Pear Sports’ workout system pairs a heart rate monitor with comfortable earbuds and a mobile app. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
I’ve been a runner for a long time. I trained for (and ran) the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon. I’ve run 5K races, half marathons and relays for full marathons up here in Alaska, too. I find that running gives me the best bang for my buck: All I need is a pair of running shoes, some appropriate clothing (it gets cold up here), and some music to keep me getting out there.
Recently, though, I’ve been playing with a new bit of gear: the Pear Sports heart rate monitor, paired with a set of earbuds engineered to stay in your ears while working out, plus a pretty fantastic mobile app to make sense of the heart rate data.
With Google showing off Android-powered wearables from Samsung, LG and Motorola at its Google I/O developers conference this week, the smartwatch competition has officially heated up.
The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live will ship in early July, so Android Wear smartwatches will definitely beat Apple’s rumored iWatch to the market. In today’s video, Cult of Mac shows how these handy, Android-powered devices — which let users access smartphone features from the convenience of their wrists — set the bar high for the iWatch.
HYPER by Sanho – the company behind the Hyperjuice batteries for Macbooks and iPads have just launched their latest creation to the world through Kickstarter.
The iStick is essentially a USB stick with the dual use of connecting it to your iPhone 5, 5s, iPod Touch and iPads with it’s Apple certified lightning connector, which is great if you have a internet connection that is too slow in the office for cloud based storage, or if you’re on the road and want to watch a couple of movies without eating into your data plan.
Roughly comparable to a Mac Pro costing $3,500, the P280 was assembled from off-the-shelf PC parts costing just over $2,000, including a water-cooling system to chill its chips. The Hackintosh runs Apple’s OS X Mavericks and, according to its builder, bests a similarly configured Pro on many benchmarks.
It has none of Jony Ive’s industrial design magic, of course, but that’s not the point. This is a DIY rig that’s as badass as it gets.
Mini Boom by Ultimate Ears Category: Portable Bluetooth Speakers Works With: iOS, Mac, Any sound source Price: $99.99 per speaker
Imagine my utter joy when I received Ultimate Ears’ latest entry into the portable speaker market, the UE MiniBoom, and found them to be even tinier and equally rugged and easy to use. Oh, and they sound fantastic, too.
Time to come clean: I play guitar and sing in a disco band. I know, I know, the backlash against that kind of music has been going on since 1977. Trust me, I know.
But the way people respond to this still-valid, we-use-real-instruments form of music is so much better than the way they used to when I played guitar in modern or classic rock bands. In those days, the most reaction I’d see in an audience was a foot tap, or maybe–if I was lucky–a head bob or two. Happy, gorgeous people dancing their butts off? So much more fun.
iKlip 2 by IK Multimedia Category: iPad Cases & Accessories Works With: iPad 2, 3, 4 Price: $39.99
Now, playing in a cover band requires knowing a lot of music, like the chords for the 50 plus songs that we play. As I also take on half the lead singing duties, so I’m required to know the lyrics as well. I don’t do this for a living; I do it for fun and some beer and gear money. I don’t have tons of time to memorize all those songs, let alone the new ones we learn every few months. So I use lyric sheets. I used to use them on paper, but boy is that annoyingly old school and easily lost.
Now I use my iPad (and an amazing app called GigBook) to organize and keep track of my lyric sheets. And I also use the incomparable iKlip 2 iPad holder to attach that iPad to the microphone stand right in front of me.