Can car dealers please pair the buyers phones with their car?

I don’t know what it is but it seems to me, at least down here in South Florida, that as soon as a person enters a car they think that is the best time to start making a phone call and chatting away.  Never mind that there are countless tales of distracted driving because of cell phone use while driving.  I’ll admit that I do it sometimes myself but in my case I always make sure I’m using my hands free bluetooth connection which both of my cars are equipped with.  I would say the majority of the people that I observe in my community still drive around with their phone pressed to their face as they try and navigate traffic, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, and what really kills me is that they are driving late model cars that are all equipped with hands free bluetooth.  I should know, I’ve rented most of the cars these people are driving during my travels and even the most basic model has bluetooth pairing.  How else am I supposed to be able to use my GPS and get tunes from my phone?

Most municipalities have already made it a law to not talk and drive but enforcement is lacking and mainly because its not worth it to pull over people for talking and driving.  Most of the time its an offence tacked onto another one like speeding, running a red light/stop sign, or crashing the car into something.  When I purchased my car, the one thing that I liked coming from the dealership was the offer to help pair my phone with my car.  Granted being the tech savvy guy that I am, I said no I’ll do it myself later.  However looking back at it, it should be one of the things that are required before you are even allowed to drive a car off a lot mainly due to safety for other drivers and probably should be included in the hand over checklist.  Pairing a phone literally takes less than five minutes and this should be something that should be insisted on at every purchase.  If the person doesn’t use it, thats really shame on them for not following the law but at least the dealerships can say they did what they could to help the buyer be informed about their car.

Maybe one of the reasons people skip that part is because buying a car takes at least 4 hours of sitting there at the dealership.  Really it shouldn’t take that long.  If the car needs extra prep time or crap like that, tell us as the customer “we need to do X” and have us come back later in the day or the next day and make sure the finance guy is ready to sign all the paper work.  Both of my cars took forever to buy mainly because I was waiting for the finance guy.  If thats the bottleneck, staff that area up and don’t skimp, make the process a revolving door, you get people in and you get them out fast with their new car.  If they spend less time mulling around the dealership (btw that doesn’t lead to people buying accessories or any other BS like that dealers) they might be inclined to take those extra 5 minutes to pair their phones and maybe learn a little something about how awesome the conveniences in their new car are.

OK rant over, at least for now.  I just have to be extra vigilant to avoid dim wits that don’t use hands free in their cars.

Bose QC35’s

I bit the bullet and got myself the Bose QC35’s to go with my iPhone 7.  There are tons of reviews on YouTube and stuff that one can watch to get professional impressions and tech specs.  My blog post is just my experience with them.  I had to give up my Bose QC25’s and my Beats Studio Wireless headphones for these bad boys by selling them to Amazon and getting trade in credits.  I looked far and wide and the price was the same everywhere so the best place to get it was from Amazon.  Mainly because I have Prime and I got them in 2 days.

I got these headphones because I was very pleased with the Bose QC25’s but I didn’t want to deal with a dongle or a bluetooth adapter so that I could use my headphones with my iPhone 7.  I haven’t tested them in a plane yet, and I don’t know when that will change but I have tested them here at home and they work pretty well.  The look and feel are exactly the same as the QC25’s, the difference being is that the controls are all on the cups, you have to recharge it after 25 hours of use with a micro USB cable, and you can use the Bose app with it too.

The headphones are great for watching movies on my iPad while my family sleeps though.  I was able to watch some Netflix with the headphones on and I didn’t have to worry about getting all tangled up with the cord which was very nice.  I actually like the cup type headphones better than the in ear ones.  I have some MPOW Wolverines that I got from Amazon as well but they end up hurting the insides of my ears after a short time.  The Apple EarPods are actually the most comfortable in ear headphones that I own but they’re not wireless (yet).  I have to wait and see when the AirPods are out, maybe I’ll pick up a pair if the reviews are favorable so I can use them in places where its not appropriate to use the Bose.

December I should be able to give it a true test, I know of at least one flight that I have to take during that month.  I’m sure they will perform just fine but there’s nothing like a real world test to validate my faith.

Bose vs. Beats: FIGHT!

