yes, some weather, too.  Widgets basically make your smartphone, well, smarter.  If you’re curious what your missing, take a look at TechRepublic’s 15 Android widgets that will make iPhone users jealous.  Again, Apple doesn’t get it.

Why?  The home screen is the first thing a person sees of a phone. With the two-to-one margins of Android to iPhones in the wild, most are familiar with the Android screen.  So, imagine – even with the hideous child’s play art – Apple placing widgets in iOS 7.  What would be the first response from users? “Oh, it looks just like the Androids screen.”  Can you envision what that would do to Apple’s pride?  Sure, 99% of iOS 7 is already Android features but the average user doesn’t know that but the Widgets are immediately identifiable to Android even to the casual user.  If customers uttered the comparison to Apple’s mobile rival, I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs would jump out of the grave and strangle that person!

Sadly, Apple has built this self-loving empire of pride, just look how long CEO Cook spent on the stupid pie chart of how many Android users were still using an operating system from 2010.  Apple is repeating the same ills it did with the original Macintosh and it is headed down the same road of bad fate.  While the rivals have taken Apple’s incredible idea and pushed it to its limits, Apple simply keeps telling the world, “Look how cool we are!”  Eventually, even the clueless consumer grows tired of this and sees that competition really does have more to offer.  Apple has decided for the third straight year to offer the public nothing substantial in the next iPhone operating system and this long-time Apple fan is already looking to move from iTunes Match to Google Play. I’m tired of living in Androids past. Good luck, Apple.  You’ll need it with your current corporate strategy.

When Apple Calls Catch-up Innovation

Author: Sven Rafferty
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So here we are, post-iPhone 5 announcement and guess what? Nothing envelope pushing. In fact, nothing even surprising. Every leak was true. Every one! While Jony Ives called the iPhone 5 a “complete redesign” (I’m sorry, did his head get stretched, too?), on the contrary, it’s mostly catch-up with whom Apple just sued (hint, hint, Samsung).  In perfect Apple style, with Steve Jobs Smoke and Mirrors, Tim Cook and crew made yesterdays technology look freaking amazingly new!

“The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.”

So states Apple’s web site when you go looking for the details on the 6th iPhone called the iPhone 5. Shaving off some body fat to give it a leaner and lighter feel, the diamond cut shell consists of the two-tone color scheme seen in early prototype images dating years back from the Apple vs. Samsung case as well as reminding one of the first the iPhone. The screen is stretched up – not out – to add an extra row of icons and to give you a true 16×9 image for movies. Storage hasn’t changed in years but the price remains the same. Nice. Oh yes, the camera has a new cover. Oooh! Ya, it’s still the same otherwise. The front camera is at least 1.2 megapixels and can capture 720p video. So last years Android.

Ya, so let’s talk about the Android factor. So while Cupertino’s tech magicians attempt to use their slight of hand to pawn off the iPhone 5 has “the most amazing thing” they’ve ever done, how does it compare to let’s say Samsung Galaxy S III? That front camera? Well, double Apple’s and you’ll then pass its court rival. The screen? The Galaxy S III has 1,280 x 720 versus Apple’s amazing 1,136 x 640. Yes, Apple’s is smaller and it’s 20 ppi better Retina display isn’t that big of a deal. The Galaxy is a wee bit heavier but it’s not even by an ounce. Tell me you can feel that? Earlier benchmarks show the iPhone barely running faster than the months old Galaxy. NFC? Are you kidding? Phil Schiller says Passbook is way better! Screw NFC!

The iPhone 5 does not even support simultaneous voice and data on Verizon and Sprint networks that AT&T has been doing for four generations now. Don’t worry, though, the Samsung Galaxy S III does support this feature on LTE networks such as Verizon’s due to some true engineering know-how. But don’t sweat it people, remember, this is “The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” Now that I think of it, wasn’t there a handful of 3G phones available when the original iPhone with EDGE (2.5G) released? Sorry, got distracted.

