Posts Tagged ‘iDevices’
Accessories, iOS has them. Not many devices can boast the same rich and dazzling array of add-ons that the iPhone or iPad enjoy — from keyboards to docks, arcade cabinets to battery packs. Today’s offering? A mobile mixer. The iRig MIX from IK Multimedia, to be precise. It’s essentially a mini DJ tool, designed to work with such iGadgets, and brought to you by the same serial audio-accessorizers behind the iRig MIC Cast and AmpliTube. If you think you’ve seen this fella before, then you likely have, as this got its first glimpse of sunlight back at CES. Now it’s here for real, auditioning for your affections as if it were on “American Idol.”
While it’s easy to dismiss some of the more ambitious accessories as as trying to push the limits of iPad / iPhone functionality to the extreme, it’s also worth remembering that accessory X isn’t always about replacing object Y. No one ever bought a USB webcam thinking it’d turn them into Spielberg, now did they? But, they might have gotten one thinking it would give their PC some skills it never had before. So it’s with this short, preemptive missive in mind that we turn on the iRig MIX, plug in and rock out. Hopefully.
Gallery: IK Multimedia iRig MIX review
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We may live in a digital world, but analog still rules the roost when it comes to audio, and a dedicated DAC can improve the quality of your tunes considerably. Back at CES, we teased you with NuForce’s Air DAC that wirelessly streams music from mobile to your home stereo on the 2.4GHz band at a range of 30-65 feet (10-20 meters). Well, it’s been priced and is now officially available. For those with Apple devices, the 30-pin iTX dongle will set you back $ 79, and those keeping their music elswhere can grab the uTX USB transmitter for $ 59. On its own, the DAC receiver costs $ 149, though the whole iOS-compatible kit can be had for $ 199, while the USB version’s yours for $ 179. PR’s after the break.
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It’s no secret that smartphone and tablet OEMs are looking toward quad-core processors to power their next-generation doodads, with Apple’s oft-rumored A6 chipset being one of the most anticipated. According to 9to5Mac, snippets of code in the beta version of the iOS 5.1 update tacity confirm that a quad-core A6 will soon grace Apple’s new iDevices.
9to5Mac’s sources point to two images — the count begins at 0 for the first processing core, which would mean a dual-core device would be referred to with the label “/cores/core.1.” The existence of a reference to “/cores/core.3.” means that Apple has indeed been slaving away on quad-core iPhones and iPads.
Not that it should be a huge surprise — semiconductor manufacturer TSMC was working on a trial production run in August, but the company had issues that eventually led to Apple and Samsung working together again.
Meanwhile, the market is quickly shifting toward quad-core being the next big thing in the mobile/portable space. Asus’s quad-core Transformer Prime tablet hit the streets not long ago, although the experience has been a little rocky for certain users. The Transformer Prime’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset was seen in early benchmarks to be a considerable step above the chipset it was meant to replace.
Even so, it’s scores showed that it was only marginally more robust than the iPad 2′s dual-core A5. Now I wouldn’t take those scores as gospel — Matt notes that the benchmarking software may not have been able to fully take advantage of the four cores at the time — but Apple’s quad-core efforts could potentially be the ones to beat.
With all the talk of multiple cores, one has to wonder how much of a performance boost we’ll see once these quad-core iDevices are released into the wild. The answer will be something of a mixed bag — Apple’s first party applications will most likely be tuned to play nice with the additional processing cores, but it’ll take time for the scores of iOS developers hit their stride. In the end though, benchmarks alone won’t entice most people buy a certain tablet. It’s safe to say that new iPads will sell like crazy even if they’re not the first or the fastest quad-core tablet out there.
A towel and an even keel go a long way when you’re galavanting around the globe, but whether we’re going to grandma’s or New Guinea, many of us won’t leave home without access to email. Iridium created its AxcessPoint Mail & Web software for such connection-dependent people, but the service was unavailable to those using iOS… until today. The company has finally brought AxcessPoint to Cupertino’s mobile platform, and iPhone users can download the free app now. Of course, before you start checking messages in the middle of the Sahara, you’ll need to spring for one of Iridium’s pricey sat phones and its WiFi hotspot, then pay a $ 1 per minute charge once you’ve connected your iDevice. And, with speeds on the network checking in around 12kbps for web browsing and 40kbps for email, you’ll pay dearly for the privilege of opening the Vogon poetry attachment your buddy sent to entertain you while you sail solo across the Atlantic.
SRS Labs pushed out the iWow adapter a couple of years ago to give your iDevice more sonorous tones, and now is has released a new product: the iWow 3D, for your audial enjoyment. SRS’s latest offering still promises to “effectively and naturally restore the audio cues that are buried” in your music — which seems a bit like a Rumplestiltzkin proposition to us — through an included dongle and the free iWow app. The company provides little information on how the attachment spins sound straw into aural gold, but the idea of better bass response and richer sound from Apple’s iPod may be suitable enough for us. Plus, the device is just $ 49.99 ($ 30 less than the OG version), or you can step up to the iWow 3D Combo package that adds five colored faceplates and earbuds for $ 69.99. No word on when it will go on sale (coming soon, according to SRS), so it looks as if you’ll have to endure your drab, two dimensional music just a bit longer.