Let me preface this by saying I’m in now way an audiophile of any kind, I’m just a road weary traveler looking for headphones that fit my current lifestyle.  With that said, I am now the owner of the Bose QC25 and the Beats Wireless Studio headphones.  In reality these were replacements of my Audio Technica headphones that I had before.  I also just happened to get the Beats since I needed to burn off some useless miles.

I bought the Bose QC25’s last year and so far they’ve served me quite well.  I like how it takes a single AAA battery to activate the noise canceling and that I can use it without the noise canceling if I don’t want to.  It also folds up pretty nice in the case.  The Bose uses a cord thats inserted into my iPhone or iPad depending on the device that I’m using and I can actually take calls on it.  Compared to the Audio Technica’s, the Bose was way better in terms of sound and for noise canceling.  I mean come on its a Bose!  I did run into trouble a couple of months ago when one of the ear cups wouldn’t transmit any sound and I had to warranty replace them.  While overall pretty painless, that meant the headphones lasted less than a year before they broke. The replacements work just fine and I get another year of support so if they break again I can just replace them.

I haven’t done a lot with the Beats headphones yet.  I have been able to pair them with my iPhone 6 just fine and when you turn them on it pairs fast and the noise canceling is on by default.  I don’t know if you can turn off the noise canceling part but the sound quality out of these suckers is pretty awesome.  Granted I haven’t used them on a plane which is the real test of these bad boys but I’ll get a chance to do that this next week.  The Beats came with more cords, one for charging and one for using it with my iPhone so I can talk on the phone with it, I think there is a third one that I haven’t figured out what that one does yet.  I have yet to read the instructions for it.  I do know that I can control the volume and at least advance tracks forward by just pressing the button on the side.  Thats pretty bad ass in my book.  It doesn’t fold as flat as the Bose but thats a small thing since they’re practically the same when I shove them in my backpack.

I’ll see which one I keep in my work bag long term after the test this week going up to NY for work.  I keep my headphones on almost the entire trip so it sucks a lot of juice.  I think the only downside is that I would need to charge the headphones every so often instead of just replacing the battery but thats a small thing really and it saves the environment since I’m not burning through batteries.

All in all, these are two pretty different products but they’ll serve the same purpose for my travels.  I can’t wait to test the Beats this week so I can finally pick a winner.  Technically the loser won’t be traveling with me but it will probably be used at home instead so I don’t have to unpack my primary headphones or I’ll give them to my wife so she can use them for when we travel as a family.

Finally got a Selfie Stick

Those that know me will say “holy shit thats so asian” that I now have a selfie stick.  I got it from my sister and brother in law for my birthday which is fairly soon but I’m not celebrating it at home I’m going to be at work instead.  Either way its pretty cool that I have one now since I can use it on vacation to finally get some family photos.  Being the one with the longest arms in my family, I’m the one that has to struggle with trying to take the selfie photos by stretching my arm out as far as it can go and finding a way to hit the shutter button fast enough while trying to capture my daughter actually smiling.  To say the least I haven’t been all that successful for the most part but since this one is pretty compact I look forward to using it during those times when it would make sense to have a cool family photo.

The one that I have now is a bluetooth one so I just connect to it using my phone.  I think its pretty cool that it does that since I don’t have to worry about using any wires or anything.  I do have to remember to charge it though but that shouldn’t be a concern.  It doesn’t take up a lot of juice, it just needs to be able to hit the shutter button on my camera app.

I already tested it and posted the picture on Facebook to see how it came out, gotta say I’m pretty pleased.  I think now all they need to do is up the quality of the iPhone 6 front camera to be the same as the rear camera so I can take HD quality pics.  I know I’m going to look like a total tourist with it but I don’t care, I want to capture my precious memories.  I know they’re not allowed at Disney anymore but I don’t really care about that, I have a life times worth of pictures from there.

Oh yeah, best feature?  It’s compact enough that I could carry it in my pocket so I don’t technically need to use a backpack or something for it but I will still probably carry it there.

Upgrading My Motorcycle Helmet Sound System

I got another awesome Christmas present from my wife this year, I received a Sena SMH5 Bluetooth speaker and mic system that attaches to my current Scorpion helmet that I use for riding my motorcycle. I pulled out my older wired system from my helmet and installed my new one in but I haven’t had a real chance to try it out yet on the road.