The truth is, the iPhone 5 is all catch-up and nothing revolutionary. I wouldn’t even call it evolutionary. This is the exact issue Apple had with the Macintosh back in the 80s when it rocked the computer world with a truly stunning computer. Apple seriously put personal into the personal computer. But like Apple letting Microsoft along with IBM steal its thunder and push the envelope with Windows and the PC while it kept trying to tell the world, “Hey, look at how cool we are!”, Apple once again is repeating history with doing nothing and calling it something. Last weeks keynote was the first in over a decade that had no surprises and was – if you’re honest with yourself – a let down. Everything the iPhone 5 is the Android market has had in Motorola, HTC, and Samsung for months if not over a year in the case of LTE. Even when Ford put on a new skin to the Fox body Mustang in the 80s, everyone in the automotive world still knew it was still the crapy old 70s car with some new hardware. That’s what this is iPhone is, a third re-iteration of a tired design with a new engine under the hood.

So how do you sell 2 million iPhone 5s in just one day of pre-orders? And that’s the million dollar question. One thing Apple does still have down is sex appeal and that’s what its products produce. Even though there’s only a new coat of paint on a stretched out canvas, it’s still cool looking and all the hip people will have one. Additionally, to give credit to Apple, it’s operating system is still more refined, stable, and polished than the fragmented and heavily customized interface per vendor offering from Google. Buyers also know that all iPhones from the last few years will get a brand new update all on the same day unlike the guessing game over in the Android camp. But note my words, this will be the last time Apple will enjoy such sales as it will the iPhone 5. Google is snapping up companies left and right to tighten the noose on Apple and as soon Android is able to get sway over iPhone users over with some migration plan away from the Apple halo as well as tighten up the Android operating system, we will be calling Google the new Microsoft and Apple the, well, the same Apple of the 90s once again. Learn from your past Apple and push the envelope all the time or be doomed to repeat it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

USB seems to be the replacement plug of the future but until homes are built with a USB port in the wall, you’ll still need adapters to charge your plethora of devices. Sadly, many of those adapters are large, bulky, and ugly.  Today Staechi takes the ugh out of that and brings beauty and versatility to your adapter.  The cute little green receptacles has a slot for your USB cable along with a few holes for your 110 plug.  Ya, so while you’re charging your smartphone or such, you’re not wasting a spot for something like your lamp.  Bonus, there’s a light on the plug to let you know that the built-in surge protector is, well, protecting! Take a read below for all the details.

View Press Release »

SAN DIEGO – Sept. 18, 2012 – Satechi, a leading mobile accessories manufacturer, is pleased to announce the availability of its new Compact USB Surge Protector.  The invaluable surge protector features one grounded outlet and a 1 amp USB port to charge most smartphones and other electronics while protecting them from potential electrical spikes and surges.



The Compact USB Surge Protector features a sleek lime green and white design with a LED indicator which illuminates when the surge protector is providing sufficient protection to the connected electronic devices.  The surge protector is small enough to conveniently fit into any backpack, purse or laptop bag allowing users to keep all electronic devices safe while on the go.



The Satechi Compact USB Surge Protector is available now for $9.99 at and



For more on the Compact USB Surge Protector and all of Satechi’s award winning products, follow us on and @Satechi.



About Satechi:

Established in 2005, Satechi is fully committed to offering unique accessories that people can integrate with their electronics in their homes, cars, and on the go. Satechi offers a broad selection of accessories from FM transmitters, battery chargers and speaker systems to car mounts, stands and keyboards. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that enhance ones day-to-day in big ways.  I see GoSmart as one such item.  A simple piece of plastic that clips your iPhone onto either a shopping cart, steering wheel, or at the gym’s treadmill, you will now be able to use the GoSmart to place your iPhone right in front of you.  Shopping will be a breeze freeing up both of your hands.  I know I’d love to use this for my many trips to Sam’s Club and such.  Fearing I’ll drop my phone while browsing the isles, the GoSmart would definetly put comfort into my life!  Read more below.

View Press Release »

September 18, 2012, Los Angeles, CA — GoSmart, Inc. announced today that it is shipping the GoSmart Clip, the essential tool for busy travelers for safer GPS phone call use in cars.  A great gift for everyone that needs access to smartphones, the GoSmart Clip securely holds and clips iPhones, Androids, and other smartphones to car steering wheels or other places for quick access to GPS directions. The GoSmart Clip’s compact design lets you place the GPS phone on the steering wheel close to you, so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel while using GPS, making it much safer than windshield, dashboard, or other GPS systems, that are further away from your eyes and increase the time you’re taking your eyes off the road.


