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Philips Fidelio DS3020/05

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 6, 2011 in Apple, Application, iPhone, IPod Touch, Tech

I’ve been looking for some kind of portable iPhone dock for a while now. I currently have the ability to charge my phone in most rooms either by docking it in an alarm clock, or in the front of a TV, or just by putting it in the dock connected to my mac. The only problem with the ones I have is, a, they aren’t portable, and b, the sound quality isn’t that great.

So….I was in Currys last night at this one caught my eye, as it had a sticker on the box saying “iPhone 4 Bumper compatible”. All the docks in my house currently don’t have any of the dock adapters in them, as this is the only way I can sync/charge my phone without having to take it out of the bumper cover. As you can imagine, seeing a device which catered for this was a massive win !.

Another major selling point for this, was it can be also powered from 4 AA batteries, making it something I’ll be able to take camping, or even just to take out in the garden.

So..what’s it like ?….well it’s surprisingly good, it does claim to have “Crystal clear sound” and that it does, even with the volume cranked right up, it doesn’t distort at all. The design itself is nice, the plus and minus buttons light up on the front in a pretty cool orange, when you doc your device, and there’s a on/off button at the top on the back.

As well as being an iPhone dock, it’s also got an AUX-in at the back to allow you to plug in external devices via a 3.5mm jack plug.

There is also the ability to have this as a dock connector for your PC/Mac as there is a USB cable connector in the back.

I think the final thing to note is the free App you get with it called Fidelio. Now you can use your normal media player on your iPod/iPhone, or you can use their application which gives you a few cools features. It seems to aggregate a few apps I already have, for example Tune-in Radio (a radio app) and AccuWeather (a weather app) and brings them all together into a nice little packaged.

All in all a decent piece of kit, I don’t currently know how long 4 AA’s will last, but will update the post once I’ve tried it.

As always, unboxing pics, and screenshots of the app below.

PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05
PHILIPS DS3020/05
PHILIPS DS3020/05
PHILIPS DS3020/05
PHILIPS DS3020/05
PHILIPS DS3020/05
PHILIPS DS3020/05

 

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Apple TV 2nd Generation

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 4, 2010 in Apple, Films, Tech

So today my Apple TV (2nd Generation) turned up, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed.

Anybody who knows me or has been reading these my post, will know that over the last couple of years, I’ve become an Apple fan boy I’ve gradually replaced my MP3 player, my phone, my PCs and even my entire network with Apple products, and as time has gone by, I’ve organised my entire music collection to be “iTunes friendly”.

I’ve been toying with the idea of an Apple TV for a while now, and very nearly bought one of the 1 generation ones about 2 months ago.

I’ve been using a piece of software on my MacMini called MediaLink, to stream my iTunes content to my PS3, which to be honest has been working pretty well, apart from the fact that it won’t play DRM media.

So the announcement was made early in September that a new Apple TV would be out shortly, so me being me ordered one.

So what’s it like ?

Now this is the first time I’ve used an Apple TV, so some of the features I’m raving about, might have been in the first generation.

First of all, it’s size, this thing is tiny, it literally fits in the palm of my hand.

The device has a very small white light on the front, the flashes with the remote press. The rear has a USB port, a HDMI port, power port and an optical output.

Setup, as with any Apple product was painless, plugged it in, selected my language, added my apple ID and that was it, good to go.

So what is an Apple TV ?

Basically, it’s a device which allows you to stream content from the web, and a PC or Mac which is running iTunes home sharing (please note, you have to have iTunes 10 installed for it to be picked up)

The main menu gives you a few options.

Movies, and then the sub menu of Top Movies, Genres, Search and in Theaters.

The movie collection is huge, and everything I searched for came back with a result (kinda like the movie selection in iTunes)

The “in Theaters” option was essentially what you get on Apples trailer site, all the trailers for whats in the cinema right now.

