I did something today I thought I would never do, I gave up my unlimited iPhone data plan for the 5GB WiFi tethering plan. No, I wasn't forced by the now famous AT&T strong-arm tactic of throttling data speeds for people who reach or surpass the 2GB data use limit. From what I understand those "limits" are subject to regional use patterns and can vary greatly from region to region. I suspect those limits might be a bit higher in NYC as I have never received the dreaded throttling email and I consistently use at least 2-4GB on a monthly basis.
So why did I volunteer to spend the extra 20 bucks a months for the 5GB plan? Simply put, I want to tether my iPad. With the new iPad 3 right around the corner, I was really contemplating going with a 3G (ahem, 4G LTE?) iPad. For me and my usage patterns, I just couldn't justify paying the premium for the data enabled iPad and then an additional $25 a month for the ipad data plan. By going the 5GB tethering route, I save $5 a month in data plan costs and can carry the plan thru to the next (ahem 4G) iPhone <insert number here>. As for the unlimited and data caps, I looked at my useage over a year timeframe and found that I rarely exceeded 4GB even with all the MLB baseball games via the MLB At Bat app, CBS NY app for WFAN 660 sports radio, and the various podcast downloads and streams I do with PocketCasts.
I look forward to tethering my iPad on my daily bus ride commute which can range anywhere from 45mins to 2 hrs based on NYC traffic. I'll be sure to have my iPwr battery backups (2 of them) readily available in my messenger bag.
Rest in peace Gary Carter. As a life-long Mets fan, I fondly remember all the joy and excitement Gary Carter brought to the Mets and their fans. He was the missing piece of the '86 World Series champs. A true champion, sportsman, and team player, the hall of fame catcher will always be remembered as "The Kid".
Thank you Gary for all the joy you brought to my life, the Mets, and to baseball fans. Rest in peace.
he edict was set. The wife threw down the gauntlet and declared, "I want to be able to listen to my iPad kind of like we do with the iHome dock we have in the bedroom." Well, that got me thinking about the types of solutions availble to comply with that request. Using Airplay with our entertainment center was an option, but a bit too cumbersome and inconvienient, especially if one of us is already watching TV. Another clock/radio dock that accommodates the iPad was another choice. Choice number three was a dedicated speaker system that leveraged Bluetooth. Off to the Apple Store I went.
Looking over the choices, I came across the Ailph Jambox. The Jambox is a small (about the size of a wireless home phone handset, except a little thicker), rectangular box that comes in several colors (Blue, Red, Black, Blue, and Grey). Ailph claims the box can output up to 85 decibles of sound which is right in the middle of the sound output of an average motorcycle and a rock concert. The sound is generated by a pair of ultra domed speakers capable of both low (woofer) and high (tweeter) output. Based on my experience thusfar, I can vouch that the output from the Jambox can fill up a 25' x 19' room very nicely.
Connection to the Jambox is performed via Bluetooth. Pairing with the iPad was quick and painless. Sliding and holding the power switch on the side of the Jambox puts the device into pairing mode. A lovely voice tells you the state and status of the box. Upon a successful pairing, that lovely voice confirms that there is a connection and then you're good to go. On the iPad, a small icon is displayed in-between the Bluetooth symbol and the battey percentage meter.
How does the Jambox sound? I am certainly no audiophile but I do appreciate good-sounding music. In terms of loudness, the Jambox is capable of getting quite loud without signifcant distortion of sound. The device is able to pump out a surprising amount of bass as well. The official specs of the Jambox have the Frequency Response at 60 Hz - 20 kHz, a pretty respectible figure considering the size and power of this little box. I played several types of music genre's on the Jambox (some iTunes purchased 256kb AAC's and some 320kb MP3's) and all sounded fine at various sound levels. Only at the extreme most-upper volume levels did the sound start to sound a bit muffled.
The Jambox comes with a mini USB cable for connection to a host computer as well as charging with the included AC adapter. Aliph claims a full charge can product 10 hours of continuous playback depending on the sound levels. While I have not pressed the Jambox, I can say that device battery life does quite well on continuous play that myself or my wife have put it through.
One of the very cool features of the Jambox is its ability to connect to a host computer to change various settings (i.e. Multiple BT connections) and apply new/additional software updates to the device. Everything from 3D "Live" sound, voice calling, SIRI access (when connected to a iphone 4s), and much more can be added at any time. All you need is to install the MyTalk installer and then navigate to the MyTalk page in your browser when the Jambox is connected via USB to your computer. Once recognized, the Jambox can be updated very convieniently thru the web interface.
At $199.99, the Jambox is not cheap. You can probably find it on Amazon for a bit cheaper. However, for what you get in terms of sound quality, and portability, the price can be well worth it if you have a specific use-case for a device like this. There are probably better sounding speakers (more expensive too) but like everything else, whether or not the Jambox fits your needs is totally subjective. For my wife and how she uses it (in the living room, in the bathroom while getting ready, etc.), the Jambox has been a great purchase and she absolutely loves it. Based on your needs/wants, you may too. Take a trip to a local Apple store and try this puppy out. You may decide to walk out with one.
Aliph Jambox - $199.99
Technology is moving at the speed of light. Well, maybe at the speed of business. Moments after my manager's approval via the company procurement system, I received instructions and authentifcation information to install and use the Good Client software for iOS.
Installation was quick and easy. I downloaded the client app from the iTunes app store (link). On first launching, the application asked me for my login information and the private key sent to me via email. Before I knew it all of my corporate Exchange emails, contacts, and calendar events were synced to my device. In all, it took less than a five minutes to get all of the information on to my device. At the current time, Good limits the number of emails downloadable to the device at 1,400.
The Good application supports push notifications and application badges, but has very limited notification and lock screen support. This means that you will get a notification that a new email has arrived or calendar event is due to occur, but unlike the native email or calendar, the information details contained in each are not visible via banners, alerts, or lock screen notifications. In addition, it is important to note that all PIM information as well as email is contained within the application. There is no integration with the standard iOS contacts, calendar and email functions. Good does provide an option for IT admins to allow contact sharing from the device to the Good app, but that feature has been turned off by my company's IT admin. Information security policies make it evidently clear as to why many organizations are implementing this type of "walled garden" of corporate data. On a personal level, I actually prefer this implementation as I like to keep my corporate separate from my personal information.
When you open the Good app, you are presented with a password screen (if your session has timed out), and a typical iOS-type bottom action menu consisting of Mail, Day (agenda), Contacts, Month view, and preferences.
The full complement of event management features are offered such as accepting/declining meeting requests and creating meetings with invitees. Adding invitees supports corporate Exchange server searching as well as determining availability so adding people that are not on the local database is not an issue.
Email attachents are also viewable within the application using a built-in document viewer. The document viewer can handle standard office documents (Excel, Powerpoint, Word), text files, as well as PDFs.
The preferences section is pretty extensive allowing for:
Bye Bye Blackberry.
Update: As of Feb 2013, Good has still not updated the application to take advantage of the iPhone 5 screen!
As an avid tech fan I look forward to sharing my tech experiences both personally and professionally with those that have similar interests and passion for technology.