Drive Smart/Travel Smart – for Business Travelers – Simple & Elegant Solution to Stay Connected on the Road


Compact and portable, the GoSmart Clip is ideal for business travelers, multi-taskers, salespeople, and drivers who depend on their mobile phones and who are always on the go.  The GoSmart Clip is designed to secure virtually anywhere, allowing people to use their hands for other things rather than holding their phones.  Great for business calls or video streaming on Skype or for sending emails and texting in the airport or while waiting for a car rental or on line, just clip your phone to the handle of your roll-aboard suitcase or other place to work hands-free while on-the-go. 



For Hands-Free Leisure Activities from Golf to Shopping


In addition to using the GoSmart Clip for business travelers, it can also be used for leisure activities by mounting it on golf carts to keep score of the game; on beach umbrellas for music at the beach; on exercise equipment to read or listen to music; on shopping carts for keeping track of shopping lists; and on baby strollers for talking to friends or for soothing music for baby.


“The GoSmart Clip was originally designed as a new smartphone holder that securely fastens to the steering wheel, making GPS and phone calls much safer while driving,” said GoSmart Inc.  President and Inventor, Jae Son.  “But we’ve found it also useful for multi-taskers (which is almost everyone using a smartphone now), acting as a third hand to keep your phone available for easy access on the go.”


GoSmart Clip Uses:


•         In a car:  Use a GPS or traffic app on your smartphone in your car or rental car with easy access.

•         Hands-free cell phone use:  Talk on your cellphone safely, hands-free.

•         At the airport or train station:  Secure it to a backpack, suitcase, or shoulder bag and work, send emails, texts, Skype, or watch a video while waiting.

•         At the gym:  Fasten it to a cardio machine and listen to music, read, or watch a video while working out.

•         On a purse or bag:  Attach it to the strap or handle of a purse or shoulder bag for easy access to your cell phone.

•         On a shopping cart:  Attach to the grocery store shopping cart to view shopping lists, text, or talk without having to hold a phone.

•         At the beach:  Strap to a beach umbrella for music at the beach.

•         At the golf course: Attach to golf cart to keep score or view maps.

•         On a boat or back seat of car:  Attach to a boat steering wheel or the back of car seat head rest to watch movies.

•         On your belt:  Attach to your belt to use as a phone stand to prop at an angle to easily view the screen.

•         On a baby stroller:  Attach to baby stroller to talk on the phone or soothe the child with music, a book or favorite video.


The GoSmart Clip attaches easily with no tools required with a strong elastic strap that holds the phone securely in place.  The innovative design works with most smartphones on the market today, including iPhones and Androids, at 4” to 5” long (100mm – 125mm) tall and less than 0.75” thick (20mm).  The perfect gift, the GoSmart Clip is available immediately in red or black with a lifetime warranty, priced at $24.95 through and  For more information, see the GoSmart website: YouTube:  Facebook:  Twitter:!/justgosmart.


About GoSmart


GoSmart, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, California.  GoSmart develops and markets exceptionally useful travel aids and consumer accessories for smart mobile devices.  Their current product line includes the GoSmart Stylus with precise touchscreen pointing with an unobstructed view through a patent-pending capacitive wire tip; the GoSmart Restpad; and GoSmart Clip for iPhone for safer GPS viewing in the car.  For more information, see

Monday, September 10, 2012

There has been much talk about how the leaked next iPhone stretched screen isn’t good enough.  Proportionally larger is what the public wants and demands based on what I’ve read in comments to my other posts and from what I hear in conversation with others.  But this is Apple whom boasts about how it does not care what the customer wants but gives them what they need.  This would be such a moment.

Android has done an interesting job of expanding the original 3.5 inch screen of the iPhone to points of wondering if you’re placing a small paperback on your ear rather than a phone like seen with the Galaxy Note and Dell’s ill-fated stab with the Streak.  Motorola, HTC, and Samsung seem to have a following with its larger phones where the screen grew both in length and width gaining kudos mostly from those using GPS and video apps.  Bigger is better, right?  Well, not in Steve Jobs eyes.  He had discounted the larger screen in previous iPhone events calling them clunky and difficult to use with a single hand which I agree with in my experience of such phones.  But longer.  Mmm, Steve never bad mouthed longer.