The next tab is Internet, with the option of YouTube, Podcasts, MobileMe, Flickr and Radio.

The Youtube option will allow you to sign in and see your subscriptions.

The podcast option does what it says on the tin, it opens up the content as found in the iTunes store and splits them into Audio, Video or all. You can then “add to favourites”, which will let you know how many unwatched episodes you have, it also remembers your position which I thought was a good feature.

I don’t have a MobileMe account, but assume if I had, I would be able to stream from this.

The Flickr allows you to subscribe to public users and view their content. I can’t see a way of signing in, as this would be perfect as I’m a Flickr pro subscriber and have my entire photo collection hidden online, it would be nice to be able to access these.

Finally there’s the radio, which is the same content as the Radio tab in iTunes.

The next tab is Computers. Basically any machine that you have iTunes on (version 10 or above) with Home Sharing enabled, you can stream all you content from them.

Finally you have the settings tab, which you can…..well change the settings 🙂

2 interesting features in the settings are the AirPlay, and Remotes.

The Airplay allows you to use the Apple TV as an Airport Express, and the Remote option allows you to use you iPhone as a remote control. As your probably aware, the iPhone remote app has recently been upgraded to support the Apple TV. The app works with gesture controls, swipe left and right for fast forward and backward, tap to pause and play, and the godsend was being able to type in when searching. There is also flick up to get to chapter, and 2 finger left swipe to roll back 10 seconds, you can even move the onscreen content using this !

The AirPlay is pretty cool too, now granted, to play media from my Mac by selecting Computers > Mac Mini > Music > Album > Play or I also have the option to connect to my MacMini via the Apple Remote app, select the Album > Play > select the Apple TV as the speakers. This will not only output the audio to the Apple TV, but it will also display the album art and ID tag of the track being played.

Now I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, and it’s nice to see that if I’m looking at my Computers library, I then watch or listen to a podcast, this syncs back to the library. There was nothing more annoying than watching something using MediaLink, then having to Screenshare onto my MacMini to mark them as watched. This seems to be the same for Movies and TV too.

So far I’ve very happy with this device, and I guess I’ll be spending the next couple of months converting all my DVD’s to mp4 format and adding these to my iTunes library.

For anyone who uses iTunes for their media content, and if you have a spare £99, I suggest getting one of these.

As always, unboxing photos are below.

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

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Google Latitude on iOS 4 update

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 20, 2010 in Apple, Application, iPhone

Now don’t get me wrong Latitudie does what it says on the tin, but boy…does it drain the battery. I also found that the only way to turn it off was to stop the background app from running, and then disable the location service for it.

The setting I used for background were, Best location, periodic updates when not moving…off. With these settings, a full battery would last around 8 hours on my iPhone 4, and around 6 hours on C’s 3GS.

Now suprisingly I would have expected to App store to be over saturated with Google latatide apps, however I could only find one other, called Device Locator.

Device Locator like Latitudie will track your position, and update the latitude servers, however does so much more.

You initially need to create an account on the Device Locators site, download the app, sign into the app, then your good to setup.

Via the website you can configure how you want your phone to update. The range is as follows

Cell Tower Switch
2 Hours
1 Hour
30 mins
10 mins
1 min (emergency)

Now I’ve been running at the 10 minute interval update, and it’s hardly touching my battery, my battery was fully charged at 8am this morning, and when I write this 3 hours later, my battery is on 99%, which is a vast improvement over Latitudie, this would normally be in the low 80%.

The website also give you a small google maps preview showing you currently location of device, and a history down the left hand side. There is even a graph to tell you how much battery you had at the last poll.

There is also the option to send a text message to your phone (if somebody has swiped it), or set the alarm going (assuming you can’t find your phone).

Now granted, this app is £2.99 however it’s a small price to pay in comparison to the mobileme account which does a very similar job. Judging by the website, this is still in the very early stages (no css on the site as yet), however it works very well.

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