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by Mike

Anker A7908 Bluetooth Speaker

May 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

If you use services like Spotify or Google Music, or simply have a massive SD card in your phone, you likely keep a lot of music which is sometimes awkward to play when entertaining. Your phone speaker is awful and not everything that sounds good in your house or car may support bluetooth connections. Aux cables can be clumsy and besides, what year is it? Anker® A7908 Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with Super-Sized 4W Driver has been such a great addition to my travel bag.

Moving around the device there are only 3 buttons which serve as volume and play/pause. There is unfortunately no way to skip to a different song. I looked at many devices that supported this but the benefits of this outweighed that feature. An LED indicator which is for Bluetooth connection status and low battery indicator. Around the back is an on off hard switch, AUX in port and micro USB port for charging, as well as an additional LED indicator for charge status.

There are definitely a lot of thins done right with this device and I’ll start with my favourite. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mike

AUKEY 20000mAh Power Bank

April 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

AUKEY 20000mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank
I spent a great deal of time debating between various sizes brands and form factors. To give you a bit of a tour of the hardware, this model features 2 powered quick charge USB ports at 2.4 amps each, one charging micro USB port and one charging thunderbolt port. The powered USB ports will go to sleep if not being used and need to be activated using the power button on the top. This button is illuminated with a 3 colour LED which serves as the indicator for remaining capacity. If you hold the power button it will turn the LED flashlight on or off. It’s not super powerful but it will do in a pinch and given the capacity of this battery, the light could stay on for a very, very long time. AUKEY took the cake for three big reasons. Read the rest of this entry →

by Mike

AUKEY 42W 3-Port USB Wall Charger

March 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

If you are always on the go with a handful of devices this is a great companion. Many hotels now have USB charge ports but they are slow and may only have 1 or 2 ports available. This wall charger has a convenient folding outlet prongs, good for travel bags and 3 high amp USB charging ports. All 2.4 amps each, great for tablets or phones with high battery capacity and with the top one supporting Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 this is a total time saver when you need to charge many devices in a short time. Great design and functionality!

by Mike

Next-gen USB to be Finally Reverstable

December 5, 2013 in Hardware

PCMACLINK2.CUSB has been a staple in the world for everything from convenient mobile storage and mobile phones to permanent printers and external hard drives. Work has begun on a new USB cable standard that will not be compatible with existing connectors but WILL fit both ways. The goal is to improve ease of use and allow for thinner devices. The new connector, using the USB 3.1 spec, is expected to be ready mid 2014 and will be the Type-C standard. There are no images yet but its expected to be the size of a Micro USB plug with the reversible functionality of Apple’s Lightning connector.

In their press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders said that Type-C will “meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability” while it should also allow for future scalability in charging and data transfer. Type-C “will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops,” says Alex Peleg of Intel. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”

I’m all for this change but the main concern is also that the new specification doesn’t render countless USB chargers obsolete. This change is a good move not only from a usability standpoint but micro USB has come as far as it can. The USB 3.0 adaptation is pretty ugly and makes the Galaxy Note 3 look like it charges over an old 1990’s parallel port.

by Mike

BlackBerry Z10

February 12, 2013 in Kwappy Weviews

hero.png.originalOn February 5th I lined up out front of Rogers to get my new BlackBerry Z10 and have since been in love with this phone. I won’t be going too in depth about specs of features because I feel there have already been a lot of reviews of this kind posted. Instead my intention is to tell you what kind of person this phone will be for and where I think it will be in a few years. There are some good and some bad points I will touch on but I want to be as general as I can while touching on a few points everyone seems to ask about. Since I plan on talking about my personal experience with the device, I want to get this one bit of rumor out of the way. Yes, at the moment Skype is still unavailable but on Skypes website they claim they are actively working on it to make sure it is working as best as it possibly can.

Using this device does not at all feel like mid-grade specs. I have not once seen any lag or delay when trying to do things quickly. I don’t feel let down when playing games and find the screen size, brightness and sharpness, extremely satisfying. The app ecosystem is rich and sideloading Android ports is a painless process, though not every app is guaranteed to work. I have had a good experience with the Google Maps app side loaded. Phone calls sound great and connect quickly. The contacts are stored in a very different way, which is 80% automated but with some added effort can be phenomenal. Emails will come in almost right away, but works more like PlayBook email than BBOS email. For me, this has been a good thing but some are a little upset with this change, its something to look into if you are heavy in email. I have been impressed by the camera and find it takes great pictures, better than any phone I have owned, and the videos are crips, clear and sound great. Built in photo and video editing is impressive to say the least, but I was truly blown away with the ease of use and powerful tools included in the system.

Read the full article and find out what you need if you need to know and should expect when coming from other smartphones, and get my TLDR version of this.
Read the rest of this entry →

by Mike

ASUS RT-N56U Revisited

November 1, 2012 in Kwappy Weviews

I wanted to revisit this review. Earlier I had basically said in summery that the router was great, but the UI had some shortcomings. I have since come across some amazing firmware. Don’t get me wrong I think Asus did a great job, but I was getting a little frustrated. Curiosity got the best of me.

