Tag Archives | Jawbone

The New Features in Jawbone’s Up App Are All About Eating

Thanks to wearable fitness gadgets such as Jawbone’s Up and Up24 wristbands, it’s now very easy to get some sense of how many calories you’re burning as you go about your everyday activities. But figuring out how many calories you’re consuming–and other aspects of your eating habits–is still work.

Jawbone’s smartphone apps, and the ones which work with other gizmos such as FitBit, include tools which let you log your meals. I frequently get excited about using them. And then, once I start keeping a food diary and remember how much fumbling around it requires, I slack off.

With a new update to its iOS app, Up 3.1–Android version in the works–Jawbone is trying to make tracking what you eat easier, and to help you use that information to lead a healthier lifestyle.

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Now Jawbone’s Jambox Does 3D Sound

Jambox–Jawbone’s nifty super-small, battery-powered Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone gadget–got even a little niftier this week. Jawbone released version 2.0 of the Jambox’s software. It’s available on new Jamboxes, and current owners can download the free upgrade via the MyTalk service. The big new feature is LiveAudio, a technology that’s designed to make sound more multidimensional, including support for binaural recordings–ones recorded using a special technique that only needs two speakers to create a 3D audio effect that can be spectacular. Jawbone provided me with a unit with the new software for review.

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Jawbone Tries Its Hand at Something That Doesn’t Involve Audio

Jawbone (formerly known as Aliph) started out as a company that made neat headsets. Then it made a portable speaker and released an app for sharing audio notes. Yesterday, it announced that it’s working on its first product that isn’t centered around sound. It’s called Up–which makes me think of Carl Fredricksen–and Jawbone really isn’t saying much about it other than that it’s a smart wristband that talks to your phone and helps you monitor your well-being:

UP leverages Jawbone’s expertise and partner ecosystem integrating robust computing and sophisticated sensor technology in the form of
functional jewelry. UP by Jawbone is a new system that tracks your movement, sleep patterns, and nutrition so you can live a healthier life.
This new end-to-end system consists of a small wristband that monitors your activity 24/7, a mobile app that analyzes the activity, and an open platform that motivates you with personal and social recommendations and challenges tailored to your goals.

The company says that the product will be available later this year, at a price yet to be announced.

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Jawbone's New Era of Bluetooth Headsets

Almost exactly one year after releasing the stylish Jawbone Icon, Bluetooth headset maker Aliph is back with the Jawbone Era, a new $129 model that’s meant as a higher-end complement to the $99 Icon, which remains on the market. It continues to address my own long-standing gripe about all headsets–I can never remember how to use the darn things–by being the first model I’ve seen that you can operate without using any buttons other than the on/off switch.

Aliph VP Travis Bogard provided me with an Era for review and told me that the headset was also designed for an, um, era in which relatively few people choose to use a Bluetooth headset to make traditional calls, but more and more folks are doing more and more audio-related things with their smartphones–from using Skype to listening to Pandora and podcasts.

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New Jawbone Headset: More Comfortable, Better Sound, Flashy Colors

JawboneI feel like I should start anything I write about headsets with a disclaimer: I’ve still never met one I can love unreservedly. I have trouble getting them to stay in my ear; I find myself having to futz with buttons and Bluetooth; and sound quality, of course, remains variable. That said, I admire what Aliph has done over the past few years with its Jawbone headset. And tonight the company is announcing Jawbone Prime, a new version that replaces the eleven-month-old Jawbone 2. I’ve only spent a little time with the new model so far, but it aims to improve on its predecessor on all the above fronts: comfort, control, Bluetooth, and sound quality.

The basic industrial design hasn’t really changed: It’s still small and stylish (as befits its $130 price). But a new indentation–which is very subtle–makes it a bit easier for your finger to find the button you use for functions such as turning the headset on and off.

Jawbone Prime

Earloops are the bane of my phone-using existence–I can never figure out how to get them over my ear–and while the Jawbone Prime comes with one, it attempts to let most people do without it by providing six rubber earbuds in three different sizes. Three of the buds have a sort of nub that helps to lodge the bud in your ear, and it seems to work well–I was able to shake my head back and forth vigorously without the Jawbone flying out.

The single most important thing about any headset, of course, is that you can hear and be heard. I haven’t used the new Jawbone enough to judge whether it’s an advance on the old one, but Aliph claims much better sound quality in a variety of environments, from quiet areas to ones with a jackhammer blasting in the background. The Jawbone’s noise reduction works best if you let the tip touch your face, but the company says that the Prime works far better than earlier models if it loses contact. It’s also the first Jawbone that aims specifically to help with wind. (Although the company is guarded about its promise there–the headset’s packaging says in one place that it “Eliminates Noise, but another label states merely that it “Reduces Wind Noise.”

This is also the first Jawbone that supports multipoint Bluetooth–letting you use it with two phones at once. And it comes in a total of seven colors, including understated platinum, black, and brown, and four not-understated-at-all “Ear Candy” colors:

Jawbone Ear Candy

As a Californian, I can’t avoid headsets altogether unless I flout state law or never use my phone while driving. I recently bought one that’s a sort of anti-Jawbone: a cheap, ugly wired model with no advanced features whatsoever. I bought it mostly to try and sidestep-Bluetooth related issues, including the need to charge the headset and establish a wireless connection with my phone. (Aliph, incidentally, says that talk time for the new Jawbone is about the same as for the old one–4.5 hours.) But over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a personal faceoff between the wired headset’s old, unglamorous technology and everything that the Jawbone Prime promises. I may never have fallen in love with any headset, but I’ve got an open mind…