A Few Bytes of Technology Updates

May 10, 2012

Written by wukovits

Every once in a while, I find the need to talk about some new developments and updates for products I’ve reviewed or topics I’ve discussed in previous articles.  Well, it’s about that time again.

Back in July of last year, I reviewed an online music provider called Spotify.  Since that review, I’ve upped the ante and jumped into a paid subscription which gives me access to using Spotify on my mobile phone, allowing me to listen to streaming music, which can consume that precious bandwidth, or I can choose to store songs as local files, which download to the device and allow me to listen without having to use my bandwidth.  I also can access Spotify on my AV receiver in my home theater setup, which is a great way to explore a lot of new music.  Spotify has also added a lot of social network functionality, with Facebook integration and apps that can really help to discover great new bands and songs.  The apps are available for everyone to use, not just subscribers, so I urge any music fan with a computer to run, don’t walk, and get on Spotify today!  For the $10 a month subscription, you can take all that music on the road with you via your phone, which is a heck of a deal, considering the library of tunes at your fingertips.  Spotify has also just released their iPad app and it seems to be pretty nice, with the added screen real estate giving it a visually striking interface, but much of the same functionality as the iPhone version.  It almost negates the need for an extensive purchased iTunes library… almost.

I had covered Apple’s iCloud (https://www.icloud.com) in November, giving a synopsis of features that the service offers, and I’ve enjoyed using all the synchronization capabilities thus far.  It should be noted that MobileMe, the service from which iCloud matured, will be expiring as of June 30, 2012.  If you haven’t migrated from MobileMe to iCloud, do it soon.  With iCloud, I have had a few clients with small issues here and there, and I’ll recommend a few things for people that have yet to sign up.  First, do not attempt to share an iCloud account between two people, as this will create some headaches if you keep separate lists of contacts, calendars, and more.  The accounts are free to sign up for, so just get one for each person.  Secondly, you can have a different App Store account than your iTunes account.  I personally share my App Store account with my wife and children so that our purchases can be shared across devices, but we each have our own iCloud account.  You can configure these individually in your device settings.  Third, understand that Photostream only works if you are connected to a WiFi network.  I’ve had quite a few folks ask why it wasn’t working, but then discovered that they never connect to Wifi.  Much like FaceTime, Apple wants you on a WiFi network to use that feature.

In December of 2011, I reviewed a product, the Jawbone UP, which was an iPhone accessory that helped to keep track of waking and sleeping activity.  I had mentioned in the article that Jawbone had initiated a refund program for folks that had issues with the product.  While I stated that mine was working fine, I’m sad to report that indeed, my Jawbone UP suffered the same fate as it’s brethren and ceased to function.  I did take Jawbone up on the refund offer, and they painlessly sent me a check for the price of the device.  As of this writing, their website still indicates that Jawbone UP will be available for purchase again soon, but no definite date is available.  Kudos to Jawbone for a great idea and fantastic customer support!  Better luck next time around.

If you have any suggestions for products, apps or any other types of tech that you would like to see explored, please feel free to shoot me an email or leave some feedback. Thanks again for reading!

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