PLEASE, if you have this router or are thinking of buying it, make sure you check out ASUS RT-N56U custom firmware website. I have donated to these guys because I truly feel they over came all of the routers UI shortcomings and turned this thing into a total beast. It still has the same great speed and performance but now has shorter reboot and apply times – Applying settings usually now takes less than 5 seconds and reboots are under a minute. Firmware still takes about 3 minutes to install. It offers VPN access, Guest WiFi zone, the same great built in FTP access and all those little nitpicking features I wanted. Easy drop downs to reserve IP addresses for one! HUGE for me.

Resource monitoring of CPU and RAM with BEAUTIFUL graphcs for both resource monitoring and network traffic stats.

 

IPV6 is still a bit of a work in progress and there is no QOS, but there are frequent updates to this custom firmware and the community usually can help if you need any support. Trust me when I say its worth your time to check this out. Feel free to drop any questions in the comments.

ASUS RT-N56U custom firmware ]

by Mike

BlackBerry 10 Excites Me

October 31, 2012 in Hardware

The more I watch videos on how BB10 works, or what it can do the more I honestly can’t wait to update my BlackBerry. Already I’m sure you have realized I am a HUGE BlackBerry fan… Here’s the thing though, Apple keeps doing the same old crap and everyone knows it. Android has a nice niche but they don’t have the experience I would want from an all touch screen phone. I love my keyboard! The Bold 9900 is the best typing experience I have ever had. I used to love the idea of texting, but hate actually doing it. I know I’m not alone either or I wouldn’t see text messages with terrible bad spelling and grammar. Though there will be a BB 10 device that has a full keyboard, I think without the trackpad and other top buttons, I might as well go with the full touch and just adapt! The word prediction looks easy to use and helpful, not a hinder like some devices you see. The touch keyboard on BB 10 will learn how you type and learn from where you press buttons. If you tap the letter R a little bit low and to the right it will start anticipating it. That is the kind of all touch keyboard experience I want.

Some other things I’m excited for is the power that will come from their new QNX operating system. The PlayBook has been a great experience and I worried about how some apps would work but this will truly be a radical switch to anyone that currently has a BlackBerry. No more rebooting after installing apps. Apps will be able to run services in the background. The beauty and elegance of apps will get much better and no more crappy java memory leaks! Soon you will finally see BlackBerry devices with good specs. Java just couldn’t handle it, but QNX will be able to run dual-cores, quad-cores or what ever else the future brings for mobile phones. The way the operating system handles elements is somewhat interesting too. This video really caught my attention:

Though there isn’t a real practical application to this, the fact its possible its awesome! Everything looks snappy! It’s fresh. Apple is thinking the same “different” they were 5 years ago. Android excites me, but the phones all seem sluggish and the operating system is clunky with all the bells and whistles – not a good business phone. Windows Phone 8 looks promising but with the way Windows 8 looks, I’m worried about where Microsoft is going. RIM has something to prove here and they are doing it right. Apple released the iPhone 5 even though maps weren’t ready. With RIM doing everything to make sure this phone is flawless before its released I think everyone will have a great experience. I have 100% support for this phone and will definitively be doing a Kwappy Weview on it. Alright RIM, lets see you guys knock it out of the park!

by Mike

Skype Changing to new ‘Opus’ audio codec

September 13, 2012 in Software

Anyone that uses an in game voice chat program like Vent, Mumble, Team Speak or even if you are using Skype, you should know by now the codec is everything. Any spike in latency can be frustrating and annoying and a good audio codec can make a huge difference. Mumble prides itself in a codec developed specifically for speech and promises low bandwidth with high quality!

Skype has been knocking this new Opus codec around since March 2009 intending to create a low bandwidth codec “designed for the internet.” This should mean full CD quality audio in full band stereo over Skype, regardless of internet connection. They are also bringing in new technologies to help with packet loss so your friends and family wont sound like some dubstep audio sample. Personally this makes me VERY hopeful to see Skype on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

There is no specific ETA but they expect it to become standard across all Skype platforms. Below is a video that likely has way more information than anyone would be interested in…

by Mike

Apple Announcement Predictions

September 12, 2012 in Hardware

An Apple site search reveals the iPhone 5 with LTE, iTunes, iPod Nano, iPod Touch but what about the iPad mini? Only time will tell but the tech community is certainly buzzing. Find out more today at 1PM Eastern! Already thousands of people are queued up to watch live blogs, news feeds and tweets. The excitement is palpable!

by Mike

Portable Devices are Hot

September 11, 2012 in Hardware

Apple has the world talking about them this week with lots of buzz over the iPhone 5 and their new iOS. Pretty much every tech company and their mother has a tablet out now. A whole new generation of laptops are coming out and the most interesting marketing technique I’ve seen yet -they are now being branded as “ultrabooks”!

SO what does this mean exactly? Is there a difference or is this just another way of getting you to buy tech… I want to hear your opinion before I continue.
[poll id=’2′]
Read the rest of this entry →

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