Many sites have shown off what possibilities of a  longer screen would be like most notably the extra row of icons.  Interestingly enough, however, the bulk have neglected to show off movies.  You know, true HD moves that are in the 16:9 ratio.  Apple moved to this very ratio with its Cinema Displays years ago and wedged them into some of its laptops.  Moving the iPhone into the same Hollywood neighborhood makes sense.  So much so, one has to even question if the iPad mini will be a 16:9 ratio device.  But let’s not get off topic with the iPad mini rumor and stick to the iPhone 4SS (second S for stretched) we have all come to love to hate in the last few months.

Investigating deeper, we have witnessed that Apple has proven content is king with iTunes and the App Store.  Jobs was fierce in his pursuit to bring all of the major studios to then iTunes Music Store and broden Apple’s appeal.  It has done so very well, and now that its hobby, in the form of a black hockey puck, is doing impressively wonderful, it makes absolute sense for Apple to press on with true HD presentation.  Watching a movie or TV show or even a YouTube video for that matter without black bars but rather with a filled screen is what perfects the package.  When the laptops and home displays were “stretched”, very little notice was made of this and life went on.  In fact, the change was so benign that it has been forgotten by the majority of the tech press and thus why the parallel to the iPhone is missed.

Apple loves all things perfect.  It ignores market requests for this reason and instead gives the world a no exceptions product. This doesn’t excuse Apple for making the next iPhone taller if the leaks are true or am I stating I like it.  Apple through its fiber as knitted by Steve Jobs does things very differently than the rest of the tech world and this is merely another example of that. This iPhone most likely was the last phone Jobs had direct influence on and stretching it to improve the video experience from his point of view would make absolute sense.  If all the early analysts predictions are correct that this will be the best selling iPhone ever, then this may be Steve Jobs’ swan song.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Leaks, leaks, and more leaks abound to what the next-generation iPhone will look and basically it looks like last years iPhone and the iPhone before that.  Yes, essentially, the iPhone “5″ looks just like the iPhone 4 released in 2010 with a few minor changes.  That will make it three full years with the same body design before another opportunity for a new look to appear in Apple Stores across the world.  But the question is, will there be a completely redesigned phone by then at all?

Remember when Steve Jobs famously spoke of the end of the PC era in the last years of his life and yet? Well, we see many of the PC practices finding its way into the iPhone.  I’ve already touched on how the last operating system, iOS 5, and this years pending iOS 6 has had little change in a my “Android Phones Blast Past iPhone But Still Lag in OS Updates” post other than catching up with the competition which is a tell-tale sign for what’s to come in the future.  Apple historically loves to innovate with amazing new products such the Apple I and II, Macintosh, iPod, and iTunes, but then it leaves them to languish and ignores the great leap of advancement that the competition applies to its own copy of Apple’s original.  Why do you think Apple went after Samsung so forcefully? Apple needs to protect it’s original concept since it gives the general consumer no other reason to ignore the competition.

Let’s look deeper at Apple’s adoption of PC, or Mac in its case, era cycles.  When it released the Apple II, no one was up in arms when the II+ was released and looked identical to the original.  Likewise when the IIe hit the streets nearly seven years after the first II, again, no outcry how the case still looked the same. The Macintosh that appeared on Super Bowl Sunday in 1984 looked the same as the Macintosh SE/30 six years later.  The rest of the Classic Macintosh line continued along this way.

Remember when the iMac hit Macworld’s stage with Steve Jobs keynote in 1998?  Now that was a change for the Macintosh.  Heck, even it’s name was changed.  But again, it wasn’t until January of 2002 did we see a fully newly dressed iMac and it would be another two-and-half years before the iMac G5 in its white shell and flatscreen coolness premiered.

I could recount the same slow process of change for the Mac Pro (which still has yet to even be updated with a single Thunderbolt port let alone get a true remake) that is so long in tooth that many believe it will simply just be discontinued.  The Mac mini has also changed little since its introduction in 2005.  Same story can be made for the laptop line as well.

