The week is almost over and it’s time to look back at the gadgets that came and went along with other tech stuff that played a part in Mobile Tech Manor (MTM), aka my home office. This weekly column will discuss the things that shaped how the week passed and give me a place to share anything of interest I found.
This was a long-running feature of the original jkOnTheRun and my favorite thing to do each week. I’m excited to get it started on the new jkOnTheRun. Let’s look over my shoulder and hit the high points of the past week.
Gadgets in and out
I review and test a lot of mobile gear and some weeks it seems like Mobile Tech Manor has a revolving door. It wasn’t so hectic in this regard this week but there was some movement of devices.
New gear in
Two cool gadgets arrived that I’ve enjoyed a lot. The Plantronics BackBeat SENSE wireless headphones arrived first. It’s evident how much I like them in the review I did on jkOnTheRun. I think it’s so cool how the headphones pause playback on the source device when you take them off. Of course they start playing again when you put them back on.
Logitech makes good iPad keyboards and the Logi BLOK Protective Keyboard Case is the newest. My review of the case is on ZDNet. The keyboard is one of the best iPad models I’ve tried, and that’s probably dozens of them.
The only thing I don’t like about the BLOK case is how hard it is to put the iPad Air 2 in and even more so how difficult it is to remove it. It takes so much force that it feels like the iPad will get damaged, and that’s a bad thing.
Gadgets out the door
Since I wasn’t using them much, this week I sold both Kindle Fire HDX tablets to some friends who wanted to give them to their grandkids. I liked both of the tablets a lot but with so many gadgets around it’s been a long time since I’ve used them. They were a big hit with the kids I’m told.
To create room on the desk for incoming gadgets I gave away the Transformer Book T100. The hardware was pretty old and I’ll likely replace it with something after Windows 10 is released. I’ve had my eye on a Surface 3 for a while and that may be the one.
I sold my 13-inch MacBook Pro to a friend. It was 2.5 years old and I have an 11-inch MacBook Air so the Pro was history. I was using the Pro as a pure desktop system but recently started using the Acer Chromebook 13 in that role.
App of the week
This week I discovered the richness of the Apple News app. This is installed with the iOS 9 public beta. Given the nature of beta software, News was buggy and crashed often from the beginning. That’s not happening now that public beta 2 of iOS 9 is installed on the iPad Air 2.
Apple News let me tailor the news sources that interest me when first installed, and it presents good material in a fluid format. I love the way articles are presented when I tap an item. I foresee this app getting better and better over time.
Speaking of iOS 9, I installed it as soon as it was available. At first I only put it on the iPad Air 2 as it could perform all of the split window functions. Those are simply great and have become a major part of my daily work routine with the iPad Air 2.
I didn’t encounter many bugs with the beta on the Air 2, so I soon installed it on the iPad mini 3. It’s been just OK on the smaller iPad as I’ve experienced a few app crashes. It’s a beta OS so that doesn’t bother me, it’s to be expected.
The public beta 2 on the iPad mini 3 has been better than the first beta, so far. It’s too early to tell if it will be more stable.
So that’s the week in Mobile Tech Manor. I hope you enjoyed sharing it with me and that you’ll stop by to visit MTM again next week. You’re always welcome at the Manor.