Saturday March 8, 2014
Last year Apple first introduced the concept of its iOS mobile operating system and iPhone connectivity as "iOS in the Car." That prototype has been refined and reborn as a production-ready system dubbed CarPlay. For the many iPhone users, this connection promises to be the holy grail of car connectivity, as well as a great way to leverage their investment of time and money in learning, using, and buying media for the Apple iOS environment. CarPlay includes directions & maps, hands-free calling, text messaging, music, and more. Read on for my full run-down on CarPlay, available on select car models this year, and widely available next year. Image © Apple
Sunday March 2, 2014
Garmin recently released the second generation of its multi-sport Fenix GPS watch, the Fenix 2 ($399), with interface improvements, expanded smartphone connectivity, plus the addition of heart rate and running-specific features. Unlike Garmin's popular and multi-model running line, the Fenix 2 works for more sports, and significantly, also has navigation features that you can depend upon in the back-country. "The Fenix 2 combines the very best fitness and outdoor technology from Garmin into an easy-to-use wristwatch, making it the perfect training tool for multisport athletes," said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "Users can easily switch from advanced fitness training features like VO2 max, virtual partner and a recovery advisor, to the GPS tracking features like TracBack and ski mode, all while staying connected with smart notifications and LiveTrack." LiveTrack works with Garmin's smartphone app and is a feature that lets others track your location and GPS track in near-real time, as long as you are within cell tower or WiFi range. The Fenix 2, which is waterproof and ruggedized, does just about everything, including serving as a remote for Garmin's VIRB action camera. It's an impressive tool for the multi-sport athlete who spends time in the back-country. Image © Garmin
Wednesday February 26, 2014
The AllTrails hiking app (free) for iPhone or Android smartphones strikes a great balance between simplicity and ease of use, and a robust feature set suitable for serious outdoor adventure. This is an app you'll use frequently if you are interested in hiking or backpacking, mountain biking, trail running, equestrian, or other trail recreation. Its GPS-powered features include: find trails nearest you, create tracks to save and share, add shareable photos directly from the tracks function, view topo maps, and more. The app is so popular and widely used that you'll find abundant and informative user reviews including star-ratings for most trails. Read on for my full review of the AllTrails hiking app. Image © AllTrails
Sunday February 23, 2014
At this week's Mobile World Congress, Samsung announced its latest entries into the emerging multi-function wristwatch market: The Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. The Gear 2 models are the next generation of Samsung's Gear line, with the new watches running Samsung's own operating system, rather than Android. The watches include an array of functions, including:
- Bluetooth linkage to compatible smartphones.
- The ability to accept or ignore incoming calls or messages.
- Customizable notification options.
- Built-in Camera (Gear 2 only).
- Electronics products remote (compatible TVs).
- Music player with wireless Bluetooth headset.
- Heart rate monitor and fitness-coaching features.
The watches will be available in five colors and are to go on sale in April. Image © Samsung