Do you see a pattern here? It’s not in the manufacturing blood of the PC industry to make an entirely new fresh design every year – even for Apple.  The iPhone was an entry into a completely new industry for the Cupertino computer company.  It was forced to play the rapid design cycle of the phone industry in order to stay noticed.  Now that Apple has established itself as the essential phone to have, it no longer feels to the need to radically change its image every two years.  Indeed, it now is comfortable with transitioning the PC era to the smartphone era.  Yes, I mean keeping the same “tired” look for years to come with only minor facial changes with most of the oomph coming from the engine bay like the auto industry has done for nearly a century. This is why the iPhone 4S was exactly the like the 4 sans the antenna band fix.  This is why the iPhone 5 will be just like the 4S but just stretched out and some modifications to a port here and there.  This is why the iPhone 6 will be just like its predecessor with changes to the CPU, memory, radio, battery, and other internal pieces.  It most likely will not be until the iPhone 7 will we find any dramatics applied to the iPhones exterior.

Okay, so there’s the reason for Apple’s thinking, that is if I’m right about all this. Let’s just say I am for the sake of argument… and making me look good. Is there anything wrong with this approach?  Well, no… I guess.  Think about it.  I’ve already pointed out that we’ve been more than happy with our desktops and laptops changing little year to year so why would we care about what goes in our pocket?  Seriously, how much can you differ a rectangle?   I can remember all the Nokia case replacements I had for my 3650 and 8260 that ranged from translucent to various shades of the rainbow to even built-in LEDs that would flash when the phone rang.  But the case was still the same case in shape.  While I could venture to my local mall and view the hundreds of variations of cases at one of the pads in the middle of the walk way between Rogers Jewelers and the Gap, I still had the same phone.  Sure, I strived to change it in some way, but it is no more different than slapping a case on the iPhone today.

Let’s look at the reverse notion.  During the turn of the century, we did indeed find companies such as Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, and Samsung looking to differentiate one model from the next year after year.  It encouraged consumers to ditch their current phone for an entire new one putting money into the coffers of the company with the best design.  Apple certainly responded to this pony race in the beginning with fashioned elegance.  Today, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, and new comers like HTC continue to change the landscape often while frustrating iPhone users with the same old tired look of the iPhone 4 base.  Chances are, these companies will continue pushing the design to new dimensions no matter what Apple ends up doing and that may pry money away from Apple.  Maybe.

So, Apple looks to have taking the baton from the PC era and ran with the “keep it (the) same stupid” for design and work on the interads. Now as to iOS 5 and iOS 6 playing catch-up to Android, that’s a different story (see that link above), but Apple is in fact swimming upstream like a salmon ready to spawn when it comes to sticking with what “works”.  And while I find it humorous to have one of the most incredible designers in the world on your payroll such as Jony Ives, I guess even he can’t come up with something cutting-edge every 24 moths.  The question is, will this backfire or will it become the new standard in phone hardware design?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I always dig cool things that I can do from my iPhone and iPad.  From turning off the lights in my home hundreds miles away to logging onto to my Mac remotely from my iPad, my iDevices gives me a lot of flexibility.  Now one can add weather station to the neat tricks that your iOS device can do!  Be prepared to pay for the this adventure that can give you a seven-day forecast as we well as report your C02 levels as it comes in at a pricey $180.  But hey, if you want to impress your friends and you have some extra cash, why not go for it?  Or at least read the press release. :)


View Press Release »

PARIS –  August 27 2012Netatmo, a company dedicated to designing products that monitor the weather and environment, unveils its Urban Weather Station, a new device specifically designed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that allows users to monitor indoor and outdoor environmental elements including temperature, humidity, air pressure, CO2 levels and more.


The Netatmo Weather Station quantifies personal environments like the home and office, and wirelessly transmits data through Wi-Fi to the Netatmo App, which features an intuitive, easy-to-read interface.


“Air quality and weather conditions are a daily concern for city residents around the globe,” said Fred Potter, CEO, Netatmo. “By integrating Air Quality sensors into an easy-to-use Personal Weather Station, specifically designed for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch, we’re able to help users improve their indoor wellness and adapt their outdoor activities – creating a better way of life for everyone.”