The unit itself is pretty compact and it fits on the side of my helmet. The headphones are still wired but they just plug into the bluetooth unit. I can control the music and answer phone calls with the system but I primarily only intend to use it for listening to music while I ride. I tested it while I was in my home office to see if I could pair it with my iPhone, control the music and volume, and see how loud it is. Everything is controlled by the knob on the side. I just have to press it to start music, answer phone calls, etc. and then I just spin the dial to increase the volume. I still have to become more familiar with the functions so I can do things like skip songs or use Siri while I’m at a stop light.

I do want to try answering or making a phone call while I’m stopped so I can see if I am clear enough to talk to. This would make it easier when I’m away and I need to return or place a phone call without having to remove my helmet. It doesn’t happen often but it is a real inconvenience to find someplace to park, take off my helmet, whip out my phone, and then place a phone call and then put everything back so I can start riding again.

I have one more week of vacation but I’ll be spending it at Disney, so I have either this weekend or next weekend to give my helmet speakers a try.


Logitech Keys to Go is Awesome!

Yesterday I received a new Logitech Keys to Go courtesy of my wife for Christmas. It was one of the items that was on my Christmas list for this year since I wanted a faster way to type on my iPad than by using the software keyboard like I always used to do. This is more to make my iPad more like a laptop than it is for work or anything else I think although I can see myself using this for taking notes at work though.

I’ve only had the keyboard for a really short time but already my typing has improved in speed to almost as fast as typing on my laptop or desktop. Now the thing that was really cool is that I just paired the keyboard with my iPhone 6 and I’m continuing to write this blog post on my iPhone while my daughter watches Netflix on my iPad while she eats some breakfast. I haven’t gotten used to any of the short cut keys just yet so I still reach for the screen pretty often while i’m trying to correct some of my spelling mistakes. One of the things I did notice is that the auto correct doesn’t work anymore while I type. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. ON the one hand, it won’t type crazy things but on the other I have to correct my own spelling on my own.

I can see this keyboard being really useful to me as I travel. I like the fact that its pretty much sealed from crumbs and other nasty things that might get in between keys on a keyboard and apparently its also spill proof but I don’t want to test out that feature since I just got it. They keyboard is really thin and it has a single switch to turn it on and a micro USB port to charge it. Keyboards don’t get any simpler than that. It doesn’t have a stand to prop up my iPad Mini but I already have a smart case and a smart cover that can make it stand on its own. This differs from the other Logitech keyboard I was considering which doubled as a case. I considered it but there were more instances where I would use my iPad for watching something rather than for typing something which is why I chose the Keys to Go keyboard instead.

Overall I’m very pleased with they keyboard that I received from my wife, I was able to write up this blog post fairly quickly compared to using the soft keyboard on my iPhone or even on my iPad. Depending on how much I use this keyboard, I might be able to reach my blogging goal again in 2015 since I fell very far from the goal this year due to work and other things that took up my time. Time to enjoy the rest of my vacation, can’t wait for Disney in a few days!


Jammin with my Jambox

Today I picked up a new toy for myself called the Jawbone Jambox.  What is this little device you say?  It’s a portable speaker that connects to any Bluetooth device to play music or, if you have it paired with your cell phone, to be used as a speakerphone.  The picture is about as big as it is in real life which is to say its pretty tiny.  The sound out of this device is pretty bad ass so far.  It’s definitely better than trying to use the built in speaker on my iPhone or my iPad.  I decided to give it a test today after charging it by sitting outside for about 2 hours with my work laptop to update a project file.  I used my iPhone for the music and it sounded pretty good in the courtyard at my townhouse.  Now I have something to use in my garage while I clean my car and stuff and it won’t be nearly that boring since I’ll have music now.  The unit is pretty pricey, but I think it was well worth the money.  I can take it to the beach, the pool, pretty much wherever I want since it runs off a rechargeable battery.  There are supposed to be configuration apps that I can download for it but I haven’t tried that out yet.  I’m still pondering if I should take this on the road with me.  It might be useful to have to pair with my iPad when I watch Netflix movies while at hotels.  I know the sound will at least be better or I can pair it with my work cell phone and use it as a speakerphone for my conference calls.

I don’t know what other tech gadgets I’ll be acquiring in the future, well besides the iPhone 5 for me and the Mrs., but this was definitely a good purchase and its coming with us during our next vacation for sure 🙂