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The rumor mill was calling for a new Microsoft tablet to be announced today, and thats exactly what happened. Just a few minutes ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Microsoft Surface tablet. The Microsoft Surface is a companion to Windows 8, with Microsoft saying that it's "a tablet that's a great PC, and a PC that's a great tablet." The hardware is 9.3mm thin with edges beveled at 22 degrees. The casing is all magnesium, which is a first for a computer, making the Surface weigh in at 1.5 pounds. Oh, and it's also got a 10.6-inch display, so it's here to compete with the big boys. As you'd expect, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, as is a built-in kickstand, Gorilla Glass, and an amazingly thin 3mm cover that also doubles as a keyboard for touch typing.
Surface will be available in the model we just detailed, as well as a Pro model that supports a higher resolution display. It's got the same chassis, same kickstand, and supports the same accessories, but this model wuns full Windows 8 Pro rather than just Windows RT. It also supports digital ink by way of a stylus. When the Surface detects the pen, it stops accepting touch input, making it easy to write on. The upgraded model also has a DisplayPort, allowing you to plug it in to a larger monitor, this giving you the regular, full PC experience.
Vonage has released an updated version of its Vonage Mobile app, 1.5, for the iPhone and iPod touch, which includes Bluetooth support and a bunch of messaging features as well. Vonage Mobile allows users to make free VoIP calls to other users on the app on iOS and Android, as well as directly to landline numbers in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for free (up to 3,000 minutes per month.) The new update allows you to use any Bluetooth headset that works with iOS, and the messaging feature has been enhanced to allow for sharing of contacts, photos, and locations. Call quality and connectivity has been enhanced as well. You can grab Vonage Mobile for free from the App Store.
Allerta, the group behind the Pebble Bluetooth watch that became an overnight Kickstarter sensation, has announced that due to overwhelming demand, the watch will be compatible with Bluetooth 4.0. If you scour the comments on the Pebble Kickstarter page, you'll notice Bluetooth 4.0 requests by the plenty. We figured it was just too late in the game to switch around the design of a watch that's slated to ship so soon, but the company says that Bluetooth 4.0 inclusion was on the list for a while, and therefore, the decision won't affect the ship date at all. That said, when the Pebble watch does ship, it'll be Bluetooth 2.1 out of the gate, with the Bluetooth 4.0 module being activated later through a software update that'll be available to all.
Read More | Pebble
We give you our review of the Jawbone JAMBOX in this episode. The JAMBOX is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that you can use with smartphones, tablets, and anything else that can stream audio or phone calls over Bluetooth. It also has an aux in, so that you can use it with non-Bluetooth devices as well. It's light and portable too! Take a look in this episode. If you wanna get one for yourself, the JAMBOX typically sells for $199, but you can get it on Amazon for $162.
In this episode we give you a look at the Jawbone JAMBOX. The Jambox is a Bluetooth loudspeaker that can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone, PC, Mac, or tablet. Once paired, the JAMBOX can then function as your speaker for audio, as well as hands-free phone calls. It's small, light, compact, and stylish - but the best feature of the JAMBOX is that it offers great sound. It's available in multiple colors and designs, including a model that helps Charity: Water. We open up the Jambox and give you a look at it in this episode! You can pick up the Jawbone JAMBOX for 28% off.
Since we’re on the topic of watches today, let's talk about the Sony SmartWatch. Powered by Android, the Sony SmartWatch does more than just tell time. The SmartWatch features a 1.3-inch OLED 128 x 128 display, and is 0.3-inches thin. The SmartWatch will allow users to connect the watch to Android devices, thereby allowing them to read texts, tweets, and also use various apps and widgets found on Google Play. The battery life is somewhere around the three to four day mark (depending on use) and has a standby lifespan of 14 days per charge. The SmartWatch features interchangeable straps, so you can color coordinate it to your liking. Expect to pay $150 USD for this one.
Read More | Sony
In today's Ask Andru column, we get a question about an issue with the iPad that we've actually experienced ourselves for years. Ever since the release of the original iPad, it's been painfully obvious that the speaker on the Apple tablet isn't exactly up to snuff. It's fine if you're somewhere quiet, but go somewhere that has any ambient noise, and all of a sudden it's a challenge to enjoy any audio-based entertainment. So, on to the submitted question:
I love my new iPad, but I wish it were louder. It seems that everything about the new iPad is high-quality, with the exception of the speaker! Is there any way I can get more volume out of this thing?
I hear you! As I said earlier, the low volume issue has been around since the very first iPad. When the iPad 2 was released, the speaker grille was larger, and many assumed that this meant that the device would be louder. Unfortunately, despite the visual cue, the iPad 2 suffered from the same issue, and the new third-generation model (see our new iPad review) seems to have the exact same speaker as its predecessor. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the frustration.
In this episode we give you a look at MyStream, an iOS (and soon, Android) app that lets you share your music with multiple devices, eliminating the need to share headphones. Sharing of content happens over Bluetooth, streaming to up to 5 devices, or Wi-Fi, which will stream to up to 30 separate devices.
We open up the Nike+ FuelBand in this episode. The Nike+ FuelBand actually displays how well you are doing throughout the day as it pertains to your fitness and activity level, syncing to your iPhone over Bluetooth not only on your phone or other Bluetooth device, but also on the band itself. It does this using its 20 LED color dot-matrix display that shows how much Nike Fuel you've earned during the day, and another 100 white LEDs to give you information in calories burned, time of day, and pedometer info. The device costs $149, and the Nike+ FuelBand is available on Amazon.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting with HDFaces provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
In this episode we give you a look at the Cadillac User Experience, also known as Cadillac CUE. This is the new infotainment system that you can expect to find in the upcoming Cadillac XTS and Cadillac SRX as a standard feature, as well as an optional feature on the upcoming Cadillac ATS as well. Cadillac CUE offers a bunch of cool, new features that make driving more fun:
Connectivity: CUE seamlessly connects you to a world of content. Its available 3D GPS navigation system has map-integrated Doppler weather reports. It accesses every contact and song on your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. It reads text messages aloud and streams Pandora Radio. With downloadable custom apps, its content possibilities are endless. With CUE, you are always connected.
Convenience: CUE starts with a clean, uncluttered design. From there, intuition takes over. Spread your fingers to zoom in closer on a map. Swipe to breeze through your music. Program the homepage to keep your favorites front and center. With fewer buttons and more intelligent controls, CUE also offers natural voice recognition, allowing you to effortlessly place phone calls and play music.
Control: Proximity-sensing technology detects your hand as it approaches the 8-inch LCD touch screen. When an icon is pressed, the screen pulses to acknowledge the command, keeping your eyes safely on the road. Even the gauge cluster is reconfigurable (select models), offering four display layouts that mix vehicle data, such as a speedometer and fuel gauge, with navigation, entertainment and 3-D vehicle image.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.