With this Wi-Fi connected Personal Weather Station, Netatmo also aims to create the largest Weather and Air Quality monitoring network ever established.


A key innovation in the station is its ability to evaluate indoor air confinement by measuring CO2 concentration. When C02 reaches an excessive level, the user is alerted directly on his or her iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and can take action like ventilating his or her home.


The Air Quality conditions reported by the Netatmo App also allow users to assess the best times for outdoor physical activity, when to commute versus drive to work and more – all instances where Air Quality is of the utmost importance.


In addition to receiving real-time notifications on Air Quality and Weather conditions, users have access to a lifetime online account, free of any subscriptions, where all station measurements and data are stored. Over time, users can access data history and review it using the Netatmo App.


On a much larger, more impactful scale, Netatmo allows users to contribute to its Urban Weather Program, creating a wider network for weather data monitoring and pooling to help meteorologists, environmental activists, scientists and people living in urban environments gain a better understanding of the city climate landscape.


The data collected from the Netatmo Community could possibly turn into a crucial resource for climate research, helping us all get a stronger connection to the world in which we live.


Other functions of the Urban Weather Station include a detailed seven-day forecast and a light indicator for reading CO2 levels. The Urban Weather Station can even detect sound to make sure average noise levels in the home remain at a healthy balance, a helpful feature for parents looking to protect their family from noise pollution.


The Netatmo Urban Weather Station comes with one indoor and one outdoor module to monitor each living environment.


The shell for both modules, constructed from a single piece of durable aluminum, features a smooth, clean design. The indoor and outdoor modules are powered by the included USB wall Adapter and 4 AAA batteries, respectively, and come packaged with a wall mount kit for outdoor installation.


Netatmo’s Urban Weather Station is now available for $179 at The Netatmo App is available for free on the App Store.


To download press kit materials, please visit


For more information on Netatmo and the Urban Weather Station, contact PR representative Jenny Bahun at (305) 374-4404 x 124 or



Netatmo manufactures the world’s first personal weather station for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Netatmo was established in 2011 by Frederic Potter and Jean-Pierre Dumolard, both highly successful and experienced entrepreneurs in the technology space with companies such as WITHINGS or CIRPACK. Netatmo strives to bring consumers a better way of life through using connected devices technology for environment monitoring while maintaining a commitment to elegant design. Visit for more information.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I still marval over the frenzy Apple can generate over its iPhone even in light of the latest rumors that show pieces of a next-generation release that barely catches up with Android hardware that has been available for months…and even over a year in some cases.  When Apple showed off iOS 5 last year at WWDC, it’s top ten list of improvements included four Android features, most notably the Notification Center.  This year, iOS 6 showed off many Android attributes again and yet the media treated it like Apple re-invented the iPhone all over.  Please.

The truth is, the next iPhone will be of little matter and those running the two phones from previous revs will have something that looks almost identical to the new one and all three will run the same operating system.  Sure, the new one will support a key feature or two the older hardware will not have within the confines of its slate glass body, but still, they all will play in iOS 6 land.

Google released its follow up to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) called Jellybean recently and those devices that have it look filled with envelope-pushing technology. (Sorry iPhone users, you’ll have to wait for iOS 7 to get most of them.)  The Nexus S is the model of which Google loves to show off its newest creation and it really does shine on the Samsung-made hardware.  But interestingly enough, Samsung’s own recently release Galaxy S III runs the older 4.0 instead of 4.1.  It’s puzzling since it’s not even a major release as to why the Galaxy is not in the same universe as its sister model.  This seems to be one major problem of Android that Apple has no issues with. Why?

Android is much like Microsoft Windows.  It’s an operating system freely given away (unlike Windows) to hardware vendors to slap it into its phone.  Just like Windows, there are guidelines made for the hardware; however, manufacturers are free to offer a variety of features to differentiate themselves from the competition.  This creates variations that requires engineers to make adoptions to the operating system, Android, to function on its device.  This difference is known as “forking” in the industry.  Because of this, Android updates generally fall behind in release once Google hands it over to the manufacturers. Sometimes, the new OS has made some changes that require heavy lifting to make it function on older hardware, even as old as a few months.  So, it’s just easier to create a new device than spend more time getting an old one to run the new update.

