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iPad mini

Motorola HX550 – Bluetooth Earpiece

photo 2 I have plenty of headphones that let me shut out the world, but that’s not always convenient.  So now when I want to have a sound track of my life playing while I’m out and about I grab my Motorola HX550.

The HX 550 has got to be the easiest Bluetooth headphone earpiece configuration I’ve ever had connecting a device. By simply flipping open the earpiece, and putting it into your ear start the setup process begins and the earpiece tells you to go into your phone settings and go to Bluetooth. Once you do you’ll see the HX550 headset listed there.  Tap On it and it automatically syncs up.  Connecting the second device is a little trickier because you have to turn the first phone and then do the process again for the 2nd.

photo 4The HX 550 is an amazing earpiece with the ability to support two devices via Bluetooth.  I have my iPad mini connected as well as my iPhone. So here is the scenario, I can start music/audio book/podcast playing with my iPad mini into my ear piece, then when I hop into my car I connect my mini to my stereo via a cassette adapter cutting off the audio to earpiece.

Then my earpiece becomes available to use as a traditional Bluetooth. Another nice feature is when a call comes the headset reads the caller ID to me and I can tap the button to answer.  Once I arrive to my destination I disconnect the car adapter and then resume playing the content via the earpiece and since it’s only in once ear I have my other ear to pay attention to what’s going on in the real world.

photo 5The HX550 also features two microphones one in the back for noise canceling, and of course the forward microphone for your voice.

In fact I used the HX550 to dictate this review into my mini while I’m driving down the interstate headed into the studios. Obviously I’ll need to do some editing once I get to my desk but I can quickly do a brain dump of what it is that I want to talk about inside of my article so I don’t forget anything.

photo 1A coworker and I are constantly talk about we are really living in ‘the future’  we grew up with.  It’s going to be incredible to see what children born with this kind of technology available to them today are going to come up with.  What amazing things could be coming in another 10 to 15 years.

Dictation to digital assistants  with the ability to edit as well. It’s all going to be so crazy cool I already can’t wait to get my Pebble watch, and now with my Bluetooth headphones I am literally going be connected on all kinds of different ways to the web.

To prove how great these HX550 are I did this dictation while driving in my car listening to the radio and my window cracked little bit.  So I’ve got all kinds of noise,and what should be interference coming through and yet this was still able to pick up my voice  with a pretty decent dictation. I have not had any other headphone that talk to me!

The HX550 comes with several different ear hooks and pieces to try and insure a style that will work for a variety of individuals.  This has got to be one of the lightest pieces of technology I’ve ever owned, it is very light weight at 9g, in fact we picked up one for Matt and it’s so comfortable he’s fallen asleep with it in his ear, forgetting that he’s got it on.

In conclusion if you want to have music everywhere you go with the ability to still hear the outside world, the Motorola HX550 is defiantly worth investigation.

Bily Foster – That iPad Guy

Why I gave up my iPad mini

The lifespan of products in our household generally go from me, to Matt, to Ma and then the family in Vietnam. And while I love the iPad mini, I am very frustrated with it’s lack of GPS and always on Internet. Yes, I can use my iPad as a hotspot so the mini can get online, but if I’m carrying it already and have to pull it out to turn on the hotspot, why wouldn’t I just look at its gorgeous retina display screen? And while most things Apple ‘Just Work’ the Linking is a less than perfect of an experience.

Despite what people say, there isn’t always free wifi available where ever I go and even if there is, I don’t always like to be on the same network with a bunch of strangers.

The lack of GPS is also a real pain. I was constantly getting can’t locate your position type messages that it became a side adventure to see all the different dead zones there are.

So I say good bye to my iPad mini and Matt is now enjoying it (since he mostly plays games and checks Facebook on it and doesn’t use it much outside of the house). I am currently debating on picking up the cell version. I’m just going with it out for now, and if I don’t miss it I may just hold out until the next revision to see if we get a retina display.

Don’t get me wrong I am ‘That iPad Guy’ and I will have another iPad mini because I LOVE the form factor. I’m testing if I’ll miss it considering I have the iPad and my Nexus 7.

In the meantime I’m off to play with my new toy, the Kindle Paperwhite. Details to come!

Bily Foster – That iPad Guy

Smarter Stand

Brilliant, that’s the best word I can use to describe the Smarter Stand. This is by far my most used Kickstarter project and one of my favorite so far.

The idea is simple, the inventor has built plastic clips that reinforce the Smart Cover/Case at the folds to create a some what adjustable stand. The best part it works GREAT with the iPad mini.

When you don’t need the clips just slide them out of the way and they add little to no weight or bulk to your device. You do need to stick on the non-slip rubber stopper unless you use a Smart Case, I’m not thrilled about that. However, on the mini it’s kind of a welcome addition as it doubles as a grip.

You can pick up the Smarter Stand at SmarterStand.com Right now there is a special when for the price of two you get three clips for $14.99. You can use the third as a backup, or like us, you can order two and you end up with 3 sets. As any good retailer for the holidays they are offering 15% off a purchase of 3 or more when you use the code HOLIDAYS15 at check out.

Bily Foster – That iPad Guy

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