Take a look at the Android landscape and you’ll find much of the hardware is not running Android 4.1.  Heck, a lot isn’t even running 4.0.  There are still Honeycomb devices in the wild and even older versions of Android elsewhere. But take a look at any iPhone made in the last three years – a lifetime in technology – and the vast majority are running iOS 5.  Forking has prevented Android users in staying current let alone cutting edge.  As seen with the Samsung Galaxy S III, just because you purchase a relatively new Android phone doesn’t mean you’ll be abe to run the newest operating system on it.  This is one of the greatest drawbacks of Android and one reason I have stuck it out with the iPhone.

Google will tighten its code more and more and thus allow for easier upgrade paths for Android phones; however, as long as the alien software allows for heavy forking, you most likely will be stuck with your version of the operating system until your next hardware upgrade.  It seems ironic for an operating system that Apple has been playing catch-up to for the last two, maybe even three, years that owners of the avant-garde Android will be passed up by the snail in just one short year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I was just thinking the other day how cool it would be to shove my Plex video to my AppleTV that is connected to my projector and the audio to a Bluetooth receiver connected to my Denon AVR-5803 system for optimal sound.  But alas, I couldn’t since the Denon is too old for Bluetooth (even though BT existed upon is release) and there was no accessories to be found to stick into the Denon’s Line In RCA input.  Until today.

New Potato Technologies has welcomed the brilliance of Bluetooth and brought to us the TuneLink Home using the same great technology it has applied to its auto product.  Coupled with the iPhone or Android app, you will be able to do much more than just shove audio to your receiver but also get a universal remote that does not require a dongle or IR blaster. Score!   For these two sweet features alone, you could pay nearly $200 but New Potato is bringing it home for half that cost.  I’m thinking of scoring this myself.  Take a look at the release below.

New Potato Announces TuneLink® Home, Simplicity for Your Connected Lifestyle



View Press Release »

WILMINGTON, NC–(Marketwire – Aug 14, 2012) – New Potato Technologies, an innovator and developer of app-enabled accessories for mobile devices, introduces TuneLink Home for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices.

TuneLink Home provides a wireless link between the user’s device and home entertainment system providing both hi-fidelity streaming audio and universal infrared remote control functions. TuneLink connects audio via analog or digital output to the entertainment system and includes a powerful infrared blaster that broadcasts commands from your device to your media equipment.

TuneLink Home allows users to experience their music or audio from ANY APP in their home without the hassles of wired connections or the complexities of other solutions. Just like TuneLink Auto before it, TuneLink Home includes a best-of-class Bluetooth transceiver that operates over ranges of more than 120 feet to deliver crystal clear audio to your entertainment system along with unique auto connecting and sharing features not found in other products.

TuneLink Home device is also a powerful programmable universal remote control and includes a comprehensive and growing database of over 80,000 pre-programmed remote control codes, the ability to learn new codes, and allows the user to create custom macros, personalize their remote skins, layouts, and functions. Equipped with a wide angle infrared LED array and an IR extender port, user commands reach their intended control target.

The TuneLink Home device is controlled by a free application that can be downloaded today from the iTunes App Store and soon from Google Play. It is a snap to setup, and is the only simple-to-use connected accessory that provides BOTH crystal clear streaming audio link and full featured dongle-free, battery-free, and truly powerful universal remote.

“Finally, the mobile device in your grasp is both your player and your remote, so stream your tunes and take control!” says Bill Leland, Chief Marketing Strategist of New Potato.

“Our mobile companions have become the center of our universe and we rely on them to provide our communications as well as our entertainment. These amazing devices hold all of our stuff and as users we want really seamless ways to access them within our connected lifestyles. TuneLink Home provides a simplified solution for connecting to and controlling your home entertainment system from your mobile device,” says Stuart Ross, CEO of New Potato.

TuneLink Home works with all A2DP Bluetooth capable iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android phone and tablet models. For more information on TuneLink Home, please The TuneLink accessory is available now at www.newpotatotech.comand in select retail locations for $99.99.